May 13, 2012

MVP Profile: Ron Jaworski, 1980


Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles



Age:  29
7th season in pro football, 4th with Eagles
College: Youngstown State
Height: 6’2”    Weight: 196

Prelude:
Chosen in the second round of the 1973 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams, Jaworski saw little action in his first three years, most notably leading LA to a playoff win over the Cardinals in 1975. Dissatisfied with the lack of playing time, he refused to accept a contract extension and was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 1977 season. Installed as the starting quarterback by Head Coach Dick Vermeil, Jaworski developed along with the team, hearing plenty of boos from frustrated fans but also showing a gritty determination and vocal leadership, as well as ability. The Eagles reached the postseason in 1978 with a 9-7 record and again in ’79 at 11-5 and Jaworski threw for 2668 yards and 18 TD passes.

1980 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Passing
Attempts – 451 [12]
Most attempts, game – 36 at St. Louis 9/28
Completions – 257 [11, tied with Steve Bartkowski]
Most completions, game – 21 at New Orleans 11/9
Yards – 3529 [6, tied with Lynn Dickey]
Most yards, game – 331 at Dallas 12/21
Completion percentage – 57.0 [18]
Yards per attempt – 7.8 [5]
TD passes – 27 [6]
Most TD passes, game – 3 vs. Denver 9/7, vs. NY Giants 9/22, at New Orleans 11/9
Interceptions – 12
Most interceptions, game – 3 at St. Louis 9/28
Passer rating – 91.0 [2]
300-yard passing games – 2
200-yard passing games – 12

Rushing
Attempts – 27
Most attempts, game - 4 (for 5 yds.) vs. Dallas 10/19, (for 9 yds.) at New Orleans 11/9
Yards – 95
Most yards, game – 19 yards (on 1 carry) vs. Washington 10/5
Yards per attempt – 3.5
TDs – 1

Scoring
TDs – 1
Points - 6

Postseason: 3 G
Pass attempts – 105
Most attempts, game - 38 vs. Minnesota, NFC Divisional playoff, vs. Oakland, Super Bowl
Pass completions – 44
Most completions, game - 18 vs. Oakland, Super Bowl
Passing yardage – 572
Most yards, game – 291 vs. Oakland, Super Bowl
TD passes – 2
Most TD passes, game - 1 vs. Minnesota, NFC Divisional playoff, vs. Oakland, Super Bowl
Interceptions – 7
Most interceptions, game – 3 vs. Oakland, Super Bowl

Rushing attempts – 3
Most rushing attempts, game - 2 vs. Dallas, NFC Championship
Rushing yards – 2
Most rushing yards, game - 2 vs. Dallas, NFC Championship
Average gain rushing – 0.7
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Player of the Year: Bert Bell Award
1st team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Eagles went 12-4 to finish first in the NFC East and with the best record in the conference. Won NFC Divisional playoff over Minnesota Vikings (31-16) and NFC Championship over Dallas Cowboys (20-7). Lost Super Bowl to Oakland Raiders (27-10).

Aftermath:
The Eagles got off to a 6-0 start in 1981 but slumped in the second half of the season and lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. “The Polish Rifle” threw for 3095 yards and 23 TD passes, but also saw his interception total rise from 12 to 20. The team slid into mediocrity, Vermeil departed, but Jaworski lasted in Philadelphia until 1986. His then-record string of 116 consecutive starts at quarterback came to an end when he suffered a broken leg during the 1984 season. He came back to pass for 3450 yards for the 7-9 Eagles in ’85, but with the arrival of Buddy Ryan as head coach in 1986, he began to yield playing time to Randall Cunningham. Jaworski backed up Dan Marino with the Dolphins in ’88 and started three games for Kansas City in 1989, his final season. At the time of his departure from the Eagles, he was the franchise leader in most major passing categories and, for his overall career, threw for 28,190 yards with 179 TD passes against 164 interceptions.

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MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself). 

[Updated 2/9/14]

2 comments:

  1. I've always thought of Ron Jaworski as talented, but too often hot-and-cold. He performed much better when his supporting cast helped him out (particularly players like Wilbert Montgomery and Mike Quick), but got erratic when rattled (like his performance against the Raiders in Super Bowl XV).

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  2. I agree that Jaworski had his limitations, but I always admired his toughness and leadership qualities. I think that he and Phil Simms were cut out of the same cloth.

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