July 1, 2012

MVP Profile: Steve Young, 1994


Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers



Age:  33 (Oct. 11)
12th season in pro football, 10th in NFL, and 8th with 49ers
College: Brigham Young
Height: 6’2”    Weight: 205

Prelude:
Young played his first two pro seasons with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL and joined the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had picked him in the first round of the 1984 supplemental draft, for the ’85 season and appeared in five games. Traded to the 49ers following the 1986 season, he primarily backed up Joe Montana for four years until taking over as starting QB in 1991, when he led the NFL in passing (101.8 rating) and yards per attempt (9.0). He followed up in ’92 by leading the league in passing again (107.0 rating) as well as completion percentage (66.7), yards per attempt (8.6), and TD passes (25) and was a consensus first-team All-NFL and Pro Bowl selection, also receiving MVP recognition. He passed for 4023 yards in ’93, led the league in passing for the third straight year (101.5 rating) and was again a first-team All-NFL and Pro Bowl choice.

1994 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Passing
Attempts - 461 [10]
Most attempts, game – 44 vs. LA Rams 11/20
Completions – 324 [6]
Most completions, game – 31 at LA Rams 9/18
Yards – 3969 [4]
Most yards, game – 355 at LA Rams 9/18
Completion percentage – 70.3 [1]
Yards per attempt – 8.6 [1]
TD passes – 35 [1]
Most TD passes, game – 4 vs. LA Raiders 9/5, at Atlanta 10/16, vs. LA Rams 11/20, at New Orleans 11/28
Interceptions – 10 [18, tied with Craig Erickson & John Elway]
Most interceptions, game – 2 at Kansas City 9/11, vs. New Orleans 9/25, vs. Philadelphia 10/2
Passer rating – 112.8 [1]
300-yard passing games – 5
200-yard passing games – 11

Rushing
Attempts – 58
Most attempts, game - 10 (for 23 yds.) vs. LA Rams 11/20
Yards – 293
Most yards, game – 60 yards (on 8 carries) vs. Dallas 11/13
Yards per attempt – 5.1
TDs – 7 [8, tied with seven others]

Scoring
TDs – 7
Points - 42

Postseason: 3 G
Pass attempts – 87
Most pass attempts, game – 36 vs. San Diego, Super Bowl
Pass completions – 53
Most pass completions, game – 24 vs. San Diego, Super Bowl
Passing yardage – 623
Most passing yards, game – 325 vs. San Diego, Super Bowl
TD passes – 9
Most TD passes, game – 6 vs. San Diego, Super Bowl
Interceptions – 0

Rushing attempts – 20
Most rushing attempts, game – 10 vs. Dallas, NFC Championship
Rushing yards – 128
Most yards, game – 49 vs. San Diego, Super Bowl
Average gain rushing – 6.4
Rushing TDs – 2

Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: AP, PFWA, NEA, Bert Bell Award, Sporting News
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

49ers went 13-3 to win NFC West and gain the top playoff seed in the conference while leading the NFL in scoring (505 points) and touchdowns (66) and placing second in total yards (6060). Won NFC Divisional playoff over Chicago Bears (44-15), NFC Championship over Dallas Cowboys (38-28), and Super Bowl over San Diego Chargers (49-26).

Aftermath
Young played four more full seasons with 49ers before his career ended three games into the 1999 season, after suffering a third concussion in four years. He was selected to the next four consecutive Pro Bowls, for a total of seven altogether, and led the league in passing twice more. Young retired with the highest career passer rating in NFL history (96.8) and second most rushing yards by a quarterback (4239). Along the way, he threw for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns in the NFL in addition to 4102 yards and 16 TDs in the USFL where he additionally ran for 883 yards. Young’s #8 was retired by the 49ers and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2005.

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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 2/8/14]
[Updated 3/30/14]

1 comment:

  1. I used to think that Steve Young's legacy was to be that of Montana's successor and nothing more, no matter what he did, but the man has solidly earned his own place amongst the NFL's greatest quarterbacks. The key for him was finding a system that maximized his talents, and San Francisco's West Coast offensive scheme fit him perfectly. His mobility made him a threat all through his career, especially after Montana's was diminishing from age and injury. Though he was no Elway or Favre, he did have a better arm than Montana and eventually became one of the most accurate precision passers of all time. And when he got on a hot streak he tended to have a demoralizing effect on opposing defenses, particularly against the Charger defense in his only Super Bowl performance, who looked to have virtually given up any hope of stopping him by the third quarter.

    Overall, I still give Montana the top marks in great quarterbacks due to his championships, leadership, and coolness under pressure. But Steve Young kept the 49ers' dynasty status going for almost a decade after Montana was gone, and he too deserves his status as one of the Great Ones.

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