August 28, 2012

MVP Profile: Doug Betters, 1983


Defensive End, Miami Dolphins



Age: 27
6th season in pro football & with Dolphins
College: Nevada-Reno
Height: 6’7”    Weight: 260

Prelude:
A lightly-regarded sixth-round pick in the 1978 NFL draft, Betters started six games in place of injured star DE A.J. Duhe as a rookie and performed well. He became a regular starter in ’79 (Duhe was eventually moved to linebacker) and a stalwart part of a defense known as the “Killer Bees” due to the significant number of its members with last names that started with the letter B.

1983 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – 16 [3, tied with Curtis Greer & Jacob Green]
Most sacks, game – 4 at Buffalo 9/4
Multi-sack games – 4
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 4 
Forced fumbles – 0

Postseason (1 G – AFC Divisional playoff vs. Seattle)
Sacks – 0
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, NEA, PFWA, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
1st team All-AFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Dolphins went 12-4 to finish first in the AFC East while leading the NFL in fewest points surrendered (250). Lost AFC Divisional playoff to Seattle Seahawks (27-20).

Aftermath:
Betters was less consistently outstanding in 1984, but still accounted for 14 sacks. He declined significantly in ’85, lost his starting job in 1986, and was finished after the ’87 season. Officially, he accumulated 43.5 sacks (added as an official statistical category in 1982) while playing for 10 seasons in all. While a starting member of the defensive line for most of that time, the 1983 season was clearly his peak.

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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). Also includes Associated Press NFL Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

[Updated 2/6/14]