January 25, 2013

MVP Profile: Joe Theismann, 1983


Quarterback, Washington Redskins



Age:  34 (Sept. 9)
13th season in pro football, 10th in NFL & with Redskins
College: Notre Dame
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 198

Prelude:
Runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1970, Theismann was a 4th-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in ’71 but signed with Toronto of the CFL instead. After three years in Canada, he joined the Redskins (who had traded for his draft rights) in 1974 but was stuck behind veterans Billy Kilmer and Sonny Jurgensen. Jurgensen retired following the ’74 season, and Kilmer in ’77, at which point the cocky quarterback got his chance to start full-time. He passed for over 2500 yards in each season from 1978 thru ’81, with a high of 3568 in 1981. In the strike-shortened 1982 season, the Redskins went 8-1 and won the Super Bowl. Theismann was selected to the Pro Bowl and received the Bert Bell Trophy from the Maxwell Club. Mobile and a fiery leader, he was well-established as the starting quarterback and had a title under his belt.

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

Passing
Attempts – 459 [9]
Most attempts, game – 46 at San Diego 10/31
Completions – 276 [8]
Most completions, game – 28 vs. Dallas 9/5
Yards – 3714 [5]
Most yards, game – 417 vs. LA Raiders 10/2
Completion percentage – 60.1 [8]
Yards per attempt – 8.1 [4]
TD passes – 29 [2, tied with Danny White]
Most TD passes, game – 3 at Seattle 9/25, vs. LA Raiders 10/2, vs. Atlanta 12/4
Interceptions – 11
Most interceptions, game – 4 vs. NY Giants 12/17
Passer rating – 97.0 [2]
400-yard passing games – 1
300-yard passing games – 4
200-yard passing games – 9

Rushing
Attempts – 37
Most attempts, game - 5 (for 18 yds.) at Seattle 9/25
Yards – 234
Most yards, game – 36 yards (on 3 carries) vs. Dallas 9/5
Yards per attempt – 6.3
TDs – 1

Scoring
TDs – 1
Points – 6

Postseason: 3 G
Pass attempts – 84
Most attempts, game - 35 vs. LA Raiders, Super Bowl
Pass completions – 48
Most completions, game - 18 vs. LA Rams, NFC Divisional playoff
Passing yardage – 774
Most yards, game - 302 vs. LA Rams, NFC Divisional playoff
TD passes – 3
Most TD passes, game - 2 vs. LA Rams, NFC Divisional playoff
Interceptions – 3
Most interceptions, game - 2 vs. LA Raiders, Super Bowl

Rushing attempts – 5
Most rushing attempts, game - 3 vs. LA Raiders, Super Bowl
Rushing yards – 30
Most rushing yards, game - 18 vs. LA Raiders, Super Bowl
Average gain rushing – 6.0
Rushing TDs – 0

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

Redskins went 14-2 and finish first in the NFC East while leading the league in scoring (541 points) and touchdowns (63). Won NFC Divisional Playoff over Los Angeles Rams (51-7) and NFC Championship over San Francisco 49ers (24-21). Lost Super Bowl to Los Angeles Raiders (38-9).

Aftermath:
Theismann passed for 3391 yards and 24 TDs in 1984 as the Redskins again reached the postseason. He continued to start until suffering a career-ending broken leg in a Monday Night game against the Giants during the 1985 season. Overall, he threw for a career pro total of 31,299 yards (6093 in CFL, 25,206 in NFL) and 200 touchdowns (40 in CFL, 160 in NFL).

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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 2/6/14]

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