January 16, 2014

MVP Profile: Y.A. Tittle, 1963

Quarterback, New York Giants

Age:  37 (Oct. 24)
16th season in pro football, 14th in NFL and 3rd with Giants
College: LSU
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 195

While drafted by the NFL’s Detroit Lions in 1948, Tittle instead signed with the Baltimore Colts of the AAFC. He had an immediate impact, leading the league in yards per attempt (8.7) and throwing for 16 TDs against 9 interceptions. After another year in the AAFC, Tittle and the Colts joined the NFL in 1950, and he led the league in pass completions (161) although the team went a dismal 1-11 and folded. Picked up by the 49ers in ’51, he gradually took over from Frankie Albert as the starting quarterback and was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1953, ’54, and ‘57 seasons. In 1957 the 49ers tied for first in the Western Conference and Tittle also received MVP consideration. He suffered through an injury-plagued season in 1958 and, and while he bounced back with a Pro Bowl year in ’59, by ’60 found himself in competition with the up-and-coming John Brodie. With Head Coach Red Hickey committing to a shotgun offense for 1961, Tittle was dealt to the New York Giants in the preseason and revived his career as he threw for 2272 yards and 17 TDs. The Giants topped the Eastern Conference and Tittle was selected for the Pro Bowl and received MVP recognition from the Newspaper Enterprise Association. He followed up with a bigger year in 1962, throwing for 3224 yards and a league-leading 33 touchdowns and receiving consensus first-team All-NFL and Pro Bowl honors, plus being selected league MVP by UPI. The Giants again finished first in the Eastern Conference, although they fell short in the NFL title game.

1963 Season Summary
Appeared in 13 of 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 367 [3]
Most attempts, game – 38 vs. St. Louis 11/24
Completions – 221 [3]
Most completions, game – 22 vs. St. Louis 11/24
Yards – 3145 [3]
Most yards, game – 324 at Washington 10/6
Completion percentage – 60.2 [1]
Yards per attempt – 8.6 [1]
TD passes – 36 [1]
Most TD passes, game – 4 vs. Dallas 10/20, at St. Louis 11/3, vs. San Francisco 11/17
Interceptions – 14 [7, tied with Earl Morrall]
Most interceptions, game – 4 vs. Washington 12/8
Passer rating – 104.8 [1]
300-yard passing games – 2
200-yard passing games – 10

Attempts – 18
Most attempts, game – 5 (for 24 yds.) at Baltimore 9/15
Yards – 99
Most yards, game – 45 (on 4 att.) vs. St. Louis 11/24
Yards per attempt – 5.5
TDs – 2

TDs - 2
Points – 12

Postseason: 1 G (NFL Championship at Chicago)
Pass attempts – 29
Pass completions – 11
Passing yards – 147
TD passes – 1
Interceptions – 5

Rushing attempts – 1
Rushing yards – 2
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: AP, NEA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFL: AP, UPI, NEA, NY Daily News
1st team All-Eastern Conference: Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Giants went 11-3 to finish first in the Eastern Conference while leading the NFL in total yards (5024), scoring (448 points), and touchdowns (57). Lost NFL Championship to Chicago Bears (14-10).

The team collapsed in 1964, Tittle’s last season, and he threw for just 1798 yards with 10 TDs and 22 interceptions while splitting time with rookie Gary Wood. He retired as NFL career leader in pass attempts (3817), completions (2118), and yards (28,339). The Giants retired his #14, and Tittle was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1971.


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). 

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