February 9, 2012

MVP Profile: Lenny Moore, 1964

Halfback, Baltimore Colts

Age: 31 (Nov. 25)
9th season in pro football & with Colts
College: Penn State
Height: 6’1” Weight: 190

Taken in the first round of the 1956 NFL draft by the Colts, Moore rushed for 649 yards on just 86 carries as a rookie, led the league in yards per carry (7.5), and was chosen for the Pro Bowl. While he never carried the ball more than 98 times in any of his first six years, he was highly effective when he did, leading the NFL in yards per carry three more times. He was perhaps even more effective as a pass receiver, often lining up out wide as a flanker, and was a formidable offensive weapon for the Colts, leading the league in yards from scrimmage in 1957 (1175) and twice gaining over 900 receiving yards in a season as he achieved consensus first-team All-Pro honors in four consecutive years (1958-61) and five straight Pro Bowl selections (1958-62). He also had over a thousand yards from scrimmage in five consecutive years (1957-61) with a high of 1536 in Baltimore’s first championship season of 1958. In the meantime Moore, nicknamed “Spats” for the manner in which he taped up his football shoes, was shifted full-time to halfback in 1961. In ’62, injuries limited his effectiveness and in 1963 he played in only seven games and saw limited action. It appeared that his days with the Colts were numbered, but he wasn’t traded during the offseason and started the 1964 season as backup to Tom Matte at halfback.

1964 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 157 [10]
Most attempts, game - 18 (for 71 yds.) vs. Green Bay 10/18
Yards – 584 [9]
Most yards, game – 86 yards (on 13 carries) vs. LA Rams 10/4
Average gain – 3.7
TDs – 16 [1]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 21
Most receptions, game – 4 (for 71 yds.) vs. San Francisco 11/1, (for 33 yds.) at Chicago 11/8
Yards – 472
Most yards, game - 107 (on 3 catches) vs. Minnesota 11/15
Average gain – 22.5
TDs – 3
100-yard receiving games – 1

All-purpose yards – 1056

TDs – 20 [1]
Points – 120 [1]

The 20 touchdowns set a NFL single-season record.

Postseason: 1 G (NFL Championship at Cleveland)
Rushing attempts – 9
Rushing yards – 40
Average gain rushing – 4.4
Rushing TDs – 0

Pass receptions – 2
Pass receiving yards - 4
Average yards per reception – 2.0
Pass Receiving TDs - 0

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

Colts went 12-2 to finish first in the Western Conference while leading the NFL in team offense (4779 yards), scoring (428 points), and touchdowns (54). Lost NFL Championship game to Cleveland Browns (27-0).

Moore gained 878 yards from scrimmage in 1965 (464 rushing, 414 receiving) and played another two years, although he carried the ball just 105 times (for 431 yards) and caught 34 passes as his playing time diminished. Following his retirement after the 1967 season, he had gained 5174 yards rushing on 1069 carries (4.8 avg.) and caught 363 passes for 6039 more yards (16.6 avg.) while accumulating a total of 113 TDs, which ranked second all-time. He totaled 12,449 all-purpose yards. The Colts retired his #24 and Moore was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1975.


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 2/10/14]