November 27, 2015

Highlighted Year: Bob Berry, 1971

Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons

Age:  29
7th season in pro football, 4th with Falcons
College: Oregon
Height: 5’11” Weight: 190

Berry passed for 4148 yards and 37 touchdowns in college and led Oregon to three consecutive winnings seasons and a Sun Bowl victory. He was a future draft pick of the NFL Eagles (11th round) and AFL Broncos (26th round) in 1964. The Minnesota Vikings traded for his rights and Berry joined them as a backup in 1965. He saw limited action behind Fran Tarkenton, Ron VanderKelen, and later Joe Kapp, over the course of three seasons. Berry threw a total of 46 passes and started one game in 1966 before being obtained by Atlanta in ‘68, where he was reunited with ex-Vikings Head Coach Norm Van Brocklin and given an opportunity to start in competition with Randy Johnson. Very competitive and a good leader, Berry was also undersized and prone to being sacked. He was an accurate passer at short range, typically rolling out and throwing to his backs and tight ends, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1969.

1971 Season Summary
Appeared in 11 of 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 226 [17]
Most attempts, game – 27 vs. St. Louis 10/10, at New Orleans 12/19
Completions – 136 [14, tied with Greg Landry]
Most completions, game – 18 at New Orleans 12/19
Yards – 2005 [12]
Most yards, game – 309 at Detroit 10/3
Completion percentage – 60.2 [2, 1st in NFC]
Yards per attempt – 8.9 [1]
TD passes – 11 [13, tied with Pete Liske, Fran Tarkenton & Dennis Shaw]
Most TD passes, game – 3 at Detroit 10/3
Interceptions – 16 [9, tied with Jim Plunkett & Daryle Lamonica]
Most interceptions, game – 4 vs. St. Louis 10/10
Passer rating – 75.9 [6]
300-yard passing games – 2
200-yard passing games – 4

Attempts – 19
Most attempts, game – 5 (for 4 yds.) vs. Green Bay 11/22
Yards – 31
Most yards, game – 19 yards (on 3 carries) vs. St. Louis 10/10
Yards per attempt – 1.6
TDs – 0

Falcons went 7-6-1, the first winning record in franchise history, to finish third in the NFC West.

Berry passed for a career-high 2158 yards in 1972 but, deemed too limited to continue to start, was dealt back to Minnesota. He spent the last three seasons of his career as a backup to Fran Tarkenton. Overall, Berry completed 56.4 percent of his passes for 9197 yards and 64 touchdowns, with an equal number of interceptions. 8489 yards and 57 TDs came with the Falcons.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970