July 15, 2016

Highlighted Year: Carl Garrett, 1971

Halfback, New England Patriots

Age: 24
3rd season in pro football & with Patriots
College: New Mexico Highlands
Height: 5’11” Weight: 210

In college, Garrett set school career records with 3862 rushing yards (averaging 7.4 yards-per-carry), 69 touchdowns, and 418 points scored. He received first-team NAIA All-American honors in 1966 and was a second-team choice in ’67. Garrett was chosen by the Patriots in the third round of the 1969 AFL/NFL draft and, with his great speed, had an immediate impact, rushing for 691 yards, catching 29 passes for another 267 yards, averaging 28.3 yards on 28 kickoff returns and 13.3 yards returning 12 punts, for a total of 1909 combined yards, second-best in the league. He was a second-team All-AFL selection by the NEA and was named to the AFL All-Star Game. Garrett missed time during training camp due to military service and then suffered through an injury-plagued season in 1970, rushing for only 272 yards and accumulating an all-purpose total of 1167.

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

Attempts – 181 [15, tied with Marv Hubbard]
Most attempts, game – 21 (for 127 yds.) at Buffalo 11/28
Yards – 784 [12]
Most yards, game – 127 yards (on 21 carries) at Buffalo 11/28
Average gain – 4.3 [16]
TDs – 1
100-yard rushing games – 2

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 22
Most receptions, game – 4 (for 13 yds.) vs. Baltimore 10/3
Yards – 265
Most yards, game – 97 (on 2 catches) vs. Buffalo 11/14
Average gain – 12.0
TDs – 1

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 24 [15, tied with Jerry LeVias & Charlie West]
Yards – 538 [17]
Most yards, game – 172 (on 6 ret.) at Dallas 10/24
Average per return – 22.4
TDs – 0
Longest return – 37 yards

Punt Returns
Returns – 8
Yards – 124 [16]
Average per return – 15.5
TDs – 0
Longest return – 50 yards

All-Purpose yards – 1711 [2, 1st in AFC]

TDs – 2
Points – 12

Patriots went 6-8 to finish third in the AFC East.

Garrett had a lesser rushing year in 1972, although he achieved career highs with 30 pass receptions for 410 yards. Traded to the Chicago Bears in ’73, he led the club in rushing with 655 yards and also averaged a league-leading 30.4 yards on 16 kickoff returns. On the downside, he also fumbled 13 times. Following an injury-interrupted year in 1974 in which he appeared in just seven games, he moved on to the New York Jets in ’75, rushed for 566 yards, but had disciplinary issues and spent 1976 and ’77, his last two seasons, as a reserve with the Raiders. Overall, Garrett rushed for 4197 yards on 1031 attempts (4.1 avg.), caught 182 passes for 1931 yards (10.6 avg.), returned 154 kickoffs for a 24.1-yard average and 43 punts at an 11.3-yard clip, gaining 10,319 total yards and scoring 35 touchdowns. Of those totals, 2235 rushing yards, 1158 yards on 107 pass receptions, 92 punt returns for a 24.5 average, all of the punt returns, and 18 TDs came with the Patriots.  


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

1 comment:

  1. An interesting bit of trivia is that Garrett nearly played that season in Dallas. Garrett was part of a trade with the Cowboys in which Garrett and another player whose name escapes me in exchange for Cowboys running back Duane Thomas (who had fallen out of favor after comments such as calling Tom Landry a "plastic man"). The trade was finalized, only for Thomas to complain about the fact New England regularly used an I formation (where he would line up behind fullback Jim Nance) vs. the pro (or split backs) set he was used to in Dallas.

    Eventually things deteriorated enough that the NFL reversed the portion of the trade involving Thomas and Garrett.