July 21, 2016

Highlighted Year: Kerry Collins, 2002

Quarterback, New York Giants

Age: 30 (Dec. 30)
8th season in pro football, 4th with Giants
College: Penn State
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 245

Collins won the Maxwell Trophy and finished fourth in Heisman voting as a college senior in 1994 when he threw for 2679 yards and 21 touchdowns while averaging 10.1 yards per attempt. He was chosen by the expansion Carolina Panthers in the first round of the ’95 NFL draft (fifth overall) and moved into the starting lineup during his rookie season, and while the statistics were mediocre, the overall result was promising. Collins followed up with a big year in 1996 in which he passed for 2454 yards and 14 TDs and was named to the Pro Bowl while the team reached the postseason and advanced to the NFC title game. However, both Collins and the club came down to earth in a 1997 season in which the quarterback led the NFL by giving up 21 interceptions. His leadership came into question and when he asked Head Coach Dom Capers to be benched during the ’98 season, he was released. Collins finished out the year with the New Orleans Saints with unimpressive results. Signed by the Giants as a backup in 1999, and having dealt with off-field issues, he took over the starting job during the second half of the season and performed well enough to hold the job through all of 2000. Collins passed for 3610 yards and 22 touchdowns and the Giants reached the Super Bowl, although he gave up four interceptions in a thrashing at the hands of the Ravens. The club had a lesser year in 2001 and while Collins threw for 3764 yards and 19 TDs, he fumbled a league-record 23 times and tossed 16 interceptions. Big, durable, and with a strong arm, he also lacked mobility and was prone to turnovers and inconsistency.

2002 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 545 [7]
Most attempts, game – 46 vs. Washington 11/17
Completions – 335 [6]
Most completions, game – 28 vs. San Francisco 9/5
Yards – 4073 [4, 1st in NFC]
Most yards, game – 366 at Indianapolis 12/22
Completion percentage – 61.5 [18]
Yards per attempt – 7.5 [5]
TD passes – 19 [13]
Most TD passes, game – 4 at Indianapolis 12/22
Interceptions – 14 [15, tied with Rodney Peete & Tom Brady]
Most interceptions, game – 3 vs. San Francisco 9/5
Passer rating – 85.4 [15]
300-yard passing games – 4
200-yard passing games – 14

Attempts – 44
Most attempts, game – 7 (for 3 yds.) at St. Louis 9/15
Yards – -3
Most yards, game – 11 yards (on 2 carries) vs. Jacksonville 11/3
Average gain – -0.1
TDs – 0

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff at San Francisco)
Pass attempts – 43
Pass completions – 29
Passing yardage – 342
TD passes – 4
Interceptions – 1

Giants went 10-6 to finish second in the NFC East and qualified for the postseason as a Wild Card. Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to San Francisco 49ers (39-38).

Collins suffered through a losing season in 2003, tossing more interceptions (16) than TDs (13), and departed to the Oakland Raiders as a free agent. In two years with the Raiders, he passed for over 3000 yards and 20 touchdowns in each but led the NFL with 20 interceptions in 2004 and the team went a combined 7-21 in his starts. He became a quality backup and sometime starter for Tennessee over the next five years, playing well enough in 2008 to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl. Collins finished his long career with the Colts in 2011. Overall, he passed for 40,922 yards and 208 TDs, with 196 interceptions. His most productive years were with the Giants, where he completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 16,875 yards and 81 TDs with 70 interceptions, achieving career highs with his 61.5 completion percentage, 7.5 yards per attempt, and 4073 passing yards in ’02 and 22 TD passes in 2000. Collins was selected to two Pro Bowls.


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