August 18, 2017

Highlighted Year: Roger Craig, 1985

Fullback, San Francisco 49ers


Age: 25
3rd season in pro football & with 49ers
College: Nebraska
Height: 6’0”    Weight: 222

Prelude:
Chosen by the 49ers in the second round of the 1983 NFL draft to address the unsettled situation at running back, and better known in college for his blocking ability, Craig teamed at fullback with veteran acquisition RB Wendell Tyler and gained 1152 yards from scrimmage (725 rushing, 427 receiving).

1985 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Rushing
Attempts – 214 [19]
Most attempts, game – 22 (for 117 yds.) at Denver 11/11
Yards – 1050 [13]
Most yards, game – 117 yards (on 22 carries) at Denver 11/11
Average gain – 4.9 [6]
TDs – 9 [8, tied with Walter Payton & Larry Kinnebrew]
100-yard rushing games – 2

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 92 [1] 
Most receptions, game – 12 (for 167 yds.) at Atlanta 10/6
Yards – 1016 [11]
Most yards, game – 167 (on 12 catches) at Atlanta 10/6
Average gain – 11.0
TDs – 6 [20, tied with eight others]
100-yard receiving games – 2

Total Yards – 2066 [3, 1st in NFC]

Scoring
TDs – 15 [2, tied with Louis Lipps]
Points – 90

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff at NY Giants)
Rushing attempts – 9
Rushing yards – 23
Average gain rushing – 2.6
Rushing TDs – 0

Pass receptions – 2
Pass receiving yards – 18
Average yards per reception – 9.0
Pass Receiving TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-NFL: AP, NEA
2nd team All-NFC: UPI
Pro Bowl

49ers went 10-6 to finish second in the NFC West and qualify for the postseason as a wild card entry, while leading the conference in total yards (5920) and touchdowns (53). Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to New York Giants (17-3).

 

Aftermath:
Craig split time with HB Joe Cribbs in 1986 but had a second Pro Bowl year in ‘87 as he gained 1307 total yards in the strike-abbreviated season (815 rushing, 492 receiving). Craig received NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors in 1988 while rushing for 1502 yards and catching 76 passes for 534 yards as the 49ers advanced to a Super Bowl victory. He had a fourth Pro Bowl year in 1989, gaining 1054 yards on the ground and 473 through catching passes as the 49ers won another championship, but, after absorbing seven years of punishment as a versatile all-purpose back, his productivity began to drop off thereafter. After one last year with the 49ers in ’90, he moved on to the Raiders and then two final years in Minnesota, never gaining more than 590 yards rushing in any of his last four seasons or catching more than 25 passes. He retired with totals of 8189 rushing yards and 4911 receiving yards on 566 receptions, a total of 13,100 yards from scrimmage.

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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

August 16, 2017

Highlighted Year: Gary Garrison, 1970

Wide Receiver, San Diego Chargers


 Age: 26
5th season in pro football & with Chargers
College: San Diego State
Height: 6’1”    Weight: 193

Prelude:
Garrison gained 1272 pass receiving yards in San Diego State’s air-oriented offense, setting a school record with 26 touchdowns. He twice received Little All-American honors and appeared in the East-West Shrine Game as a senior. Garrison was a future draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles and Chargers in 1965. Joining the Chargers in 1966, he moved into the starting lineup as split end in place of the injured Don Norton across from star flanker Lance Alworth during his 1966 rookie season, catching 46 passes for 642 yards (14.0 avg.) and four TDs. The speedy Garrison followed up with 44 receptions for 772 yards (17.5 avg.) in 1967 and 52 catches for 1103 yards (21.2 avg.) and 10 TDs in ’68 when he was selected to the AFL All-Star Game. Plagued by injuries in 1969, Garrison’s numbers dropped to a still-impressive 40 catches for 804 yards (20.1 avg.) with 7 TDs.



1970 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 44 [16, tied with four others]         
Most receptions, game – 8 (for 165 yds.) at Chicago 10/18
Yards – 1006 [4]
Most yards, game – 165 (on 8 catches) at Chicago 10/18
Average gain – 22.9 [4]
TDs – 12 [2, tied with Gene Washington, 1st in AFC]
100-yard receiving games – 4

Rushing
Attempts – 4
Yards – 7
Average gain – 1.8
TDs – 0

Scoring
TDs – 12 [3, tied with Ron Johnson & Gene Washington, 1st in AFC]
Points – 72 [20, tied with Ron Johnson & Gene Washington]

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-AFC: UPI
Pro Bowl

Chargers went 5-6-3 to finish third in the AFC West.

Aftermath:
Garrison followed up with Pro Bowl seasons in 1971 and ‘72, catching 42 passes for 889 yards (21.2 avg.) and 6 TDs in ’71 and 52 for 744 yards (14.3 avg.) and 7 scores in ’72. He spent a total of 11 seasons with San Diego, until 1976, catching a total of 404 passes for 7533 yards (18.6 avg.) and 58 touchdowns. He appeared in one game with the Houston Oilers in 1977 after being let go by the Chargers and caught one last pass for five yards to close out his career. Garrison received second-team All-AFL or All-AFC honors twice and was chosen to three Pro Bowls.


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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

August 12, 2017

Highlighted Year: Marc Bulger, 2003

Quarterback, St. Louis Rams


 Age: 26
3rd season (2nd active) in pro football & with Rams
College: West Virginia
Height: 6’3”    Weight: 215

Prelude:
Following a fine college career in which Bulger passed for 8153 yards and 59 touchdowns, he was chosen by the New Orleans Saints in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. Cut during training camp he spent time on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad in 2000 before moving on to the Rams where he was not activated during the remainder of the year. Due to an injury to starting QB Kurt Warner in 2002 Bulger moved into the starting lineup with good results including wins in his first six starts although he missed time due to injuries as well. A good fit in the team’s high-powered offense, he passed for 1826 yards and 14 TDs. He remained the starter ahead of Warner in 2003.

2003 Season Summary
Appeared and started in 15 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Passing
Attempts – 532 [4]
Most attempts, game – 46 at Chicago 11/16
Completions – 336 [3]
Most completions, game – 29 at Chicago 11/16
Yards – 3845 [3, 1st in NFC]
Most yards, game – 378 at San Francisco 11/2
Completion percentage – 63.2 [6]
Yards per attempt – 7.2 [6]
TD passes – 22 [11]
Most TD passes, game – 3 vs. Green Bay 10/19
Interceptions – 22 [1, tied with Joey Harrington]
Most interceptions, game – 4 at Arizona 11/23
Passer rating – 81.4 [15]
300-yard passing games – 4
200-yard passing games – 13

Rushing
Attempts – 29
Most attempts, game – 6 (for 9 yds.) at Cleveland 12/8
Yards – 75
Most yards, game – 26 yards (on 4 carries) vs. Green Bay 10/19
Average gain – 2.6
TDs – 4

Scoring
TDs – 4
Points – 24

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Divisional playoff vs. Carolina)
Pass attempts – 46
Pass completions – 27
Passing yardage – 332
TD passes – 0
Interceptions – 3

Rushing attempts – 4
Rushing yards – 11
Average gain rushing – 2.8
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
Pro Bowl

Rams went 12-4 to finish first in the NFC West. Lost NFC Divisional playoff to Carolina Panthers (29-23).

Aftermath:
Bulger followed up by passing for 3964 yards and 21 TDs while giving up 14 interceptions in 2004. He had another Pro Bowl season in 2006 when he again led the NFC by throwing for 4301 yards. Purely a pocket passer, Bulger spent eight active yeas with the Rams, and after his promising start with the club, his production decreased (and interceptions and sacks increased) in his remaining seasons. Overall Bulger passed for 22,814 yards and 122 TDs against 93 INTs. He was selected to two Pro Bowls.                    
                    


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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