09-11-2010, 11:34 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: All over
Re: Biggest NFL star ever
Originally Posted by RedsBaron
Joe Namath had charisma in spades and a wonderful arm. Bear Bryant called him the best athlete he ever coached. Namath had great courage, playing with the knees he had. Namath guaranteed a win in Super Bowl III and made good on the guarantee in the NFL's greatest upset. He lead the AFL in passing yards three times and was the first QB to throw for 4000 yards in a season (1967). I agree he rightfully is in the NFL Hall of Fame.
What Namath did not have was particularly impressive passing stats, even for his era. In his Super Bowl season of 1968 he completed less than half of his passing attempts, and his career percentage was only 50.1%, which isn't outstanding even for his era. His average yards per passing attempt of 7.4 in his career is mediocre. He threw 173 TDs but also tossed 220 interceptions in his career, and only twice (1965, 1969) in his career did he throw more TD passes in a season than he did picks. There are a host of QBs in the 1960s and 1970s who had better stats than Joe Willie and who are not in the HOF.
An interesting comparsion can be made between Namath, who was Alabama's QB in 1962-64, and Ken Stabler, who was Alabama's QB in 1965-67.
One threw right and one threw left, both partied hard, and both were suspended by Bear Bryant. Both played on national championship teams at 'Bama.
Namath played in the NFL from 1965 through 1977 and Stabler played in the NFL from 1970 through 1984. During the latter years of Stabler's career he played when the rules were altered to help the passing game, but by then Stabler was a shell of who he had been in his prime seasons of 1973-77.
Passing percentage favors Stabler, 59.8 to 50.1.
Passer rating favors Stabler 75.3 to 65.5. Stabler had a rating of 94.9 in 1974 and 103.4 in 1976, while Namath never had a season rating as high as 80.
Stabler threw for 27,938 yards, Namath for 27,663.
Both QBs had an average of 7.4 yards per attempt.
Both threw interceptions. As noted above Namath had 173 TD passes and 220 interceptions. Stabler had 194 TD passes and 222 interceptions.
Namath made five Pro Bowls, while Stabler made four.
Each QB was voted league MVP by somebody (AP and/or the Bert Bell award) in two different seasons-Namath in 1968 and 1969, Stabler in 1974 and 1976.
Namath had a career playoff record of 2-1 and Stabler had a career playoff record of 7-5.
Each QB won a Super Bowl, Namath going 17 for 28 with 206 yards and no TDs in the Jets 16-7 win in Super Bowl III and Stabler going 12 for 19 for 180 yards and a TD in the Raiders 32-14 win in Super Bowl IX.
Namath is in the HOF. Stabler is not.
The further it gets from those who were born after 1955, the harder it will be for the masses to recognize just how great Joe Willie Namath was. When it comes to Football, especially Quarterbacks, throw all statistics out the window. Winning football has nothing to do with statistics. It's about attitude. Joe Namath had that attitude, as did Kenny Stabler, Terry Bradshaw, Sonny Jurgensen, and dozens of others.