Ranking the best quarterbacks in NFL history #42. Earl Morrall

42. Earl Morrall: Morrall is the only quarterback to make the list after being a backup for more than half of his lengthy career.  The reason he was a backup was because of the talent that played ahead of him.  He played behind YA Tittle, Bobby Layne, Fran Trakenton, Johnny Unitas and Bob Griese.  When he did got on the field he was able to do some special things.

Morrall was selected with the second overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1956 draft and played 21 seasons. He played for the 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins,

He best seasons came in 1963, ’65, ’68 and ’72.  In ’63, Morrall threw for 2,621 yards and 24 touchdowns for the Lions.  In ’65 he started every game for the New York Giants and threw for 2,446 yards and finished 3rd in the league with 22 touchdowns. ’68 was undoubtedly the best year of Morrall’s career.  In his first year as a member of the Baltimore Colts he threw for a career high 2,909 yards and a career high and league leading 26 touchdowns.  Morrall led the Colts to a 13-1 regular season and a trip to the Super Bowl before they fell to the New York Jets.  Morrall was named the league MVP by both the AP and UPI as well as earning First-Team All-Pro honors.  As impressive as the ’68 season was for Morrall, the ’72 season was more special from a team perspective.  As a member of the Miami Dolphins, Morrall went 9-0 as a starter and helped to lead them to the Super Bowl and the last undefeated season in NFL history.  For his efforts that year, Morrall was named First-Team All-Pro for the second time.

For his career, the two-time Pro Bowler threw for 20,809 yards and 161 touchdowns.

One comment

  1. not only was he a great QB, but more so a great man. A friend to all that have had the pleasure to meet him. If we only had more Earl Morralls in this world, It would be a much better place.


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