Ranking the best quarterbacks in NFL history #27. Bobby Layne

27.  Bobby Layne: Layne was selected with the third overall pick by the Chicago Bears in the 1948 draft out of Texas.  Layne played 15 seasons in the league with the Bears, New York bulldogs, Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He spent one season a piece in Chicago and New York before landing with the Lions and finding success.  His best years came in 1951, ’52, ’53 with Detroit and ’58 with the Lions and Steelers.

In ’51, Layne led the NFL in passing yards with 2,403 while also leading the league in touchdown passes with 26.  He also accounted for 290 yards and a touchdown on 61 carries for the 7-4-1 Lions to make his first Pro Bowl. In ’52, the Lions were even better and a lot of that had to do with Layne.  He passed for 1,999 yards and 19 touchdowns will leading the Lions to an NFL Championship.  That year he made the Pro Bowl again as well as earning First-Team All-Pro honors.  In ’53, Detroit won the NFL Championship for the second straight year as Layne made his third consecutive Pro Bowl.

After losing his only start for Detroit in ’58, Layne moved on to the Pittsburgh Steelers and had a very successful year.  He led the Steelers to a record of 7-2-1 in the games that he started while throwing for a career high 2,510 yards (counting his stats with the Lions).

Over his 15-year career, Layne finished in the top five in the league in passing yards and touchdown passes nine times each while throwing for 26,768 yards and 196 touchdowns.  He also rushing for 2,451 yards and 25 touchdowns.  For his efforts, the six-time Pro Bowler was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1967.


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