SID LUCKMAN

SID LUCKMAN

Class of 1965
Quarterback >>> 6-0, 197
(Columbia)
1939-1950 Chicago Bears

Sidney Luckman. . .No. 1 draft pick, 1939. . .Columbia tailback who became first great "T" quarterback as pro. . . Performance in 73-0 title win, 1940, started mass rush to T-formation. . .Superb signal-caller, ballhandler. . .All-NFL five times, Most Valuable Player, 1943. . . Threw seven TD passes one game, 1943. . .Had five TD passes, 1943 title game. . . Career passing: 14,686 yards, 137 TDs. . .Born November 21, 1916, in Brooklyn, New York. . .Died July 5, 1998, at age of 81.

Sid Luckman, in his 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears, became the first successful T-formation quarterback. One game in Luckman's second season, the 1940 NFL title game, which saw the Bears defeat the Washington Redskins, 73-0, showcased the explosive possibilities of the T attack.  Almost immediately, many other pro teams began to adopt the new formation.

Bears’ owner and coach, George Halas, first presented Sid with a Bears T-formation playbook when he was practicing for the College All-Star game in 1939. Astonished and somewhat alarmed by the complexities of the new system, Sid was not an instant success. He fumbled frequently, had trouble with handoffs, and in general flunked his first T test. Halas shifted Luckman to halfback for a while before making another effort, which, on the second try, paid dividends.

Not all teams had the success with the T-formation that the Bears enjoyed. Chicago won four NFL championships, just missed a fifth, and Luckman was a major reason for the success. The crafty quarterback was named first- or second-team all-league from 1940 through 1948 and won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player honors in 1943.

Although Sid may be best remembered for the 73-0 victory over the Redskins, because the Bears went ahead so early in the game, he actually had to pass only six times, completing four for 102 yards and a touchdown.

Apparently, just the threat of Luckman and the T was enough to keep defenses off balance. Luckman had many more outstanding games but two, both in 1943, stand out above the rest. On November 14, Sid Luckman Day at the Polo Grounds, he passed for a record-tying seven touchdowns in a 56-7 win over the New York Giants. Later that year, in the championship game against the Redskins, he threw for 276 yards and five touchdowns in a 41-21 triumph.

Year
Team
G
Att.
Comp.
Pct.
Yds.
TD
Int
Rating
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1939 Chicago Bears
11
51
23
45.1
636
5
4
91.6
24
42
1.8
0
1940 Chicago Bears
11
105
48
45.7
941
4
9
54.5
23
-65
-2.8
0
1941 Chicago Bears
11
119
68
57.1
1181
9
6
95.3
18
18
1.0
1
1942 Chicago Bears
11
105
57
54.3
1024
10
13
80.1
13
-6
-0.5
0
1943 Chicago Bears
10
202
110
54.5
2194
28
12
107.5
22
-40
-1.8
1
1944 Chicago Bears
7
143
71
49.7
1018
11
12
63.8
20
-96
-4.8
1
1945 Chicago Bears
10
217
117
53.9
1727
14
10
82.5
36
-118
-3.3
0
1946 Chicago Bears
11
229
110
48
1826
17
16
71
25
-76
-3.0
0
1947 Chicago Bears
12
323
176
54.5
2712
24
31
67.7
10
86
8.6
1
1948 Chicago Bears
12
163
89
54.6
1047
13
14
65.1
8
11
1.4
0
1949 Chicago Bears
11
50
22
44
200
1
3
37.1
3
4
1.3
0
1950 Chicago Bears
11
37
13
35.1
180
1
2
38.1
2
1
0.5
0
Career Total
128
1744
904
51.8
14686
137
132
75
204
-239
-1.2
4
 
               
Year
Team
G
Punt
Yds.
Avg.
               
1939 Chicago Bears
11
27
1189
44.0
               
1940 Chicago Bears
11
27
1147
42.5
               
1941 Chicago Bears
11
13
534
41.1
               
1942 Chicago Bears
11
24
976
40.7
               
1943 Chicago Bears
10
34
1220
35.9
               
1944 Chicago Bears
7
20
685
34.3
               
1945 Chicago Bears
10
36
1299
36.1
               
1946 Chicago Bears
11
33
1235
37.4
               
1947 Chicago Bears
12
5
177
35.4
               
1948 Chicago Bears
12
10
384
38.4
               
1949 Chicago Bears
11
1
16
16.0
               
1950 Chicago Bears
11
0
0
0.0
               
Career Total
128
230
8862
38.5
               
Additional Career Statistics: Receiving: 1-15; Punt Returns: 11-107; Kickoff Returns: 5-67; Interceptions: 17-310, 2 TD

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