Pro football's "unbreakable" record

01/01/2005
 
 

Johnny U fires TD in 47 straight games

At the time of his retirement in 1973, Johnny Unitas, the superstar quarterback of the Baltimore Colts, held virtually every career passing record that existed in the National Football League. Since that time, some of those records have been surpassed. One record, however, still remains and may be one of the NFL's few unbreakable records.

CUnitas exhibit at Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohioomparable to Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hit streak, Unitas compiled a string of 47 straight games in which he threw at least one touchdown pass. This record, which has stood for almost 40 years, has only been challenged once when Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino compiled a 30-game streak in the 1980s.

Unitas' remarkable feat began during his rookie campaign in a game against the Los Angeles Rams in 1956. Four years later and 11 games into the 1960 season, the streak finally ended against the same Rams team that the streak had begun.

By completing 697 passes for 10,645 yards and 102 touchdowns during the 47-game string, Unitas quickly became recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. Seven different Colts were on the receiving end of his scoring passes, but Hall of Famers Raymond Berry with 38 TD catches, and Lenny Moore with 27, were Unitas' favorite targets.

After a record-filled 18-year career, and three championships, Unitas himself was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979. His full uniform is on display at the Hall as well as the football he threw to surpass 40,000 passing yards.

JohnnyUnitas: Record 47 consecutive
games with a touchdown pass
  Date Opponent/Score
Att
Comp
Yds
TD
Int
Touchdown Passes
1 Dec. 9, 1956 at Los Angeles Rams, 7-31
29
14
147
1
1
3 to Mutscheller
2 Dec. 16, 1956 at San Francisco 49ers, 17-30
16
11
124
1
1
31 to Berry
3 Dec. 23, 1956 Washington Redskins, 19-17
18
10
161
1
1
53 to Mutscheller
4 Sep. 27, 1957 Detroit Lions, 34-14
23
14
241
4
3
44 to Mutscheller, 35 to DuPre, 35 to Berry, 3 to DuPre
5 Oct. 5, 1957 Chicago Bears, 21-10
26
17
184
2
1
8 to Mutscheller, 9 to Ameche
6 Oct. 13, 1957 at Green Bay Packers (Mil), 45-17
17
7
130
2
2
12 to Mutscheller, 29 to Mutscheller
7 Oct. 20, 1957 at Detroit Lions, 27-31
21
16
239
4
1
15 to Mutscheller, 72 to Moore, 52 to Mutscheller, 4 to Moore
8 Oct. 27, 1957 Green Bay Packers, 21-24
31
16
188
2
2
52 to Berry, 6 to Moore
9 Nov. 3, 1957 Pittsburgh Steelers, 13-19
9
2
56
1
3
5 to Berry
10 Nov. 10, 1957 at Washington Redskins, 21-17
30
17
247
2
0
67 to Berry, 11 to Berry
11 Nov. 17, 1957 at Chicago Bears, 29-14
23
11
245
1
0
66 to Mutscheller
12 Nov. 24, 1957 San Francisco 49ers, 27-21
25
16
230
1
0
8 to Ameche
13 Dec. 1, 1957 Los Angeles Rams, 31-14
30
18
271
3
1
3 to Moore, ?? To Berry, 50 to Moore
14 Dec. 8, 1957 at San Francisco 49ers, 13-17
37
23
296
1
2
82 to Moore
15 Dec. 15, 1957 at Los Angeles Rams, 21-37
29
14
223
1
2
2 to Moore,
16 Sep. 28, 1958 Detroit Lions, 28-15
43
23
250
2
1
26 to Berry, 14 to Berry
17 Oct. 4, 1958 Chicago Bears, 51-38
23
10
198
4
1
12 to Berry, 77 to Moore, 2 to Mutscheller, 33 to Moore
18 Oct. 12, 1958 at Green Bay Packers (Mil), 24-17
35
16
238
1
1
54 to Mutscheller
19 Oct. 19, 1958 at Detroit Lions, 40-14
17
11
221
1
0
37 to Mutscheller
20 Oct. 26, 1958 Washington Redskins, 35-10
15
8
183
2
0
17 to Berry, 48 to Berry
21 Nov. 2, 1958 Green Bay Packers, 56-0
16
5
99
2
0
2 to Moore, 5 to Ameche
  Nov. 9, 1958 at New York Giants, 21-24
Injured – Did Not Play
 
  Nov. 16, 1958 at Chicago Bears, 17-0
Injured – Did Not Play
 
22 Nov. 23, 1958 Los Angeles Rams, 34-7
18
12
218
2
0
58 to Moore, 12 to Mutscheller
23 Nov. 30, 1958 San Francisco 49ers, 35-27
33
17
229
1
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