We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
We have 42 days until the Chicago Bears’ season officially kicks off and, since there is no number 42 currently on the roster, I have the honor of writing about the Bears legend who retired it: Hall of Famer Sid Luckman. Luckman, in my opinion, is the greatest quarterback to ever wear a Bears uniform and it’s not even close.
Acquired by the Bears prior to his rookie season in 1939, Luckman was actually drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the first overall pick of the 1938 draft. The Bears traded another player for the triple-threat tailback from Columbia University and promptly moved him to quarterback in their T-formation offense.
Sid went on to set several passing records and played a major part in making the forward pass relevant in professional football. His 7.9 touchdown percentage is still tops all-time and his 8.42 yards-per-attempt are second only to Otto Graham. He also set the record for passing touchdowns in a single game at 7, which has only been tied 4 times since and has never been broken.
In 12 seasons with Luckman as their field general, the Bears won 4 NFL championships in 1940, 1941, 1943 and 1946. He was named all-NFL 5 times and was the league MVP in 1943. During the 1943 season, which was his best statistically, he went 110-202 with a 50.5 completion percentage and threw for 2194 yards and 28 touchdowns. While those numbers might seem somewhat pedestrian in todays NFL, it’s important to note that the passing game was not nearly as sophisticated then as it is now and his 10.86 yards-per-attempt and 13.86 touchdown percentage are absolutely staggering even by today’s standards.
Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on September 7th. We’re 42 days from kickoff. Are you ready???