Joe Ferguson

American football player (born 1950)

American football player
Joe Ferguson
No. 12
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1950-04-23) April 23, 1950 (age 74)
Alvin, Texas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Woodlawn (Shreveport, Louisiana)
College:Arkansas
NFL draft:1973 / Round: 3 / Pick: 57
Career history
  • Buffalo Bills (1973–1984)
  • Detroit Lions (1985–1987)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1988–1989)
  • Indianapolis Colts (1990)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing attempts:4,519
Passing completions:2,369
Completion percentage:52.4%
TD–INT:196–209
Passing yards:29,817
Passer rating:68.4
Player stats at PFR

Joseph Carlton Ferguson Jr. (born April 23, 1950) is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback for 17 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), primarily with the Buffalo Bills. He played college football for the Arkansas Razorbacks and was selected by the Bills in the third round of the 1973 NFL draft

Early life

Ferguson played high school football in Shreveport, Louisiana, for Woodlawn High School. He guided the Knights to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class AAA (the top classification at the time) state championship in 1968. Ferguson succeeded Terry Bradshaw as Woodlawn's starting quarterback.

Ferguson played college football at the University of Arkansas, where he held the school's single game record for most completions until broken in 2012 (31 against Texas A&M in 1971).

Professional career

The Buffalo Bills selected Ferguson in the third round of the 1973 NFL draft.[1] Although he is most famous for playing with the Bills from 1973 to 1984, Ferguson also played three seasons for the Detroit Lions, two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and one final season with the Indianapolis Colts. Ferguson's number 12 with the Bills is now retired for his successor with the team, Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.

Ferguson placed in the top 10 in pass attempts five times, completions and passing yards four times, passing touchdowns six times, and yards per pass three times. At one time he shared, with Ron Jaworski, the NFL record for consecutive starts by a quarterback with 107, until he was replaced by Joe Dufek on September 30, 1984. He has a 1–3 record in the NFL postseason, winning against the New York Jets in 1981. His three losses came from the Cincinnati Bengals in those same 1981 playoffs, the San Diego Chargers the year before in 1980 (a game in which he played the entire contest with a sprained ankle), and in 1974 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He retired after the 1990 season after playing only one game with the Colts.

In 1995, Ferguson briefly came out of retirement to serve as a backup quarterback for the San Antonio Texans of the Canadian Football League's South Division. Kay Stephenson, who had coached Ferguson in his last year in Buffalo, was coach of San Antonio at the time and needed an inexpensive backup who knew Stephenson's system after starter David Archer was injured midseason.[2]

In 1975 Ferguson tied Fran Tarkenton for the NFL lead with 25 touchdown passes and compiled a passer rating of 81.3. Ferguson also surpassed 20 touchdown passes in three other seasons: 1980, 1981, 1983. He finished his career with 196 touchdowns thrown and 209 interceptions.

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing Sacks Drives
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds TD TD% Int Int% Lng Y/A Y/G Rtg Sck SckY Sck% 4QC GWD
1973 BUF 14 14 9−5 73 164 44.5 939 4 2.4 10 6.1 42 5.7 67.1 45.8 20 164 10.9 2 1
1974 BUF 14 14 9−5 119 232 51.3 1,588 12 5.2 12 5.2 55 6.8 113.4 69.0 32 235 12.1 3 3
1975 BUF 14 14 8−6 169 321 52.6 2,426 25 7.8 17 7.6 77 7.6 173.3 81.3 20 153 5.9 1 3
1976 BUF 7 7 2−5 74 151 49.0 1,086 9 6.0 1 0.7 58 7.2 155.1 90.0 11 80 6.8 1 1
1977 BUF 14 14 3−11 221 457 48.4 2,803 12 2.6 24 5.3 42 6.1 200.2 54.2 36 273 7.3 1 1
1978 BUF 16 16 5−11 175 330 53.0 2,136 16 4.8 15 4.5 92 6.5 133.5 70.5 29 243 8.1 1 1
1979 BUF 16 16 7−9 238 458 52.0 3,572 14 3.1 15 3.3 84 7.8 223.3 74.4 43 387 8.6 2 3
1980 BUF 16 16 11−5 251 439 57.2 2,805 20 4.6 18 4.1 69 6.4 175.3 74.5 13 129 2.9 2 4
1981 BUF 16 16 10−6 252 498 50.6 3,652 24 4.8 20 4.0 67 7.3 228.3 74.1 15 137 2.9 2 2
1982 BUF 9 9 4−5 144 264 54.5 1,597 7 2.7 16 6.1 47 6.0 177.4 56.3 11 105 4.0 1 1
1983 BUF 16 16 8−8 281 508 55.3 2,995 26 5.1 25 4.9 43 5.9 187.2 69.3 27 266 5.0 3 3
1984 BUF 12 11 1−10 191 344 55.5 1,991 12 3.5 17 4.9 68 5.8 165.9 63.5 35 357 9.2
1985 DET 8 1 0−1 31 54 57.4 364 2 3.7 3 5.6 38 6.7 45.5 67.2 4 35 6.9
1986 DET 6 4 2−2 73 155 47.1 941 7 4.5 7 4.5 73 6.1 156.8 62.9 10 101 6.1 1 1
1988 TB 2 1 0−1 31 46 67.4 368 3 6.5 1 2.2 34 8.0 184.0 104.3 1 8 2.1
1989 TB 5 2 0−2 44 90 48.9 533 3 3.3 6 6.7 69 5.9 106.6 50.8 5 37 5.3
1990 IND 1 0 0−0 2 8 25.0 21 0 0.0 2 25.0 13 2.6 21.0 0.0 0 0 0.0
Career[3] 186 171 79−92 2,369 4,519 52.4 29,817 196 4.3 209 4.6 92 6.6 160.3 68.4 312 2,710 6.5 20 24

Buffalo Bills franchise records

  • Highest touchdown percentage in a single season – 7.8 (1975)
  • Lowest interception percentage in a single season – 0.7 (1976)
  • Most sack yards lost in a single season – 387 (1979)
  • Most interceptions thrown in a career – 190
  • Most sack yards lost in a career – 2,529

Source:[4][5]

Personal life

In May 2005, Ferguson was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma cancer and underwent treatment at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. In January 2008, Ferguson was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. In February 2008, he was treated at M.D. Anderson in the intensive care unit for pneumonia. In July 2009, it was reported that Ferguson had recovered from his battles with cancer.[6]

References

  1. ^ "Football Notebook". St. Petersburg Times. July 27, 1973. pp. 3–C. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  2. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE: FOOTBALL; Ferguson, 45, Signs C.F.L. Deal". The New York Times. August 3, 1995. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  3. ^ "Joe Ferguson Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  4. ^ "Buffalo Bills Career Passing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "Buffalo Bills Single-Season Passing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "Joe Ferguson talks Cancer, Jim Kelly". Buffalobills.com.
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