It’s difficult to judge how a player is going to be remembered in the annals of football history. It’s even more difficult when the player has been retired for about 18 years. However, it’s safe to say that Doug Flutie is one of those players who will undoubtedly be considered as an all-time great.
In his four seasons with the Bills, Doug completed 530 passes from 770 attempts, good for 56% completion percentage and throwing 29 touchdowns against 28 interceptions with 56 sacks. However, it was his tenacity on special teams that endeared him most to the Bills fans and earned him something like a folk-hero status among players and fans around the league.
On the football field, Flutie was one of the game’s most remarkable athletes, dealing with the real challenges of playing at 270 pounds in high school and college. Standing at 5? 10?, Flutie could move around in the pocket when necessary, throwing on the run with his feet.
Doug could also run tall when calling his shot, planting, and delivering throws without hesitation when needed to put up points. He was an impressive athlete and he made it look easy while on the pitch. It seemed that all that was needed for success on football fields (both on offense and defense) was just a touch of magic from Doug Flutie.
Some of the accomplishments of Doug Flutie include:
- The first quarterback in the history NFL to throw a touchdown pass and run for a touchdown in the same quarter, 1994 (vs. Atlanta)
- Flutie won the Grey Cup MVP award three times in his career
- Flutie was the first quarterback to successfully make a dropkick against the Dolphins
- First quarterback to pass for over 5,000 yards and rush for over 500 yards in a season, 1984 (Boston College)
When the United States Football League (USFL) New Jersey Generals signed Doug Flutie, he led them to the league championship. Later, after the USFL folded, he signed with New England, where he spent five seasons before being traded to the Buffalo Bills.
While playing for the Buffalos, Doug led his team to two consecutive AFC championships and later signed with Carolina. During his 14-year career, Doug Flutie threw for 50,000 yards and 164 touchdowns. His best games included a 1985 game against Denver in which he was 40/5/3, a 1993 game against Miami in which he was 37/4/1, and a 1994 game against Atlanta in which he was 34 out of 39 for 478 yards.
Due to his success, Flutie was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. In the same year, his fans named him as the best player in the New England Patriots history after winning an online fan vote. Flutie finished his career with 2,711 completions out of 4,238 attempts with 32,598 passing yards and 199 touchdowns. He also rushed for 3,674 yards with 38 touchdowns in 543 carries.
Doug Flutie’s awards and achievements started in his standout freshman year at Boston College in 1983. He was named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year, making him win the Heisman Trophy, and he became a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and Davey O’Brien Award. In the same year, Flutie recorded 3,477 yards with 23 touchdowns and rushed for 1,408 yards with 12 touchdowns. He also was named as the conference player of the year (BC player of the year) of 1984.
Flutie continued his 1985 season, leading BC to an undefeated season, but unfortunately ended the year in an upsetting loss against USC (38-35) in Pasadena. However, Flutie threw 29 touchdown passes that year while running for two more scores and led BC to its first College Football Playoff berth ever. Unfortunately, he lost to the eventual national champion Notre Dame although he ended the year with 3,651 passing yards and 30 touchdowns with 1,350 rushing yards and 22 scores, making him win the Heisman Trophy that year.
Flutie continued his success in 1986 despite losing Bernie Kosar for most of the season. In that year, Flutie threw 31 touchdown passes to go with 1,842 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. As a result, he was named first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Foundation and Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately, his 1987 season was cut short by an injury, although he had one of the best seasons by any quarterback in college football history.
After that season, Flutie took a chance and crossed over to the New England Patriots, where he played 17 games and recorded 1800 yards in three seasons. He later moved to the Canadian Football League, playing for the British Columbia Lions. Flutie struggled in his first season with the Lions but soon signed with the Calgary Stampeders and won the Most Outstanding Player trophy in 1991. He later signed to play for the Toronto Argonauts and he soon became the Grey Cup MVP again.
While some people might argue that Flutie was nothing special as an NFL player, he managed to record 86 touchdowns and throw for 14,000 yards in 13 seasons. His combined career numbers in the USFL, CFL, and NFL are quite impressive, playing 241 games 0 only five games less than NFL’s all-time leader Fran Tarkenton. However, Flutie retired from the NFL in 2005 while with the Patriots, where he played as Tom Brady’s backup and set history as the first quarterback to successfully make a dropkick against the Dolphins.