What If? Sid Luckman's 1943 season

Welcome to another entry of the What If? Fantasy Football edition. This is where I look back at a season long before fantasy football became prominent among us in our society as figure how the fantasy numbers would look if the fantasy game existed then. Today, we look back at the 1943 season for Pro Football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman. I'm using the default scoring systems for Sporting News and Yahoo! to calculate the point totals.

Here's the point scale for SN(default configuration):
60 points for every touchdown
2 points for every rushing, receiving, and punt return yard gained
1 point for every kickoff return yard gained
2 points for every reception
1 point for every passing yard
-10 points for every kickoff return attempt
-45 points for lost fumble and interception
-1 point for incomplete pass

Here's the point scale for Yahoo!(default configuration):
6 points for every rushing, receiving, and return touchdown
4 points for passing touchdown
1 point for every 10 rushing and receiving yards
1 point for every 25 passing yards
2 points for every two-point conversion
-1 point for every interception
-2 points for every fumble
No points are given for receptions or return yardage in the default configuration.

Here are the stats for Sid Luckman in 1943 and fantasy points for the SN games:
Passing yards: 2194 = 2194 points
Passing touchdowns: 28 = 1680 points
Incomplete passes: 92 = -92 points
Interceptions: 12 = -540
Rushing yards: -40 = -80 points
Rushing touchdowns: 1 = 60 points
Receptions: NA
Receiving yards: NA
Receiving touchdowns: NA
Fumbles Lost: 0 = 0 points
Total points: 3222 points
Total points per game: 322.20
Note: Luckman only played 10 of 12 games in 1943.

Here are the stats for Sid Luckman in 1943 and fantasy points for the Yahoo! game:
Passing yards: 2194 = 87 points
Passing touchdowns: 28 = 112 points
Interceptions: 12 = -13 points
Rushing yards: -40 = -4 points
Rushing touchdowns: 1 = 6 points
Receiving yards: NA
Receiving touchdowns: NA
Fumbles Lost: 0 = 0 points
Total points: 188 points
Total points per game: 18.8
Note: Luckman only played 10 of 12 games in 1943.

Statistical source: pro-football reference

Luckman had his best season in 1943 as he quarterbacked the Chicago Bears to their third NFL Championship in four years. Besides Sammy Baugh of Washington, Luckman was the only other player that would have been coveted by fantasy owners during the 1940s. He threw for five touchdowns in the NFL Championship Game as he outdueled Baugh in a 41-21 victory for the Bears, so he would have been money in the fantasy playoffs edition. The highlight of this season came during a game against the New York Giants in which every fantasy owner would have wanted him on November 14, 1943. Have a look at the passing stats and fantasy points for the SN game:

Passing yards: 433 = 433 points
Passing touchdowns: 7 = 420 points
Incomplete passes: 11 = -11 points
Interceptions: 1 = -45 points
Total points: 797 points
Note: I could not locate complete rushing stats for Luckman during that game, but the Bears as a team had 194 yards on the ground that day so it's possible his point total exceeed 800 points. Luckman set a record for touchdown passes in a game on that November day.

During the storied history of the Chicago Bears franchise, Luckman remains the only full-time quarterback from that team to make it into the Hall of Fame(George Blanda played part-time as QB for the Bears and other teams). Luckman also had four interceptions on defense during the season, and actually returned one for a touchdown the year before. Luckman played 12 years in the NFL(all with the Bears), and led the team to four NFL Championships(1940-41, 1943, 1946). His efforts, leadership, and performance earned him induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

If anyone wants to suggest a past player, then you can do so in the comments section. The only thing I ask is that the player and year be before 1990 because fantasy football wasn't as prominent then.

Past What If? posts:
Walter Payton's 1977 season
Gale Sayers' 1965 season
Eric Dickerson's 1983 season
Jim Brown's 1963 season
Dan Marino's 1984 season
Jerry Rice's 1987 season
O.J. Simpson's 1975 season
Johnny Unitas' 1959 season



Lester's Legends said...

Nice job. I would have never have thought to profile Luckman. That's why you are The Greatest.

David Funk said...

Thanks Lester. I looked back at some of the players of the early era of pro football, and came across the stats for Luckman. I knew he threw quite a few interceptions in his career, but was very impressed in an era where guys typically played both ways at how good his offensive numbers were in 1943. I also remembered before researching that it was in this season that he set the record for passing touchdowns in a game. That game would have been awesome for Luckman owners then! Plus, he had an amazing playoff game as well which would have been very useful in the post-season fantasy games.

Thanks for coming by as always.