Y.A. Tittle, NFL legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer, dies at age 90 (2024)

Y.A. Tittle, NFL legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer, dies at age 90 (1)

Pro Football Hall of Famer Yelberton Abraham (Y.A.) Tittle has died at the age of 90.

LSU deputy director of athletics Verge Ausberry told the New Orleans Advocate that the NFL legend died early Monday morning surrounded by his family. Tittle's NFL career started in 1948 after the Detroit Lions made him the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL Draft. However, Tittle never actually played for the Lions because he decided to start his career on the East Coast with the Baltimore Colts of the AAFL. Tittle's tenure with the Colts was cut short when the team folded following the 1950 season.

Although things didn't work out for the Colts, they worked out for Tittle, who would go on to become one of the NFL's best players over the final 14 seasons of his career. After leaving Baltimore, Tittle signed with the 49ers, but wasn't able to earn the full-time starting job there until his third season, and that's where he would become an NFL legend.

During his 10 seasons in San Francisco, Tittle amassed a 45-31-1 record and put up some mind-boggling numbers. In 1957, Tittle led the NFL with 176 pass completions, which almost seems absurd when you realize that only one other player in the league that year completed more than 140 passes. Tittle also completed 63.1 percent of his passes that season, becoming the only player in the NFL to complete more than 60 percent of his passes.

Tittle's 1957 season was rewarded with dozens of accolades: The quarterback was named league MVP by UPI, he was named to the Pro Bowl and also named first-team All-Pro for the first time in his career.

Tittle's numbers slowly began to slide over the next three years, which led the 49ers to believe his career was over. Before the 1961 season, Tittle's value was so low that the 49ers traded the 34-year-old QB to the Giants for a rookie offensive lineman (Lou Cordileone).

At age 34, no one would've been surprised if Tittle's career went downhill in New York, but that's not what happened. Instead, the aging quarterback hit his prime with the Giants and led them to three straight NFL title games.

During those three seasons, Tittle was doing things that you rarely see now. In a 1962 game against the Redskins, Tittle threw for 505 yards and seven touchdowns, which were unheard of numbers in an era known for bruising running backs. Tittle's yardage still stands as the 15th-highest single-game total in NFL history while his seven touchdowns are still tied as the top single-game performance by any quarterback in NFL history.

Of the top 20 passing performances in NFL history, only two of them took place before 1980 and Tittle's game against the Redskins was one of them. Tittle finished the 1962 season with 32 touchdown passes, and then followed that up with 36 touchdown passes in 1963, making him the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 30 or more TD passes two seasons in a row.

Although Tittle never won a title with the Giants -- he went 0-3 in the NFL championship game between 1961-63 -- he did cement his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play.

Tittle's final season in 1964 is mostly remembered as the year he ended up in one of the most iconic photos of all-time: A bloodied Tittle kneeled on the field after throwing a pick-six.

Tough as nails this guy. When football was football.
RIP Y.A Tittle #NYG pic.twitter.com/YGzhsLMjBg

— Tommy Lorenzo (@sportsbooktom) October 9, 2017

The picture came after a play where Tittle was hit so hard that he suffered a concussion and a cracked sternum. Tittle told ESPN.com recentlythat he wasn't a huge fan of the photo.

Tittle retired after the 1964 season with 33,070 career yards and 242 career touchdown passes. Both numbers have stood the test of time. Even though the NFL has changed its rules to encourage more passing, both of Tittle's numbers still rank in the top-35 of all-time.

Seven years after Tittle retired, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1971).

Before jumping to the NFL, Tittle spent his college career at LSU. The highlight of his career in Baton Rouge was a 1946 season where he led the Tigers to a 9-1-1 record and a Cotton Bowl appearance. Tittle was named the MVP of a game that ended in a 0-0 tie with Arkansas.

Y.A. Tittle, NFL legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer, dies at age 90 (2024)


Is Ya Tittle in the football Hall of Fame? ›

Including his two seasons in the AAFC, his 2,427 completions, 33,070 passing yards and 242 touchdown passes were the most in pro football history. In 1971, he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If that's all you ever knew about Y.A.

What does ya tittle stand for? ›

Yelberton Abraham Tittle Jr.

(October 24, 1926 – October 8, 2017) was an American professional football player who was a quarterback.

What player played for the Giants and the Colts? ›

Roy Hilton. Roy Hilton played 9 seasons for the Indianapolis Colts (56 Approximate Value) and 1 season for the New York Giants (6 Approximate Value).

What NFL team did Ya Tittle play for? ›

Tittle played 17 seasons of pro football. He played three seasons with the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference (1947-49) and one with the Colts in the National Football League (1950). He played 10 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and a final four seasons with the New York Giants.

Who is the only left handed quarterback to be named to the Hall of Fame? ›

Out of the 36 quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in contrast, only two are left-handed: Steve Young and Ken Stabler, 5.5%.

Where did Ya title go to college? ›

Who was the quarterback for the New York Giants in the 1961 National Football League Championship game which they lost to the Green Bay Packers 37:0? ›

The veteran Tittle, who led the Giants to two more championship appearances in 1962 and 1963, could do no better than Conerly, throwing an interception to the Packers Jesse Whittenton. Jim Taylor, back in the game, promptly rumbled outside the right tackle on a 33-yard run to the Giants' 13.

Where did Trent Green go to college? ›

Green played college football for the Indiana University Hoosiers. In 1991 Indiana played in the Copper Bowl and dominated a highly regarded Baylor team 24–0. Led by Green, it was one of the most impressive performances by any team during the 1991 bowl season.

Who is the most famous Giants player? ›

1. Lawrence Taylor (Approximate Value: 192) The greatest defensive player of all time, Taylor was drafted with the second overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft. The outside linebacker could do it all: stop the run, play coverage and get to the quarterback.

Who wore 88 for the NY Giants? ›

Two productive receivers — Ike Hillard and Hakeem Nicks — wore No. 88 within the past 20 years, while Pat Summerall wore the number as the Giants kicker from 1958-61 before becoming a legendary announcer.

Who played for both Colts and Vikings? ›

Robert Kirk Lowdermilk (born April 10, 1963) is a former American football center who played twelve seasons (178 games) in the National Football League (NFL), with the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts. He was drafted by the Vikings in the third round of the 1985 NFL Draft.

Is Terry Bradshaw a HOF? ›

Bradshaw was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989. In July 1997, Bradshaw served as the presenter when Mike Webster, his center on the Steelers' Super Bowl XIII and XIV title teams, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Who got into both the Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame? ›

Cal Hubbard is the only man enshrined in both the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1963) and the Baseball Hall of Fame (1976).

What is the mascot for the Pro Football Hall of Fame? ›

Goldy The GOAT | Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Who is inducted into the Football Hall of Fame? ›

The NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2024 was announced tonight, including notable players Steve McMichael, Devin Hester, and Julius Peppers from the Chicago Bears. Andre Johnson was also inducted. Among the inductees are Dwight Freeney, Patrick Willis, and Randy Gradishar, while no coaches or contributors were elected.


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