Saturday, June 8, 2019

Players of the Decade—1940s

By John Turney
This is the sixth in a series of picking players of the decades. We began with 1915-25 and all the decades in between and now we take on the 1940s. Again, we consulted Chris Willis of NFL Films to make the selections.

Here are the selections:

1940s Player of the Decade
Sammy Baugh
Baugh led the NFL in completion percentage in eight of the ten seasons in the 1940s and won a title as well. He completed 1,319 of 2,247 passes (58.7%) for 17,002 yards and 149 touchdowns,

1940s  Defensive Player of the Decade
Bulldog Turner

A similar type player as Mel Hein, a great center and also a great linebacker. According to George Allen, both were great at both offense and defense and that Hein was the better center and Turner may have been a bit better linebacker.

1940s Player of the Decade Runner-Up
Sid Luckman
1943 NFL MVP and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame team All-1940s Team and seven-time All-Pro and the quarterback of four championship teams. For the decade he completed 868 passes out of 1,656 attempts (52.2%)  for 13,870 yards and  131 touchdowns.

1940s co-Defensive Player of the Decade Runners-Up
Charley Brock and George McAfee

Two championships and three All-Pros and a member of the All-1940s Team, Brock is another player who deserves a look in the possible Hall of Fame "amnesty" class that is rumored.

McAfee was a great returner and back but he was also a tremendous defensive back. From 1940-50 he intercepted 25 passes, which was not the most, but he didn't play defense full-time and and he missed three seasons due to his volunteering to join the United States Navy during World War II.

Next up: The 1945-55 period.

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