Monday, October 21, 2019

Billy Kilmer 1961—A Rookie Quarterback With Three Straight 100-Yard Rushing Performances

By John Turney
While TJ Troup is working as the football technical advisor for the upcoming Hollywood film Twelve Mighty Orphans and hobnobbing with Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, and Luke Wilson and the like he shoots us an email stating that he'd watched ESPN this morning and the topic was Lamar Jackson and his rushing performances and comparing him to other quarterbacks. He wasn't pleased.

Said Troup, "(T)hey left out Billy Kilmer. in '61. A rookie QB rushes for at least 100 three straight weeks (10-1, 10-8, and 10-15). There is stupid, extra stupid, and then there is ESPN."

And he's right. In 1961, in week three Kilmer rushed for 103 yards on 16 carries and two scores. A week later he rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Then, on October 15 he rushed for four touchdowns to go with his 115 yards on 20 carriers for a total of 55 carries for 349 yards and eight touchdowns over that span.

Only Michael Vick (10), Russell Wilson (4), and Lamar Jackson (4) have more 100-yard rushing performances than Kilmer (There are six tied with three).

Certainly, this deserved a mention by ESPN, no? TJ sure thinks so.


  1. the problem with espn and lots of other commentators is that they consistently refer to (I was watching the Ravens-Seahawks game and heard the reference to Jackson's 100 yard rushing) the "Super Bowl era"....which of course pretends that there was no NFL before 1966.....

  2. After a horrible accident on a California highway, they said he'd never play again. He survived the the expansion Saints, then led Washington to a Superbowl. There are no stats for courage and leadership, and seldom is mentioned that he played his last ten years on one leg. Thanks for remembering.