Sunday, October 23, 2022

Daniel Jones—100-yards Rushing, A Rarity for a Quarterback

 By John Turney 
Frank Filchock (L) and Steve Owen (R)
Today, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jones ran the ball eleven times for 107 yards and a touchdown and according to the Elias Sports BureauDaniel Jones became the first Giants quarterback since Frank Filchock in 1946 to rush for 100 yards in a game.

We're glad Elias considered Filchock a quarterback because he was. 

And wasn't. 

He certainly was the team's passer but for the game, he ran for 108 yards he was listed as the starting halfback in the papers the day after the game—

However, that does not mean the paper got it right and Pete Gorgone was the starting quarterback. It's possible, we suppose, but we doubt it.

In 1946 the Giants were still running Steve Owen's "A formation" and variation of the single-wing that moved the offensive backs closer to the center of the formation and that looked kind of formed a letter "A". It allowed Hall of Fame center Mel Hein to snap the ball to any of the three backs—the blocking back, the quarterback or the fullback. 

In the A, Filchock played both quarterback and fullback. And though that was the scheme they used most, the Giants also used some single wing (called "B formation" by Owen). When the Giants ran that Filchock was the tailback.

In almost all cases, he was the primary passer. Yes, others could throw, but in general, the fullback in the A and the tailback in the B. As a quarterback in the A, Filchock was closer to the line and was usually involved in handing off to a back or to a wing-back in motion or running the ball himself.

From observing the film of the 1946 title game it looked as though when the Giants wanted to run Filchouck was a quarterback and when they wanted to pass he was further back, in a de facto shotgun as a fullback or tailback depending on if he was in the "A" or the single-wing (B). Also, he could easily punt from the fullback or tailback spot so it was useful to be in that on longer yardage plays.

No matter what, at least some of the time he was a quarterback. We are not sure Elias considered all these caveats when they released their information but it was the correct call.

Also, along those lines, Harry Newman and Ed Danowski were the passers for the Giants in their single-wing days (the A-Formation was not introduced until 1937) meaning they were tailbacks and would be essentially doing the same things as Filchock in spirit and deed. 
Steve Owen (L) and Harry Newman (R)

Ed Danowski
Here is a list of Giants passers that surpassed the century mark in rushing yards in a single game—
Chart information credit: Pro Football Reference

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