September 19, 2016

Highlighted Year: Paddy Driscoll, 1926

Back, Chicago Bears

Age: 31
8th season in pro football, 7th in APFA/NFL & 1st with Bears
College: Northwestern
Height: 5’11” Weight: 160

Driscoll played football and baseball in college, briefly spending time with the Chicago Cubs in 1917. While in the military during World War I, he was with the Great Lakes Naval Station team that won the 1919 Rose Bowl. Driscoll joined the Hammond Pros in 1919 and moved on to the Chicago Cardinals of the new American Professional Football Association (later renamed NFL) in ’20. Deceptively mild-mannered and small in stature, he was an outstanding all-around player who was an elusive halfback and kick returner, precision punter, and outstanding drop-kicker. In six seasons with the Cardinals (three of which he was also the coach), Driscoll scored 17 touchdowns and kicked 37 field goals, leading the league three times, and 31 PATs for a total of 244 points, topping the NFL with 78 in 1923. He received first-team All-NFL recognition after four of those seasons. Following the 1925 season, in which the team won the NFL title, the financially-strapped Cardinals sold Driscoll’s contract to the Bears.

1926 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

TDs – 6 [1, tied with Eddie Scharer]

Rushing TDs – 4 [8, tied with Hap Moran, Tony Latone & Cully Lidberg]
Receiving TDs – 1 [12, tied with many others]
Other TDs – 1
Total TDs – 6 [7, tied with Hinkey Haines]
Field Goals – 12 [1]
Extra Points – 14 [3, tied with Pid Purdy]
Points – 86 [1]

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: Collyers Eye, Chicago Tribune, Green Bay Press-Gazette

Bears went 12-1-3 to finish second in the NFL while leading the league in rushing touchdowns (17, tied with Frankford Yellow Jackets), pass receiving TDs (8, tied with Green Bay Packers), and scoring (216 points).

Driscoll spent three more seasons with the Bears, scoring 43 points and again receiving consensus first-team All-NFL honors in 1927. Overall for his career, he scored 31 touchdowns and kicked 63 extra points and 51 field goals for a total of 402 points. Driscoll’s scoring total was the NFL record until 1942 and his field goal total the league standard until 1952, with his single-season record of 12 in 1926 not exceeded until 1950. Driscoll received at least some first-team All-NFL recognition after seven seasons and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1965. He later became a long-time assistant coach for the Bears and was head coach in 1956 and ’57.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970