Ken O'Brien: Wikis

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Ken O'Brien
Position(s)
Quarterback
Jersey #(s)
7, 15
Born November 27, 1960 (1960-11-27) (age 49)
Rockville Centre, New York
Career information
Year(s) 19831993
NFL Draft 1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
College California-Davis,
Sacramento State
Professional teams
Career stats
TD-INT 128-98
Yards 25,094
QB Rating 80.4
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards

Kenneth John O'Brien (born November 27, 1960, in Rockville Centre, New York) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles. When he retired he was the only Jets quarterback to have ever been ranked the number 1 passer for a season. His career passer rating was ranked in the top ten among retired NFL quarterbacks. He held the team record for most consecutive pass completions (17) in a game. O'Brien was one of the six quarterbacks in the famed Quarterback class of 1983 and in 1997 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Contents

High school and college career

He played for Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California.

O'Brien started his collegiate football career in 1978 at Sacramento State as a reserve.

He played at the University of California, Davis under coach Jim Sochor. In his senior year, 1982, he was a Division II All-American. He led UCD to a 10-0 regular season mark and to the Division II championship game. He was ranked #2 in total offense and #3 in passing efficiency in Division II. He also won the Babe Slater Award for being the best offensive player in the Conference.

He was selected as All-Far Western Conference QB three times and was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

Professional career

O'Brien played quarterback for over a decade in the National Football League. Taken in the 1983 NFL Draft with the 24th pick of the first round by the New York Jets out of UC Davis, three picks before Dan Marino. O'Brien amassed over 25,000 yards in his 11-year career. In 1985, he was the highest rated quarterback in the NFL. He also led the NFL with the lowest rate of interceptions in 1985, 1987, and 1988. After an 11-5 record in 1985, O'Brien helped his team open up with a 10-1 record in 1986. After ten games he was leading the NFL with a 111.1 rating (over 12 points higher over the second ranked quarterback). However his team lost the remaining five games because of his own broken finger and injuries to other key players. He retired after spending the 1993 season with the Philadelphia Eagles. He is the only quarterback to pass for 400 or more yards (431) in a game and earn a perfect NFL 158.3 rating. O'Brien was also the champion in an NFL record combined 927 (884 net) yards passing with Dan Marino.

O'Brien went to the Pro Bowl two times, in 1985 and 1991.

Notable Games

Quarterback Date Team Opponent Result CMP ATT YDS TDS INT RATING Notes
Ken O'Brien[1] 11/02/1986 New York Jets Seattle Seahawks W 38-7 26 32 431 4 0 158.3 NFL Record: Most yards passed with a perfect rating
Ken O'Brien[2] 12/23/1990 New York Jets New England Patriots W 42-7 11 12 210 2 0 158.3 2nd career perfect game
Ken O'Brien[3] 11/17/1985 New York Jets Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 62-28 23 30 367 5 1 142.6 Most points since 1973
Ken O'Brien[1] 09/07/1986 New York Jets Buffalo Bills W 28-24 18 25 318 2 0 140.8
Ken O'Brien[4] 11/05/1989 New York Jets New England Patriots W 27-26 22 29 386 2 0 140.4
Ken O'Brien[3] 11/09/1986 New York Jets Atlanta Falcons W 28-14 26 33 322 3 0 137.6 Completed 23 of his first 25 passes (92%)
Ken O'Brien[5] 09/08/1988 New York Jets Houston Oilers W 45-3 17 26 260 3 0 136.7 Didn't play 4th Quarter. 3TD first half.
Ken O'Brien[1] 09/21/1986 New York Jets Miami Dolphins W 51-45 29 43 479 4 1 126.0 NFL Record: 927 Combined yards passing. Marino had 448.

September 21 1986 Dolphins at Jets: This is one of the NFL's greatest games. Ken O'Brien would get his revenge from last years amazing passing game in which O'Brien passed for 393 yards in a losing effort to Marino's 362 yards and 50 yard game winning touchdown pass with less than a minute in regulation. His revenge wasn't going to be easy as he witnessed Marino throwing for 6 touchdown passes and 448 yards. O'Brien would return fire with 479 yards and 4 touchdowns, all to Wesley Walker. With 5 seconds remaining and the score 38 to 45, Ken O'Brien riffled a 21 yard bullet pass to help tie the game at 45. In overtime on the Jets first drive, O'Brien hit Walker with a 43 yard touchdown pass for the win. It should be noted that the previous two years Dan Marino (1984) and Ken O'Brien (1985) were the highest rated Quarterbacks in the NFL.

Top 5 Ken O'Brien games by category (Minimum 10 pass attempts)

Number Rating Points Yards TDs % Com
1 158.3

11/09/1986
Seahawks

62

11/17/1985
Buccaneers

479

09/21/1986
Dolphins

5

11/17/1985
Buccaneers

91.7%

12/23/1990
Patriots

2 158.3

12/23/1990
Patriots

51

09/21/1986
Dolphins

431

11/09/1986
Seahawks

4

09/21/1986
Dolphins

82.6%

10/06/1991
Browns

3 142.6

11/17/1985
Buccaneers

45

09/18/1988
Oilers

393

11/10/1985
Dolphins

4

11/02/1986
Seahawks

81.3%

11/02/1986
Seahawks

4 140.8

09/07/1986
Bills

44

10/23/1988
Dolphins

386

11/05/1989
Patriots

3

1985-1992
Several

78.8%

11/09/1986
Falcons

5 140.4

11/05/1989
Patriots

43

09/21/1987
Patriots

370

12/08/1985
Bills

3

1985-1992
Several

75.0%

09/29/1991
Dolphins

Every game with two 400 or more yard quarterbacks

O'Brien played in one of the five greatest NFL passing games. Below is a list of every game where two quarterbacks passed for 400 or more yards.

Rank Quarterback Date Game Attempts Comp Yards TDs INTs Rating
1 Ken O'Brien
Dan Marino
9/21/1986 New York Jets: 51
Miami Dolphins: 45
43
50
29
30
479
448
4
6
1
2
126.0
112.3
Total: 96 Points 93 59 927 10 3
2 Dan Marino
Drew Bledsoe
9/4/1994 Miami Dolphins: 39
New England Patriots: 35
42
51
23
32
473
421
5
4
1
2
124.3
96.6
Total: 74 Points 93 55 894 9 3
3 Jim Kelly
Steve Young
9/13/1992 Buffalo Bills: 34
San Francisco 49ers: 31
33
37
22
26
403
449
3
3
1
1
126.2
127.0
Total: 65 Points 70 48 852 6 2
4 Dan Fouts
Ken Anderson
12/20/1982 San Diego Chargers: 50
Cincinnati Bengals: 34
40
56
25
40
435
416
1
2
2
1
87.0
97.0
Total: 84 Points 96 65 851 3 3
5 Dan Fouts
Don Strock
1/2/1982 San Diego Chargers: 41
Miami Dolphins: 38
53
43
33
29
433
403
3
4
1
1
116.2
118.7
Total: 79 Points 96 62 836 7 2

Quotes about O'Brien

  • April 26, 1983 "Who's he?" - Don Shula when the Jets took Ken O'Brien with the 24th pick in the 1983 draft, leaving Dan Marino for the Dolphins.[6]
  • September 23, 1991 Jets at Bears: "When (Ken O'Brien) gets the time to throw the football, no one throws it any better than he does." - Frank Gifford on ABC's Monday Night Football.
  • October 20, 1986 Broncos at Jets: "You wanna throw the ball deep? Ken O'Brien, he'll never under throw it." - Frank Gifford on ABC's Monday Night Football.
  • November 9, 1986 Jets at Falcons: "This kid is absolutely as hot of quarterback as I've ever seen in the NFL. He's so cool. He's got everything so much in control." - Bob Trumpy on NBC.
  • November 9, 1986: "I've been around a lot of tough, smart guys who won even though they couldn't throw the football that well. Billy Kilmer with the Redskins, Fran Tarkenton with the Giants, they didn't have a lot of physical ability, they did it by being tough and smart. But in addition to being tough and smart, Kenny O'Brien can throw the football." -Joe Walton, New York Jets Head Coach.

Quarterback Challenge

In 1990 the first Quarterback Challenge was introduced. Several top-rated Quarterbacks competed in several events with O'Brien emerging as the champion. The following year Dan Marino would win. However, in the accuracy challenge O'Brien would more than double the points of the next best quarterback by hitting all of the targets including a near perfect 50-yard pass that was close to the bull's eye.

Coaching career

After retiring, O'Brien had a stint as an assistant coach for the University of Southern California, where he coached Heisman Trophy winner and current Cincinnati Bengal Carson Palmer.

Honors

  • He was inducted into the Cal Aggie Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.

O'Brien in popular culture

O'Brien made a guest appearance on the television show Home Improvement in the episode "The Eve Of Construction", as part of Tim Taylor's "all-star" team of home builders, building for charity. As the episode aired March 9, 1994 it was just after O'Brien had played his final game. He stated that he played for 'whoever will take me', although Tim cites him as playing for the Eagles.

See also

References

External links

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