Year 1993 Starter Brand size XL
Drew McQueen Bledsoe (born February 14, 1972) is a former American football quarterback who played 14 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Bledsoe is best known as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots from 1993 to 2001, before losing his job to Tom Brady after sustaining an injury. He also played for the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.
The first overall pick in 1993 NFL Draft, Bledsoe helped improve the fortunes of the Patriots, who had fallen on hard times. Under his tenure as starting quarterback, the Patriots ended a seven-season postseason drought, qualified for the playoffs four times, and made one Super Bowl appearance. In his second season with the team, he was named to the 1995 Pro Bowl and was the youngest quarterback to appear in the NFL's all-star game at the time.
Following a period of declining success and two consecutive seasons where the Patriots missed the playoffs, Bledsoe suffered a near-fatal injury early in the 2001 season and was replaced as starter by Tom Brady. He was unable to regain his starting position after he was medically cleared to play due to Brady's success with the team, which culminated with the franchise's first Super Bowl win, although Bledsoe relieved Brady in the AFC Championship game and led the Patriots to victory to secure their berth in the Super Bowl. Bledsoe then retired after short stints with the Bills and the Cowboys. For his accomplishments in New England, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2011.
His 4,452 pass attempts in his first eight seasons rank second to Brett Favre whose 4,456 attempts are the most by a quarterback during any eight-year period in NFL history
He passed for 3,291 yards in 2000, his seventh consecutive season with at least 3,000 yards passing.
Bledsoe was durable during his career, playing in 126 of his first 132 games since entering the league in 1993, and never missing a start after leaving NE until benched in 2006.
In 2002, his first season in Buffalo, he set single season records for yards, attempts, completions on an offense that had 7 other franchise records.
In 1998, he directed the Patriots to the playoffs for the fourth time in six seasons.
In 1994, he set Patriots franchise single-season passing records for attempts (691), completions (400) and yards passing (4,555; surpassed by Tom Brady in 2007).
In 1995, he set a franchise record by attempting 179 consecutive passes without an interception (10/23/95 to 11/26/95; since surpassed by Tom Brady).
At the age of 23, he became the youngest player in NFL history to surpass the 10,000-yard passing plateau when he connected with Ben Coates on a 6-yard completion just before the half vs. the Jets (12/10/95).
Prior to 1994, the Patriots' single-season record for passing yards was 3,465 yards. Bledsoe eclipsed that mark six consecutive seasons.
At the age of 22, he became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to play in the Pro Bowl.
Led 31 career 4th quarter/OT game-winning drives and holds the record for most TD passes in overtime with 4.
Bledsoe was the last quarterback to have led the Buffalo Bills to a winning season until Kyle Orton did so in 2014.
While Bledsoe has thrown for a high number of yards and attempts, a frequent criticism is that they are based on volume (attempts, completions, yards) rather than efficiency (passer rating, TD-to-INT ratio, yards per attempt) proving only that he has thrown a great number of times, not that he has thrown well. According to sports writer Don Banks, Bledsoe's large career totals "reveal more about his longevity than about his excellence".
Bledsoe ranks fifth all-time in completions (3,839), seventh in passing yards (44,611), and 13th in touchdown passes (251). Bledsoe's career (57.2) completion percentage is lower than all recent[when?] Hall of Fame quarterbacks with the exception of John Elway. Bledsoe's NFL career passer rating of (77.1) surpasses nine Hall of Fame Quarterbacks. Bledsoe's 37 regular season 300-yard passing games ranks 9th in league history. He also ranks 6th (with 6) in most career regular season 400-yard passing games by an NFL quarterback. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times (in 1994, 1996, 1997, 2002). Bledsoe was eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
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