NFL: Most Overrated Players of The Past 40 Years Part 2

John LewisSenior Writer IJuly 10, 2008

While my first article about the NFL's most overrated players of the Super Bowl era received some interesting feedback, I decided to put together another list of over hyped players from around the league.

I kept the same parameters, players of the last 40 years and that they must be considered great players to be considered overrated.

That said here's the list...


Joe Namath

Broadway Joe was cocky and is best known for his prediction of a Super Bowl victory over the highly favored Baltimore Colts and Johnny Unitas.  The brash Namath went into Super Bowl III with a swagger and came out a hero.

Unfortunately, Namath was unable to build on any of that success, throwing a lot more interceptions than touchdowns, 220-to-173 to be exact.  In fact, only twice did he ever pass for more than 3,000 yards and both of those seasons he led the league in interceptions.  Joe, we love your bold predictions but you're overrated.


Orenthal James Simpson

O.J. or "The Juice" was drafted No. 1 out of the University of Southern California by the Buffalo Bills in 1969.  It took him a few years to crack the 1,000 yard mark as he could only average 622 yards in his first three seasons.

He did however rush for over 2,000 yards in 1973 but truly only had three great seasons in his career.  He only scored 61 rushing touchdowns, was never really a threat to catch many passes out of the backfield and played on just three winning teams in his career. 

To put it in perspective, Barry Sanders played on some really bad teams and still managed to help the Lions have more winning seasons than Simpson.


Warren Moon

Moon was the prototypical QB, good arm, great numbers, and 49,325 career passing yards. However, he couldn't seem to get it done in the playoffs.  Moon and the Houston Oilers made the playoffs in seven of his 10 years but managed to lose in the first round of the playoffs in four of them.

With very little running game, Moon helped bring the franchise out of six consecutive losing seasons.  He threw for more than 4,000 yards in a season four times but could only look good on paper as he could never beat the Broncos or Bills in the post season.


Dan Fouts

Fouts was a lot like Warren Moon, good arm, great numbers, 43,040 career passing yards but never really managed to help his team compete for a Super Bowl.  Fouts and the Chargers only made the playoffs four times.

Lacking a true running game, Fouts had to go to the air a lot and had three straight 4,000 yard passing seasons with the receiving corps of Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joyner, and Wes Chandler. But, in the end he only threw 12 more touchdowns than interceptions.   


Bob Griese

Griese had the benefit of a great running game, great defense, and arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history.  His first three seasons were losing years but the fourth year he had Don Shula, Larry Czonka, and Paul Warfield. This is when the Dolphins began winning.

What makes Griese overrated is during the Dolphins 1972 undefeated season, is the fact that 38-year-old backup Earl Morrall came in and helped keep the team from losing a game.  During those years, all the Dolphins needed was a QB that managed the game and didn't turn the ball over.


As I've always said, no list is perfect but these players were definitely overrated.