|Birthdate:||August 4, 1949|
|Team/Year:||New York Jets; 1971-1975|
Washington; 1976-1979, 1981-1985
|MVP:||Super Bowl XVII|
|Other:||Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.|
John Riggins was not a spectacular running back, but he was a classic workhorse who specialized in the touch yardage in the big games--a runner for the long run, not for long runs. In 14 seasons and 175 games, he carried 2,916 times for 11,352 yards and 104 touchdowns. In spite of his long-term excellence, Riggins was named all-pro only in 1983 and played in just one Pro Bowl.
Riggins, a Big Eight Conference rushing champion who broke Gale Sayers's school rushing record at the University of Kansas, was the number-one pick of the New York Jets in the 1971 NFL draft. He played in New York for five years, but signed with the Redskins as a free agent in 1976. His nine-year tenure with the Redskins was interrupted in 1980, when he sat out the season in a contract dispute.
Riggins, who played in the 1982 and 1983 NFC Championship Games and Super Bowls XVII and XVIII, made the most of his postseason appearances. He was named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XVII after carrying the ball 38 times for 166 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown run that clinched Washington's 27-17 victory over Miami.
He followed that success with a sensational season in 1983 when he rushed for a career-high 1,347 yards and an NFL-record 24 touchdowns.