In the 101-year historical past of the NFL, 1982 has a case as the strangest season ever. Yet maybe the weirdest half was a kicker successful the MVP award.
A nine-game, strike-shortened season. A recreation determined by a convict on a snowplow. A Super Bowl Tournament in lieu of the postseason.
Welcome to the 1982 NFL season. And someway, none of the above was the weirdest factor from that storied marketing campaign.
No, that distinction belongs to straight-on kicker Mark Moseley, who won the NFL MVP award.
A dying breed by ’82, the toe-first Moseley wasn’t main many Vegas sportsbooks when it got here time to put money on who would deliver him professional soccer’s most prestigious particular person honor. In truth, Moseley wouldn’t have been close to the record of most probably MVP amongst kickers.
Throughout his 12-year profession to that time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Oilers and the then Washington Redskins, Moseley had made at the very least 75 % of his subject purpose makes an attempt simply as soon as. This occurred in 1979, gaining the Texas native his lone Pro Bowl look.
By 1981, Moseley was one other man in the league. He missed 4 further factors, failed to attach on a single subject purpose of fifty+ yards, and went 5-of-12 from 40-49 yards. In quick, Moseley was firmly in the twilight of a stable, if not spectacular, profession.
Then, 1982 occurred.
Heading into that summer season, Moseley didn’t have a job to start the season. After eight years in Washington, head coach Joe Gibbs informed Moseley his job belonged to rookie Dan Miller, saying the 34-year-old shouldn’t trouble exhibiting as much as camp, according to Ethan Trex of ESPN. Moseley arrived at camp anyway, won the job after which carried out the miraculous.
In this magical and weird season, Moseley couldn’t miss. In 9 regular-season affairs, Washington’s main man missed just one subject purpose, and none shorter than 40 yards. For the year, Moseley hit on 20-of-21 subject objectives, giving him a then-record share of 95.2.
As importantly, Moseley nearly single-handedly won two video games for Washington, hitting 4 subject objectives in a 12-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Week 6 earlier than nailing two fourth-quarter kicks — together with one at the gun — to defat the New York Giants the following Sunday. In the season opener, Moseley knocked by way of a pair of kicks in the last quarter together with a 48-yarder in opposition to Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium, earlier than successful the tilt in additional time, 37-34.
In the postseason, Moseley struggled, lacking 4 subject objectives. However, Washington prevailed in its three NFC playoff video games earlier than beating the Miami Dolphins in Super bowl XVII, with Moseley making two clutch kicks.
If the season Moseley loved shocked the world, the man himself had a fair greater shock ready for him in the offseason, discovering out he was the NFL MVP. Per ESPN:
“I think once I got nominated it was such an unusual thing that everybody voted for me. When they called me to tell me I had won it, I was shocked beyond words.”
Afterwards, Moseley performed 4 extra NFL seasons, having fun with three full years with Washington earlier than being lower in the autumn of 1986. He latched onto the Cleveland Browns and factored into one among the best playoff video games ever, with the Browns beating the New York Jets in double additional time of their AFC Divisional conflict. Moseley missed three subject objectives in the 23-20 win, together with a chip-shot in the first OT, however redeemed himself on a 27-yard kick minutes later.
Once the ’86 season concluded, so did Moseley’s profession. And with Moseley retired, so too was the straight-ahead kicker in the NFL, seemingly endlessly.
No NFL season has ever been wilder than 1982. Mark Moseley is strolling, kicking proof.