Cards: Topps 1982, ProSet Legends 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 2/2 Received: 2/9 (7 days)
Joe Ferguson was the QB for the Bills who owned nearly all the franchise record books before Jim Kelly shattered them over the next 10 years.
A Southwest Conference Alum with the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1970 to 1972, Joe competed 327 of 611 passes for 4431 yards to 24 TDs and 32 interceptions- shattering many of the passing records at the school, and earned the Liberty Bowl MVP award in 1971. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. The team pressed him into service immediately, where he posted 3 winning seasons in a row. Ferguson played ball during the dead ball era. Regardless he led the league in a variety of categories including TDs (25, 1975), attempts (1977, 457), yards (1977, 2803), and interceptions (1977, 24. 1982, 16). In 1976 he started 7 games and threw 9 touchdowns to just 1 interception for a 90 QB rating.
With the arrival of Jim Kelly in 1985, Joe began the journeyman phase of his career. He’d play 2 seasons for the Lions as a backup, starting 5 games and posting a 2-3 record. Afterwards he’d play 3 more non-descript seasons for the Bucs (1988-1989) and the Indianapolis Colts (1990).
Joe went into coaching after his playing career wrapped up and saw stints at Louisiana Tech and Arkansas.
Perhaps most intriguing was when he joined the CFL and was the QB coach for the San Antonio Goldminers in 1995. After an injury befell starting QB David Archer, head coach Kay Stephenson needed somebody who was familiar with his offensive system. Enter backup Joe Ferguson for one final season. An ironman of football, Joe started at one point 103 consecutive games, and played 16 seasons.
Joe has also been inducted into numerous Arkansas Sports Hall of Fames, All-Century Teams, and All-Decade Teams. He also has a spot in the Bills Ring of Honor.
I loved these Legends cards made by Pro Set in 1991. I had never gotten this one when I pulled packs as a kid so I was doubly surprised when I originally saw this Corning masterpiece. Joe is a great signer, so I had been kicking the can down the road the past few years before I decided to pull the trigger on this one, and he responded in no time flat.