The Files of Mystery: The 1946 Miami Seahawks?

Yep, that’s…you actually read that right. While delving into Pro Football’s annals, you find some strange things. David Klingler once played for the Raiders. Johnny Unitas once played for the Chargers. Cleveland was once the team to beat. And in 1946, there was a team called the Miami Seahawks? Yeah, I’m in the dark just as much as you.

MiamiPlusSeahawks logo

EqualsConfused Man

Well, anyways, this group didn’t last long. They only played one season, 1946, before folding and becoming the Baltimore Colts in 1947, playing in the AAFC conference. The franchise struggled tremendously, with terrible players and negligent attendance levels. I don’t entirely blame them, the team was awful. Plus their jerseys looked like this.

Miami Seahawks jersey

Some guy named Jack Meagher was their coach, and he started out the year 1-5 before being fired. Hampton Pool came in as the interim man and guided the team to two more wins. In all, the team finished 3-11, and that was it. No football in Miami until the Dolphins came along in 1966. They also played in the Orange Bowl, back when it didn’t smell like stale beer and urine.

The top passer on the team was a man named Marion Pugh. He completed 46.6% of his passes for a meager 608 yards, 5 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for a grand rating of 36.9. A Hall of Fame player he was not.

Marion Pugh

Pugh wondering if he took a wrong turn on the way to his Ping Ping tournament. 

Because of injuries, the team was forced to start five different players at quarterback (including Pugh). Only one finished with a positive TD – INT ratio, a man named Jimmy Tarrant who only threw 12 passes, completing 5 for a touchdown and no interceptions. Take a look at all the stats, they’re beyond laughable.

  • The second leading passer on the team was Cotton Price. He appeared in 7 games, starting 2, completing 48.6% of his passes for 484 yards, 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions for a rating of 50.7. Stunning.
  • Then came Kay Eakin, who was the team’s Punter. He appeared in 13 games at quarterback, starting one. He completed 42.2% of his passes (he only threw 45 in total) for 331 yards, 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions for a rating of 43.1.
  • Jimmy Nelson was next, and he was pretty much tied for worst. While appearing in 14 games and starting 5, he completed 8 of 24 passes (do the math) for 135 yards, 0 touchdowns and 4 interceptions for a rating of 13.7.
  • After the previously mentioned Tarrant, Ken Holley was the last on the list for guys that threw minimum 10 passes. He completed 3 of 11 for 36 yards for 0 touchdowns, 4 interceptions and had a total rating of 1.1. How do you even do that?

In all, the team only passed for 1,725 yards, 10 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. We get that the passing was awful, but the running might be worse. A guy named Pres Johnston led the team in rushing, starting only two games, appearing in three. He carried the ball 30 times for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not bad, and it makes you wonder why he didn’t start more. But the leading rusher only got 165 yards. What…how? HOW?

Next up was that Jimmy Nelson guy again, he carried the ball 39 times for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns. Nothing else is very significant here, except for four small notes.

  • Dick Erdlitz (great name, but he was also a kicker) carried the ball 26 times for 38 yards and a touchdown. That equates to 1.5 yards per attempt. Good work, Dick.
  • Cal Purdin carried the ball twice for one yard. That’s 0.5 yards per attempt. He shall be known now as Maurice Jones-Drew Junior.
  • Cotton Price, the quarterback, carried the ball 15 times…for -55 yards. That’s -3.7 yards per attempt.
  • But the King of all rushers was Marion Pugh, who carried the ball 29 times for -125 yards. A -4.3 average. I’m sorry, rewind the tape.

-125 YARDS!

Anyways, this brought the grand team total to 960 yards on 423 carries, a miserable 2.3 yards-per-attempt as a team. Their 15 touchdowns ranked 5th in the league, however. Opponents also ran all over the Seahawks, totaling 2,248 total yards and 24 touchdowns, a 160.6 yards-per-game average.

The leading receiver on the team was Lamar Davis, who caught 22 balls for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not too shabby, but as we go all the way down the list, we have poor Bob Paffrath, who caught 2 balls for -3 yards. True MVP material.

The special teams weren’t fantastic, to say the least. The team only attempted 7 field goals the entire season, and only converted on 2 of them. On the bright side, though, they converted all of their extra points. The punting was average, nothing to be seen there.

This brought the team’s grand scoring total to 167 total points, an 11.9 per game average that ranked last in the league. Their 3.7 yards per play were also last, along with their measly 121 first downs. They lost 56 turnovers on the year.

The defense was terrible, however, as I previously mentioned how many rushing yards they gave up, but they also allowed 49 touchdowns, at the same time giving up 7.4 yards per opponent pass attempt. They recorded no defensive touchdowns, and didn’t force a fumble the entire season. Their 378 points allowed (27.0 per game) also ranked last in the league.

Predictably, their point differential of -211 was also last, along with their standing in the AAFC table: 8th place out of 8.

We can now see why this team folded at the end of the year.

Their three victories came as follows:

  • Week 7: 17-14 Away win over the Buffalo Bisons.
  • Week 10: 21-14 Home win over the Buffalo Bisons.
  • Week 14: 31-20 Home win over the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • In their average game, Miami was beaten by 15 points.

That completes our horror story. It just goes to show that you don’t know how much you don’t know. Especially about strange 1940s AAFC football teams. Those are true mysteries, let me tell you.

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