American Football Wiki
No. 11
Personal information
Date of birth: February 14 1972 (1972-02-14) (age 52)
'Place of birth: Ellensburg, Washington
Height: 6 ft 5 in Weight: 238 lbs
Career information
College: Washington State
NFL Draft: 1993; Round: 1 / Pick: 1st
Debuted in 1993 for the New England Patriots
Last played in 2006 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • 4× Pro Bowl selection (1994, 1996, 1997, 2002)
  • Super Bowl champion (XXXVI)
  • Second-team All-America (1992)
  • 1992 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year
  • Other Accomplishments
Career NFL statistics as of 2006
TD-INT 251-206
Yards 44,611
QB Rating 77.1
Stats at

Drew McQueen Bledsoe[1] (born February 14, 1972) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League, best known as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots from 1993-2001. During the 1990s and early 2000s, he was perceived to be the face of the Patriots franchise. Bledsoe, a Pro Bowler, All-American for the Washington State Cougars and #1 overall draft pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, announced his retirement from the sport on April 11, 2007.[2]

High school years[]

Bledsoe attended Walla Walla High School in Walla Walla, Washington, and was a letterman in football and basketball. In football, he was named a first team All-State selection by the Tacoma News Tribune.

College years[]

Bledsoe only stayed at Washington State for 3 years but still managed to put together a record-setting career. After gaining the starting job in the end of the 1990 season as a true freshman, he quickly became the face of the Cougars offense. In 1992 Bledsoe led his team to a 9-3 record(ranking #17 in the coaches pool and #15 in the AP) and a 31-28 win against the Utah Utes in the Copper Bowl, Drew completed 30-46 passes for 476 yards and 2 TDs in the game. He also established WSU records in single-game passing yards (476), single-season pass completions (241), and single-season passing yards (3,246). He was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year.

Following a impressive junior year Bledsoe decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 1993 NFL Draft. In the 28 starts of his collegiate career he amassed 7,373 yards, 532 completions and 46 touchdowns.[3]

NFL career[]

New England Patriots: 1993–2001[]

Bledsoe was drafted first overall in the 1993 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He started right away for the Patriots in his rookie season, as they improved from two to five wins.

On November 13, 1994, the Patriots had won just three of their first nine games and were losing 20-3 to the Minnesota Vikings at halftime. Bledsoe led a comeback victory in which the Patriots won 26-20 in overtime, as he set single game records in pass completions (45) and attempts (70).[4] In remaining undefeated throughout the succeeding games, the Patriots earned their first postseason appearance in eight years.[5]. Bledsoe started all 16 games that season and went on to set a NFL record in pass attempts (691), becoming the second NFL quarterback to complete 400 or more passes in a season (400), and led the league in passing yards (4,555).[6] Due to his performance, Bledsoe was selected to his first Pro Bowl as an alternate.

Following a difficult 1995 season, Bledsoe turned it around in 1996 ranking among the top passers in the league, helping the Patriots to reach the playoffs again and winning the AFC championship against the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-6. This led to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXI, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers by the score of 35-21. Bledsoe completed 25 of 48 passes for 253 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions in the loss. He was also named a starter for the Pro Bowl that season, the second of his career.

During the 1997 season, Bledsoe helped the Patriots win five of their final seven games to once again qualify for the playoffs, the fourth time in eight years as a Patriots starter he would lead the team to a postseason appearance. The Patriots lost in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers, however Bledsoe built a career-high 87.7 passer rating, passed for 3706 yards, tossed 28 Touchdowns, and earned his third Pro Bowl invitation.

The following year, he became the first NFL quarterback to complete game-winning touchdown passes in the final 30 seconds of two consecutive games.[7] In doing so, he propelled New England into the postseason for the third straight year. He completed these come-from-behind efforts while playing with a broken index finger on his throwing hand, an injury that would later sideline him for the postseason.

Bledsoe started the 1999 season very strongly, with 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions as the Patriots held a 6-2 mid-season record. However, Bledsoe subsequently threw only six touchdowns versus 17 interceptions, and the team faltered to an 8-8 record. The slide continued into 2000's 5-11 season. While Bledsoe threw a career low 13 interceptions that year, he was sacked 45 times.

Nonetheless, in March 2001, Bledsoe was signed to a then-record ten-year, $103 million contract.[8] Bledsoe did not, however, finish his career with the Patriots, nor even see the opening of the new Gillette Stadium. During the second game of the 2001 season, Bledsoe was hit by New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis while running upright to make it out of bounds. Replacing Bledsoe at quarterback, soon-to-be All-Pro Tom Brady led the Patriots to an eventual Super Bowl championship. Though he never regained his starting role, Bledsoe nevertheless proved integral to his team's playoff run when he replaced a hobbled Brady in the AFC Championship Game against Pittsburgh. Bledsoe, starting from the Steelers 40 yard line, capped a scoring drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to David Patten to seal a 24-17 victory. In gaining the conference title Bledsoe completed 10 of 21 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions.[9]

Appreciative of his lengthy tenure with the team, Patriots fans cheered Bledsoe in each of his three returns to New England as a visiting player.

Bledsoe's #11 jersey was not re-issued until the 2009 season, when Julian Edelman took the number.

Buffalo Bills: 2002–2004[]

A change of scenery - by way of a trade[10] - to Bledsoe's former division rival Buffalo seemed to give him a bit of rejuvenation in 2002. He had one of his best seasons ever, passing for 4,359 yards and 24 touchdowns and making his fourth trip to the Pro Bowl. In Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings, Bledsoe set a team record with 463 yards passing in an overtime win. He continued his strong play in 2003 as the Bills began the year 2-0. However, a flurry of injuries stymied the Bills offense; they failed to score a touchdown in three consecutive games en route to a 6-10 season. In 2004, they fell one game short of making the playoffs; a late season winning streak went for naught when Bledsoe and the Bills performed poorly against the Pittsburgh Steelers backups in the season finale.[11]

Dallas Cowboys: 2005–2006[]

Bledsoe in 2005Bledsoe went on to sign with the Dallas Cowboys, where he was reunited with former coach Bill Parcells. During his tenure with the Cowboys, he threw for over 3,000 yards in a season for the ninth time in his career, tying Warren Moon for fourth in NFL history. That season, Bledsoe led five 4th quarter/OT game-winning drives to keep the Cowboys’ playoff hopes alive until the final day of the season.[12] Though the team ultimately failed to reach the playoffs, Bledsoe had led them to a 9-7 record, an improvement over the 6-10 mark that Vinny Testaverde had finished with in 2004.

However, in 2006, his final season with the Cowboys, Bledsoe's play became erratic, so much so that six games into the season he was replaced by then-backup and soon to be Pro Bowler Tony Romo. Shortly after the end of the 2006 season, Bledsoe was released by the Cowboys. Unwilling to be relegated to a backup position, Bledsoe announced his retirement from the NFL on April 11, 2007.[2].

When Bledsoe retired in April 2007, he left fifth in NFL history in pass attempts (6,717) and completions (3,839), seventh in passing yards (44,611), and 13th in touchdown passes (251).

Personal life[]

Drew and his wife Maura live in Bend, Oregon and have four children: sons Stuart, John and Henry, and daughter Healy. He coaches his sons', Stuart and John's, football team named the Seahawks.[13]

After his retirement in 2007, Bledsoe founded the Doubleback Winery along with close friend Chris Figgins. The company's grapes are harvested from McQueen Vineyards and Flying B Vineyards, located in and around Walla Walla, Washington. Bledsoe also has a vested interest in Bledsoe Capital Group, which is committed to facilitating the capitalization, development, and marketing of its diverse holdings and investments.

In his spare time, he also works with many philanthropic organizations.[13]


Career stats[]

Passing Stats
Year Team Att Comp Pct Yds TD Int QB rating
1993 New England Patriots 429 214 49.9 2,494 15 15 65.0
1994 New England Patriots 691 400 57.9 4,555 25 27 73.6
1995 New England Patriots 636 323 50.8 3,507 13 16 63.7
1996 New England Patriots 623 373 59.9 4,086 27 15 83.7
1997 New England Patriots 522 314 60.2 3,706 28 15 87.7
1998 New England Patriots 481 263 54.7 3,633 20 14 80.9
1999 New England Patriots 539 305 56.6 3,985 19 21 75.6
2000 New England Patriots 531 312 58.8 3,291 17 13 77.3
2001 New England Patriots 66 40 60.6 400 2 2 75.3
2002 Buffalo Bills 610 375 61.5 4,359 24 15 86.0
2003 Buffalo Bills 471 274 58.2 2,860 11 12 73.0
2004 Buffalo Bills 450 256 56.9 2,932 20 16 76.6
2005 Dallas Cowboys 499 300 60.1 3,639 23 17 83.7
2006 Dallas Cowboys 170 90 53.3 1,164 7 8 69.2
Totals 6,717 3,839 57.2 44,611 251 206 77.1

Post-season records and statistics[]

  • 4-3 record in post-season
  • 3-3 in the post-season as a starter (3-0 at home)
  • 252 passes attempted
  • 129 passes completed
  • 51.1 Completion Percentage
  • 54.9 QB Rating
  • 1335 passing yards
  • 6 passing touchdowns
  • 12 passes intercepted
  • 21 passing attempts per interception in the post-season
  • 42 passing attempts per TD in the post-season
  • 2-0 in AFC Championship games (in last Patriots appearance came off bench for injured Brady to win at Pittsburgh January 2002)
  • 1 Super Bowl Championship (2001, New England Patriots)


  • His 4,452 pass attempts in his first eight seasons rank second to Brett Favre whose 4,456 attempts are the most by a quarterback during any eight-year period in NFL history
  • He passed for 3,291 yards in 2000, his seventh consecutive season with at least 3,000 yards passing.
  • Bledsoe was durable during his career, playing in 126 of his first 132 games since entering the league in 1993, and never missing a start after leaving NE until benched in 2006.
  • In 2002, his first season in Buffalo, he set single season records for yards, attempts, completions on an offense that had 7 other franchise records.
  • In 1998, he directed the Patriots to the playoffs for the fourth time in six seasons.
  • In 1994, he set Patriots franchise single-season passing records for attempts (691), completions (400) and yards passing (4,555).
  • In 1995, he set a franchise record by attempting 179 consecutive passes without an interception (10/23/95 to 11/26/95).
  • At the age of 23, he became the youngest player in NFL history to surpass the 10,000-yard passing plateau when he connected with Ben Coates on a 6-yard completion just before the half vs. the Jets (12/10/95).
  • Prior to 1994, the Patriots' single-season record for passing yards was 3,465 yards. Bledsoe eclipsed that mark six consecutive seasons.
  • At the age of 22, he became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to play in the Pro Bowl.
  • Has 33 career 4th quarter/OT game winning scores and holds the record for most TD passes in OT with 4.

While Bledsoe's raw statistics are somewhat impressive, a frequent criticism is that they are based on volume (attempts, completions, yards) rather than efficiency (passer rating, TD-to-INT ratio, yards per attempt) proving only that he has thrown a great number of times, not that he has thrown well.[14] According to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, Bledsoe's large career totals "reveal more about his longevity than about his excellence".[15] However, given that he is 5th in attempts and also 5th in completions, along with 7th in yards, his numbers were on par with the others in the top 10.

Bledsoe's poor post-season statistics (see above) have also caused a good deal of criticism to be leveled against him, though his career playoff record of 3–3 is a better win-loss ratio for playoff games as of the end of the 2007 NFL season than those of Dan Fouts, (3–4), Warren Moon, (3–7), or Dan Marino (8–10). In his last playoff appearance he came off the bench for an injured Tom Brady to win at Pittsburgh (the #1 Defense in the NFL that season), he quickly went 3 for 3 with a TD while Brady had not thrown a TD pass in several games at that point. Bledsoe never lost an AFC Championship (2–0) or a home playoff game (3–0).

Every game with two 400 or more yard quarterbacks[]

Drew Bledsoe played in one of the six greatest passing games in NFL history.

Rank Quarterback Date Game Attempts Comp Yards TDs INTs Rating
1 Ken O'Brien
Dan Marino
9/21/1986 New York Jets: 51
Miami Dolphins: 45
Total: 96 Points 93 59 927 10 3
2 Matt Schaub
Donovan McNabb
9/19/2010 Houston Texans: 30
Washington Redskins: 27
Total: 57 Points 90 66 923 4 1
3 Dan Marino
Drew Bledsoe
9/4/1994 Miami Dolphins: 39
New England Patriots: 35
Total: 74 Points 93 55 894 9 3
4 Jim Kelly
Steve Young
9/13/1992 Buffalo Bills: 34
San Francisco 49ers: 31
Total: 65 Points 70 48 852 6 2
5 Dan Fouts
Ken Anderson
12/20/1982 San Diego Chargers: 50
Cincinnati Bengals: 34
Total: 84 Points 96 65 851 3 3
6 Dan Fouts
Don Strock
1/2/1982 San Diego Chargers: 41
Miami Dolphins: 38
Total: 79 Points 96 62 836 7 2