Beattie Feathers
Beattie Feathers was born on August 4, 1908 in Bristol, Virginia. After playing his college football at Tennessee, the 5-10 185-pound Feathers chose the Bears as the team for which he would since they had the best back in football, Bronko Nagurski, who was a devastating blocker and a punishing runner.

Beattie Feathers #18

Player Info

Height 5' 10"
Weight 185 lbs
DOB: 8/4/1908
Running Back


NFL Draft

Pre NFL Draft

Career Highlights


NFL 1930's All-Decade Team


First 1000 Yard Season 119 for 1004 yards 8 TD

Team(s) As A Player

Chicago Bears 1934-1937
Brooklyn Dodgers 1938-1939
Green Bay Packers 1940

Beattie Feathers 1000 Yard Season

During Beattie Feathers’ rookie season in 1934, he achieved a milestone that had never been done in the NFL, rushing for 1000 yards. He carried the football behind Bronko Nagurski 119 times for an NFL record 1004 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also added 6 catches for another 176 yards and another touchdown. His 8.4 yards per carry was an NFL record and was only recently broken by Michael Vick in 2006.

One of his most memorable runs came against the Pittsburgh Pirates on October 10, 1934. In the second quarter, the Bears had the football at their own 18-yard line. Beattie Feathers dashed 82 yards for the longest touchdown of his career. (1)

He and Bronko Nagurski helped the Bears to the first undefeated regular season in 1934; unfortunately, they lost to the New York Giants in the “Sneakers Game.”

Beattie Feathers’ Rookie Rushing Record

During a game against the Green Bay Packers, Beattie Feathers set a rookie single game rushing record for the Bears with 155 yards. This record stood for 67 years until Anthony Thomas carried the football 22 times for 188 yards in 2001. (2)

Beattie Feathers’ Career

As quickly as Beattie Feathers jumped onto the NFL scene, he also jumped off of it. His 1000-yard season during his rookie year set the new standard for NFL running backs. His feat was not equaled until 1947 when Hall of Fame running back Steve Van Buren topped the 1000-yard mark. Today, NFL running backs hit the 1000-yard mark with more regularity. However, they play more games and get a lot more carries on a weekly basis.

Feathers played from 1934 until 1940. During that time, he carried the football 378 times for 1980 yards, 5.2 yards per carry, caught 15 passes for another 243 yards and scored 17 total touchdowns. More than half of his rushing yards, receiving yards, and touchdowns came during his rookie season.

By A. Goodin,
April 19, 2008

Related Pages:

Chicago Bears 2013-14 Schedule

Beattie Feathers Biography Sources:

(1) Chicago Bears Romp On Pittsburgh Team; 20,000 Attend Came (1934, October 11) Portsmouth Times, pg. 13
(2) Black NFL Rookies Making Major Impact on Team. (2002, January 7) JET, by Melody K. Hoffman