Tony Banks was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams and soon found himself the starter. Banks had some good games but turned the football over too often. In fact, during his rookie season he shattered the fumble record for a season with 21 (It was previously 18), and did it in only 14 games. (1)
After three years of inconsistent play, he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens. In Baltimore, he would again prove talented but inconsistent, which would lead to his benching in favor of Trent Dilfer during the Ravens 2000 Super Bowl Championship year. He was released in the off-season. During the 2001 season, he signed with the Washington Redskins during Marty Schottenheimer’s one-year tenure as head coach. While he was with the Redskins, he became the first quarterback to go from a 0-5 record to a 5-5 record. Starting in 2002, Banks was the second-string quarterback for the Houston Texans behind David Carr. On February 28, 2006, Banks was released by the Houston Texans.
Tony Banks Shows Flashes of Greatness
During a December 15, 1996 game in Atlanta against the Falcons, Tony Banks had one of his finest games. He overcame four fumbles and an interception, going 11-16 for 304 yards and three touchdowns. Eddie Kennison caught five balls for 226 yards including all three of Banks’ touchdowns, for 72, 77, and 41 yards. (1)
In 1997, once again at the Atlanta Falcons, Tony Banks had another career best. This time he was 23-34 for 401 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also added three carries for 18 yards and another touchdown on the ground. This time Isaac Bruce was the big receiver catching 10 passes for 229 yards with touchdowns of 29 and nine yards. Bruce also caught a 58 and 59-yard pass. The Rams lost 34-31. (2)
December 5, 1999, the Baltimore Ravens hosted the Tennessee Titans. Tony Banks had his finest game as a pro, going 18-31 for 332 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Baltimore beat the Titans 41-14. (3)
Before Tony Banks lost his job to Trent Dilfer in 2000, the Ravens’ Super Bowl season, he had another banner performance. It was September 10, 2000 and the Ravens were hosting the Jaguars. Jacksonville jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but Tony Banks came up big as the Ravens rallied to win 39 to 36. Banks was 23-40 for 262 yards and five touchdown passes, including a 29-yarder to Shannon Sharpe to win the game with just 41 seconds left. "I've never been in a game like this," Banks said. "I've won games on scores at the end, but never in this fashion--by stinking it up in the first half, [then] throwing five touchdown passes. You can't ask for anything more. I feel like Kurt Warner."
Tony Banks’ Career
Although he was inconsistent throughout his career, Banks retired with decent career numbers. He was 1278 for 2356 for 15315 yards with 77 career touchdowns and 73 interceptions. He added 246 carries for 881 yards and another six touchdowns. Banks retired after the 2005 season.
By A. Goodin, 20Yardline.com
Tony Banks Biography Sources:(1) Saints Beat Giants, Win One for Jets (1996, December 16), The Washington Post
(2) Anderson, Falcons kick Rams (1997, November 3), Chicago Sun-Times
(3) Ravens Tighten Up Titans; Defense Is Near-Perfect; Banks Has 332 Yards, Four Touchdown Passes; Ravens 41, Titans 14 (1999, December 6), The Washington Post
(4) Banks Is a Money Player; With Five Touchdown Passes, He Leads Ravens’ Comeback; Ravens 39, Jaguars 36 (2000, September 11), The Washington Post