This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (April 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|No. 12, 3|
|Born:||July 17, 1941|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||218 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||Clovis (CA)|
|NFL Draft:||1963 / Round: 12 / Pick: 168|
|AFL draft:||1963 / Round: 24 / Pick: 188|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Daryle Pasquale Lamonica (born July 17, 1941) is a former American football quarterback who played in the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He was nicknamed "The Mad Bomber" due to his affinity for throwing the long pass in virtually any situation.
Lamonica lettered in four sports and was an all-state quarterback at Clovis High School in Clovis, California. In 1974, the high school named its football stadium after him. After high school, he turned down a professional baseball contract with the Chicago Cubs. Lamonica spent his collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame, and was the team's starting quarterback for three seasons. In 30 total games from 1960 to 1962, he had 99 completions for 211 attempts for a 46.9 completion percentage and 1,363 yards, with eight touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He rushed 144 times for 353 yards and 10 touchdowns.  He participated in the 1962 East-West Shrine Game held at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, passing 20-for-28 with 349 yards while being named Most Valuable Player.
Lamonica was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 24th round of the 1963 AFL draft. He was also drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 12th round of the 1963 NFL draft. In his first year, he played sparingly in games with Jack Kemp being the primary quarterback while Lamonica came into duty after injuries or ineffectiveness, which led to him being dubbed "the Fireman". However, he was tasked to start the last two games for the Bills. In each, he led them to victory, notably going 10-for-16 with 115 yards with a touchdown in a 45-14 win over the New York Jets. For the season, he had 33 completions on 71 attempts for 437 yards, with three touchdowns and four interceptions.  In the playoffs that year, he entered in for Kemp late in the game, going 9-for-24 for 168 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions, as the Bills lost to the Boston Patriots 26-8. 
Lamonica had much of the same in terms of playing time the following year, going 55 of 128 with 1,137 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. On rushing, he was most efficient, having 55 dashes for 289 yards (a 5.3 average per carry) for six touchdowns, which was tied for the most in the league alongside others such as Sid Blanks and his teammate Cookie Gilchrist. He started the final game of the season against the Denver Broncos, going 6-of-21 for 89 yards with a touchdown and interception, but Buffalo prevailed 30-19.  For 1965, the same was true once again. He went 29 of 70 for 376 yards, with three touchdowns and six interceptions. For the third and final season, he started a game for the Bills, going 3-of-14 for 83 yards with a touchdown and interception in a 29-18 win over the Houston Oilers.  For his fourth and final year in Buffalo, he went 33 of 84 for 549 yards, having four touchdowns and five interceptions. In the three Buffalo runs to the AFL title game from 1964 to 1967, he had minimal participation, throwing one total pass combined in both games. 
On March 14, 1967, Lamonica was traded to the Oakland Raiders with Glenn Bass for Art Powell and Tom Flores. He played with Oakland until his final year in 1974. With John Rauch at the helm as coach, Lamonica thrived. He threw 220-for-425 for 3,228 yards with 30 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, while rushing for four touchdowns. The team went 13-1 that year as they made their way to an AFL title with Lamonica at the helm. In the AFL title game that year against the Oilers on December 31, he went 10-of-24 for 111 yards with two touchdowns as the Raiders won 40-7 to win their first championship as a franchise. Two weeks later, he faced off against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II. He went 15-of-34 for 208 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception, as the Raiders lost 33-14. Lamonica was named American Football League Most Valuable Player Award for the season by UPI, AP, and TSN.
The following year, he was efficient once again, going 206-of-416 for 3,245 yards in 13 games (Lamonica missed the ninth game of the season, which George Blanda started). He threw 25 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His longest completed pass was 82 yards, his longest as a Raider for his career. He threw 249.6 yards per game, a career high. In the infamous Heidi Game, he went 21-of-34 for 311 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, with his final touchdown to Charlie Smith being the deciding points in a nail-biting victory.  The Raiders charged to a 12-2 record, tied with Kansas City for the best record in the Western Division. They trounced the Chiefs 41-6 to get to the AFL championship. Playing against the New York Jets at Shea Stadium, Lamonica went 20-of-47 for 401 yards with a touchdown, but the Jets rallied to defeat Oakland 27-23.  The following year (the last for the AFL and first for John Madden as coach), Lamonica kept consistency once again. He had career highs with 221 completions, 426 attempts, 3,302 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. He had 235.9 yards per game. The Raiders went 12-1-1, winning the Western Division once again. On October 19, against the Buffalo Bills, Lamonica set a new record with 6 touchdown passes in the first half, a record that has been matched only once, by Aaron Rodgers against the Chicago Bears on November 9, 2014. Lamonica's team went to the playoffs once again. In the Divisional Playoff game versus Houston, he threw 13-of-17 for 276 yards with six touchdowns and one interception for a 56-7 victory to advance to the AFL title game. In the AFL Championship (the last game between two AFL teams), facing the Chiefs in Oakland, Lamonica threw 15-of-39 for 167 yards and three interceptions as the Chiefs won 17-7 to advance to Super Bowl IV. Lamonica was named American Football League Most Valuable Player Award for the season by UPI and TSN, with Joe Namath being named MVP by AP. It was in Oakland that Lamonica's passing acumen earned him the nickname "the Mad Bomber," though his accuracy was sometimes suspect, as indicated by the fact that as a Raider starter from 1967 to 1972, his best completion average was only 53.0% (in 1972), though it may be argued that was because his passes were so very long.
Lamonica regressed a bit for 1970, throwing 179-of-356 for 2,516 yards with 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as the team went 8-4-2. The team was aided by the fourth quarter heroics of George Blanda, who came off the bench for Lamonica in five straight games (games 6 to 10) in the fourth quarter, helping them win four games and tie once. The team snuck through into the playoffs, edging out Kansas City for the newly-installed AFC West division title. In the Divisional playoff game that year, Lamonica went 8-of-16 for 187 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders prevailed 21-14 over the Miami Dolphins. In the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Colts. Lamonica went 1-of-4 for six yards before a hit by Bubba Smith resulted in him being taken out for Blanda as the Raiders were beaten 27-17.  He had no fumbles for the year, with his passing yard count without fumbles being a record that still stands.
On September 17, 1972, Lamonica had a perfect passing rating of 158.3. In a game that was started by Ken Stabler with additional play from George Blanda, Lamonica stepped in to throw 8-of-10 for 172 yards with two touchdowns, turning a 20-7 trouncing by the Pittsburgh Steelers into a 34-28 loss.  Lamonica started the remaining thirteen games for the season. He had 149 completions on 281 attempts for 1,998 yards, having a career high 53.0 completion percentage while having 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He went 10-2-1 for the year, leading them to a Western Division title. In the Divisional Playoff game that year against Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Stadium, he went 6-of-18 for 45 yards with two interceptions. Ken Stabler stepped in late in the game, and while he only went 6-of-12 for 57 yards, his 30 yard rush for a touchdown gave the Raiders a late 7-6 lead with less than two minutes remaining. However, Franco Harris caught a tipped pass from Terry Bradshaw in what is now known as the Immaculate Reception to give Pittsburgh a 13-7 victory. It was Lamonica's last playoff appearance. 
With Lamonica, the Raiders won four straight Western Division titles (three AFL and one AFC) and one American Football League championship. Lamonica was a 3-time American Football League All-Star and twice was selected as the American Football League's Most Valuable Player, in 1967 and 1969. Daryle Lamonica went 66-16-4 as a starter, good for a 78.4% winning percentage, second best in NFL history (Otto Graham is the highest at 81.0%). In the American Football League, Lamonica's winning percentage as a starter was 90.0%, on 40 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie in 45 games, the best ever in the AFL. Although excellent at man-for-man coverage, he had a hard time reading zone defenses, more prevalent in the 1970s, and his throwing was sometimes inaccurate. Therefore, he was replaced in 1973 by Ken Stabler, who, despite a weaker arm, was better at both, leading the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in 1976.
Lamonica played for one season (1975) in the short-lived World Football League as quarterback of the Southern California Sun where in limited time he went 9 for 19 and gained 90 yards for 1 touchdown.
Football Nation named Lamonica the 67th best quarterback since the 1970 merger.