The No. 1 overall draft pick in 1975, Bartkowski was named the NFL's Rookie of the Year after throwing for 1,662 yards and 15 touchdowns. He set every team record in passing, which included 23,468 career yards and 154 touchdown passes in 123 games. He produced three seasons of 3,000 yards or more passing, 12 games of more than 300 yards passing and two seasons of 30 or more touchdown passes.
He collected over 50 victories as a starting quarterback for the Falcons and guided the team to their first playoff victory in franchise history over the Philadelphia Eagles in 1978. Leading the franchise to their first NFC West title earned the dynamo NFL MVP honors. Bartkowski led the NFL in passing touchdowns in 1980 and snagged two Pro Bowl selections (1980-81). He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and still holds 10 Falcons quarterback records.