In only his second year 1974, he gained 811 yards and 9 touchdowns as he led the New England Patriots to a surprising 4-0 start before faltering to a 7-7 finish. In 1977 he gained a career high 1,015 yards and scored 4 touchdowns, and also caught 42 receptions for 370 yards and a touchdown. He played his entire career (1973 through 1982) with the Patriots and was a 1978 Pro Bowl selection.
Cunningham finished his career with 5,453 rushing yards, 210 receptions for 1,905 yards, and 49 touchdowns. He is the older brother of former UNLV and NFL quarterback (and All-America punter and Pro Bowl quarterback) Randall Cunningham and uncle of Randall Cunningham II.
Cunningham is the 2010 Inductee to the Patriots Hall of Fame.
^Chapin, Dwight - McKay's Message Puts the Bam Back in Sam. Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1971. "The name-Sam (Bam) Cunningham--makes you think of a big guy crunching through tacklers like a truck going through a plate glass window."