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Jim Plunkett

The best Raider not in the HOF? It’s Plunkett

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Who’s the best Raider not in the Hall of Fame?

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TOFN “5 Games” podcast: QB Ken Anderson recalls life with the Bengals, Paul Brown & Bill Walsh

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Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy winner at Stanford and the first overall pick of the 1971 draft. But he needed three stops in his NFL career to reach his potential.

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Lester Hayes arrived in Oakland as a fifth-round draft pick in 1977 and became a starter in 1978. By 1980, he was the NFL’s best cornerback with a league-leading 13 interceptions, one short of Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane’s NFL single-season record.

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Anderson wound up passing for more yards (32,838) and more touchdowns (197) than any quarterback in his 1971 draft class. He won four NFL passing titles, two in the 1970s and two more in the 1980s, and was the NFL MVP in 1981 when he took the Bengals to their first Super Bowl.

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Carolina coach Ron Rivera said if he had a chance to give someone a pass to Canton … someone not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame … it would be former quarterback Jim Plunkett.

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Jim Plunkett won two Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders. But he might not … would not … have gotten there if Al Davis had granted him his wish prior to the 1980 season.

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The best quarterback not in the Hall? A year ago, you might have said it was a Raider, Ken Stabler. But today? You said it was … well, another Raider, Jim Plunkett. One month after Stabler was voted into the Hall voters overwhelmingly supported Plunkett as the next quarterback into Canton over runner-up Ken Anderson.

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Cecil Isbell is the only all-decade quarterback not enshrined in Canton. But is he the best quarterback not in the Hall of Fame?

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The most popular number for Super Bowl quarterbacks has been 12. The most successful has been 16.

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