(Photos courtesy of the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants)
Talk of Fame Network
With the election of Ken Stabler to the Hall of Fame in the Class of 2016, Cecil Isbell is now the only all-decade quarterback eligible for Canton who is not enshrined.
But is Isbell the best quarterback without a bust in Canton? Or could it be Jim Plunkett with his two Super Bowl rings? Or Ken Anderson with his four passing titles? That’s our poll question for this week on the Talk of Fame Network as we ask our listeners and readers who’s the best quarterback not in the Hall of Fame.
Here are your six options:
Ken Anderson. A four-time NFL passing champion, Anderson quarterbacked Cincinnati for 16 seasons and took the Bengals to the 1982 Super Bowl. Anderson also was the first quarterback to complete 70 percent of his passes in a single season and was the NFL MVP in 1981. He passed for 32,838 yards and 197 touchdowns and went to four Pro Bowls.
John Brodie. Like Anderson, Brodie was an NFL MVP and passing champion. He was the MVP in 1970 in the first year of the AFL-NFL merger, beating out a host of Hall of Famers for the honor (Bradshaw, Dawson, Griese, Jurgensen, Starr, Tarkenton, Unitas). Brodie played 17 seasons, passing for 31,548 yards and 214 touchdowns, and went to two Pro Bowls.
John Hadl. No quarterback in the senior pool of Hall-of-Fame candidates has thrown for more yards (33,503) and more touchdowns (244) than Hadl. He played 16 seasons with the Chargers, Rams and Packers and went to six Pro Bowls.
Cecil Isbell. Isbell was an NFL all-decade quarterback for the 1930s, along with Dutch Clark and Arnie Herber. Clark was inducted in Canton in 1963, Herber in 1966 … yet the candidacy of Isbell continues to stall. He only played five seasons for the Green Bay Packers but threw for a then-NFL record 2,021 yards and 24 touchdowns in 1942. He was the quarterback throwing all the passes to Hall-of-Famer Don Hutson.
Jim Plunkett. The first overall pick of the 1971 draft, Plunkett didn’t strike it rich as a quarterback until he got to his third team — the Raiders, with whom he won those two Super Bowls. Plunkett played 16 seasons and also played for New England and San Francisco. But Plunkett never went to a Pro Bowl.
Phil Simms. The 1987 Super Bowl MVP, Simms played 14 seasons with the New York Giants, passing for 33,462 yards and 199 touchdowns. He set the Super Bowl record by completing 88 percent of his passes (22 of 25) in New York’s victory over the Denver Broncos. He went to two Pro Bowls.