Top 10 Oakland Raiders Quarterbacks of All-Time

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3. Jim Plunkett, 1979-1986

W-L Record: 46-21

Playoff W-L Record: 8-2

Passing Stats: 12,665 yards, 56.2% completion rate, 80 TD’s, 81 INT’s

Super Bowl Titles: 2

Jim Plunkett is one of the most revered figures in Raider history. A Heisman winner and top draft pick for the Patriots in 1971, Plunkett came to the Raiders in 1979 after almost an entire decade of struggle and disappointment in the NFL. Despite numerous injuries and a few benchings, Jim Plunkett managed to lead the Raiders on two Super Bowl runs in the early 1980’s, and a staggering eight playoff wins in ten playoff games. He led the Raiders to the playoffs four separate times, and the team won nearly 69% of his starts.

While Ken Stabler more perfectly captured the attitude and swagger of the Raiders in the 1970’s, Plunkett was almost the poster child for Al Davis’ Raiders of the early 1980’s: a reclamation project who had enormous physical talent and could throw the ball a mile, Plunkett was the return of the “mad bomber” for Davis. But Plunkett had a hard time stayin the starting quarterback for the Raiders, which is often cited as a reason why he is one of very few quarterbacks with two Super Bowl rings who is not in the Hall of Fame.

Plunkett was available for 70 regular season games in his Raider career, out of a possible 121, and started 57 of them – meaning Plunkett started less than half the games the team played during his tenure. He often started seasons as the backup or was demoted mid-season, only to return again to glory. He missed big chunks of time with injury as well, and in fact did not dress for a full 16 games for any season he played for the Raiders (he was available for all 9 games of the strike-shortened 1982 season). But he was always ready to go in crunchtime: the Raiders went to the playoffs four times in five years, and he started every single playoff game in that stretch.

Plunkett had some outstanding performances as Raiders quarterback, but balanced them with some very lousy ones that the team managed to survive anyway. He was schizophrenic in that way, but the team won with him, and won for him, anyway. His legacy is of course cemented: he is the last Raider QB to win a ring, and of course he won two, and was Super Bowl MVP of Super Bowl XV. And while this is certainly enough to put him in elite company, his inconsistency also puts him just slightly lower on this list than our two greatest quarterbacks in Raider history.