Jim Plunkett, Quarterback
One of the biggest debates in NFL history is whether or not Jim Plunkett should be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A Heisman winning quarterback at Stanford, Plunkett was the first overall pick by the New England Patriots in 1971, but it was not until his time with the Raiders that he made his legacy in the NFL.
Plunkett was with the Patriots until 1975, and then spent two years with the San Francisco 49ers. In 1978, Plunkett made his way to Oakland, and while he basically sat the bench his first two seasons, when Dan Pastorini broke his leg against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1980, it was time for the 32-year old to step up and lead the team.
He did just that, and by the time the season was over, Plunkett had led the Silver and Black to a Super Bowl title. Not only were the Raiders the first Wild Card team to win the Super Bowl, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10, but Plunkett became the first minority to lead a team to a Super Bowl win, and is still the only Latino to be named the game’s MVP.
In that game, Plunkett threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He was also named Comeback Player of the Year for the 1980 season.
In 1983, now a reserve again, Plunkett once again was thrust into the starting role, and once again, led the Raiders to a Super Bowl championship. He accomplished so much in the game, and has to be considered one of the immortal figures in NFL history.