Las Vegas Raiders: 50 greatest players in franchise history
By John Buhler
Shockingly, quarterback Jim Plunkett never played in a Pro Bowl during his 15-year NFL career between three franchises. But you know what? That doesn’t really matter. That’s because Plunkett helped quarterback the Raiders to their two most recent Super Bowl Championships in 1980 and 1983.
Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy as the star quarterback for the then Stanford Indians in 1970. He would be taken No. 1 overall by the formerly incompetent New England Patriots in the 1971 NFL Draft. New England was not well run at the time, and Plunkett would be baptized by fire during his five years in Foxborough.
After being essentially rag dolled for half a decade in Massachusetts, Plunkett would return to the Bay Area and play two years with the San Francisco 49ers. Then in year eight in the league, Plunkett would finally find himself in a great football situation. He would join Raiders in 1978 and would be the quarterback during both Super Bowl runs of the Tom Flores era.
Plunkett won 1980 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, winning Super Bowl XV MVP over the Philadelphia Eagles. Three years later, the Raiders would beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII with Plunkett at quarterback. In eight years with the Silver and Black, Plunkett went 38-19 as a starter, completing 56.2 percent of his passes for 12,665 yards, 80 touchdowns, and 81 interceptions. He would retire in 1986 at the age of 39.