Friday, August 20, 2021

Best of the MVP/POY QBs Not in the HOF

By John Turney 


Much more is written about quarterbacks and the Hall of Fame than all other positions. Often the criteria mentioned is an MVP Award. We don't subscribe to the "AP only" school of thought because other organizations had equally valuable Awards in the past.

The voters with the AP or PFWA or NEA or Sporting News are all major awards and well will try and rank those quarterbacks who won those along with their stats and list them in our preferred order.

Back in the day, the NFLPA gave awards (called Mackey Awards) to those who led the league in passing, rushing, interceptions, sacks, receptions, receiving yardage, and other categories. They don't get written about much but essentially 'black ink' (denotes bold type and was coined, we think, by Baseball Reference.com) is that same thing.

CAP = Consensus All-Pro
1AP = First-team All-Pro
2AP = Second-team All-Pro
PB = Pro Bowls

Here are our rankings plus Ken Stabler who was on the border for us and the closest comparison to the others on the outside of the Hall looking in—

Ken Stabler
2-time NFL MVP/POY (1974*, 1976)
1-time NFL Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—5
CAP = 1
1AP = 2
2AP = 0
PB = 4
W-L% = .661 (.587 road)
HOF

It took a while for Stabler to become the Raiders starter. He was the NFL's best QB from 1973-77 but then tailed off. Al LoCasale once said the reason Snake wasn't in the Hall of Fame was because, "He had some great years, but had too many bad years". That sentiment was overcome a few years back when he was voted to the Hall of Fame.


Those waiting—

Ken Anderson
1-time NFL MVP/POY (1981*)
1-time AFC Champ
4-time passing champ
2-time passing yards champ
Black ink—14
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 2
PB = 4
W-L% = .529

Anderson had a very good arm, great running ability. He had a good run from1974-76 then a few years in what Dr. Z called "the doldrums" then great 1981-82 seasons. Those that want him in the Hall of Fame will pick the achievements of the lower-level Hall of Fame quarterbacks and compare there. And we get it. But they seem to ignore the 'doldrums'. And rather than taking the view there may be a handful of quarterbacks in the Hall that may be a bit dubious, they want the slippery slope to continue.

Roman Gabriel
1-time NFL MVP/POY (1969*)
1-time passing yards champ
Black ink—7
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 1
PB = 4
W-L% = .570

Gabriel is interested in that before he was a starter (1962-65) his record as a starter was 11-11-1 which is exactly average. But what makes it notable is that all the other Rams QBs in that same time frame combined for a 4-27-2 record.

He was the MVP in 1969, and you can make a case that he should have been the MVP in 1967, as well. Additionally, one could argue he should have been the NFC Player of the Year in 1973 over John Hadl who slumped at the end of the year.

Gabriel avoided interceptions but his willingness to stand tall in pocket and fight defenders caused him to fumble a lot. He was the Rams best short-yardage runner in the late-1960s. He had arm troubles but had a nice comeback season in 1973 with the Eagles.

John Brodie
1-time NFL MVP/POY (1970)
1-time passing champ
3-time passing yards champ
Black ink—11
CAP = 1
1AP = 2
2AP = 0
PB = 2
W-L% = .494

Like Jurgenson, a picture-perfect passer, and sometimes not all that concerned with reading the defense. His HOF chances are slim, he gets no play on social media and in our view only had a few great years an a mot of pretty good ones and some poor one.


1-time NFL MVP (1959)
1-time NFL Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—4
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 1
PB = 2 (also All-Conference in 2 other seasons)
W-L%=.600

Was a very good quarterback from 1950-59. TJ Troup thinks he's Hall of Fame-worthy. He's been a finalist before but never made it over the hump.-


Jack Kemp
1-time AFL MVP (1965)
2-time AFL Champ
Black ink—1
CAP = 2
1AP = 2
2AP = 3
PB = 7
W-L% = .633 (.549)

The ultimate winner-type. The  AFL rings matter a lot. Twice consensus All-AFL. Largely forgotten in HOF discussions.


2-time NFL MVP/POY (1982, 1983*)
1-time NFL Champ
Black ink—0
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 1
PB = 2 (plus one Second-team All-NFC)
W-L% = .621 (.532 away)

Theismann won the ring in 1982 and the MVP in 1983 but we suppose getting crushed by the Raiders in the Super Bowl has cost him the Hall of Fame.

Phil Simms
1-time MVP (1986)
2-time NFL Champ
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 1
2AP = 0
PB = 1
W-L% = .597

NEA MVP in 1986, two rings, though didn't get to play in the second Super Bowl but was starter most of the year. ANother guy who was a "winner type" more than a "numbers" guy. 



Steve McNair
1-time NFL MVP (2003)
1-time AFC Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—1
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 1
PB = 3
W-L% = .595

Power player. Tough, tough runner, and strong-willed layer. Worked himself into an MVP and also won a passing title and has a career .595 winning percentage.


Boomer Esiason
1-time NFL MVP/POY (1988*)
1-time AFC Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—1
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 0
PB = 4
W-L% =. 462

Well-taught by Sam Wyche and effective for a long time, known for his play-action passing and the skill in which he hid the ball.




Others with MVPs—

1-time NFL MVP (1976*)
1-time passing yards champ
Black ink—3
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 1
PB = 1
W-L% = .490

The most talented quarterbacks we've seen are Bert Jones, John Elway, and Aaron Rodgers. Some would add Greg Cook to that list. Short career cost him a shot at all-time greatness.



Donovan McNabb
1-time NFC POY (2004)
1-time NFC Champ
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 6
W-L% = .612

Led Eagles to the big game, but came up short. Early in career could run. Likely aided by WCO and Andy Reid's tutoring.


Randall Cunningham
3-time NFL MVP/POY (1988, 1990*, 1998)
1-time passing champion
Black ink—1
CAP = 1
1AP = 2
2AP = 2
PB = 4
W-L% = .611

The amazing talent. Great arm, as good a runner at the quarterback position as you could find. Often did the superhuman.




Daryle Lamonica
3-time AFL MVP/POY (1967*, 1968, 1969*)
1-time AFC Champ
1-time AFL passing yards champ
Black ink—5
CAP = 2
1AP = 2
2AP = 2
PB = 5
W-L% = .784

The Mad Bomber was a good 'closer' for the Bills (coming in games and often winning them) before being traded to the Raiders. Made a living really, actually perfecting the vaunted Raiders "Vertical Passing Game".


John Hadl
1-time NFC POY (1973)
1-time AFL Champ
2-time AFL passing yard champ
Black ink—8
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 3
PB = 6
W-L% = .521

Kind of a poor man's Jurgensen. 

Brian Sipe
1-time NFL MVP (1980)
1-time passing champ
Black ink—3
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 1
PB = 1
W-L% = .509

Solid quarterback, worked his way into being an MVP. Not someone with size or amazing arm.

Jim Hart
1-time NFC POY (1974)
Black ink—1
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 1
PB = 4
W-L% = .497

Career was kind of floundering until Don Coryell showed up and he was in a way a 'poor man's Dan Fouts" for the Cardinals. Quick release, could go deep, but made good use of backs in the 3-digit offense.


1-time NFL POY (1966)
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 2
PB = 3
W-L% = .590

Super tough. Could get the ball deep to Bob Hayes.


Rich Gannon
2-time NFL MVP/POY (2000, 2002*)
2-time AFC POY (2000, 2002)
1-time AFC Champ
1-time passing yards champ
Black ink—3
CAP = 2
1AP = 2
2AP = 0
PB = 4
W-L% = .576

Master of the WCO, in some ways a Jon Gruden creation but responded well.


Ron Jaworski
1-time NFL/NFC POY (1980)
1-time NFC Champ
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 1
W-L%=.514

Great arm, many speculate what could have happened if Rams had kept him, rather than going with Haden. Jaworski was just coming into his own and the Rams defense was still good. Instead, the Polish Rifle took the Eagles to the Super Bowl.


Archie Manning
1-time NFC POY (1978)
Black ink—1
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 2
W-L% = .263

Stuck in a bad situation for many years. Had great skills, similar to Roger Staubach without the amazing team around him.


1-time NFL MVP (1968*)
1-time NFL Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—3
CAP = 1
1AP = 2
2AP = 0
PB = 2
W-L% = .632

Super backup. He played for six teams in 21 years. Yes, you read that right. Twenty-one years. However. he started the majority of his teams' games six times and in five of those, he was either a Pro Bowler or had Pro Bowl-type stats (1957, 1963, 1965, 1968, and 1972).


Craig Morton
1-time AFC POY (1977)
1-time AFC Champ
Black ink—1
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 0 (All-AFC once)
W-L% = .566

Strong arm, could get ball deep to Bob Hayes. Kept arm until the end of his career, lost his mobility in the middle of it.


Michael Vick
1-time NFC POY (2010)
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 4
W-L% = .544

Along with Randall Cunningham the best running quarterbacks ever. Vick had a nice 2010 where he was accurate, got the ball out on time as was a very good pocket passer and only ran when necessary.


1-time NFC POY (1980)
1-time passing champ
Black ink—4
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 1
PB = 2
W-L% = .465

Excellent arm, not much mobility, even early, but threw deep, was accurate and tough.


6 comments:

  1. Great post guys ...

    HOF For Me

    Conerly
    Simms

    Sooo Close

    Gabriel ... Basically a 6-7 year window
    Lamonica ... A six year window but a champion backup as well
    Anderson ... great thrower/athlete but did he win enough big games ?
    McNabb ... winner but never had many weapons in support on offense
    Thompson(Tommy) ... a winner but depended upon ground game. Played with one eye ...

    Close But A Pass

    Cunningham ... talented but not enough weapons in support till 1998.
    McNair ... another winner without enough weapons to support him.
    Theismann ... short window of effectiveness (79, 82, 83, 84)
    Hadl ... winner and passer but up and down
    Kemp ... a true winner but like Tommy Thompson, had a supporting cast and up and down/erratic

    Passers But Slim

    Brodie ... Should be in if Jurgensen is in but didnt win enough big games.
    Gannon ... like Theismann, Lamonica, a very short effective window.
    Esiason ... thrower who didnt win enough big games. Window only from 85-90, 97.
    Morrall ... A good Starter B and winner. A unique career



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a couple points on Ken Anderson...the doldrums you mentioned had partly to do with injury(broken bone in his passing hand, disc problem in his lower back) 1978-80 period. Still his 6 best seasons are HoF caliber and surpass those of his contemporaries.

      As far as continuing a "slippery slope" by putting him in I think you have it backwards. Its a wrong that needs to be righted that some dubious QBs were let in before him. You cant remove them but at least the historical record can be amended by including a "first among equals" so to speak

      Delete
    2. Aware of his injuries but other QBs had injuries, too. His 6 best seasons and HOF-worthy---the question is that enough?

      I don't know answer. SO far, no. But he could get in someday. No dog in fight. If I did, I'd remove a couple of QBs from HOF who had as many bad years as good ones.

      Delete
  2. Be honest John ... who would you remove ? ... I have my choices as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It still amazes me the low interception totals that Gabriel had during his era. Yeah, he could fumble but not nearly as bad as a lot of later QBs. His career is somewhat similiar to Eli Manning without the two championships of course. Both QBs regressed their final 5-6 seasons with Gabriel trying to resurrect a bad Eagles team. His winning pct was very high until those years from 72-77. With his regression from 2013 - 2019, will Eli Manning make the HOF ?

    ReplyDelete
  4. ken Anderson was a very good qb and was montana before montana the difference was winning . its one thing too say a person is this or that but you have to dissect what they did . now lets look at the qbs of the 1970's and see how they stack up vs Anderson lets start with

    AFC Quarterbacks

    bradshaw 2x 3,000 yrd years passing , 4 years 20 plus passing td's NFL MVP , 4X SB CHAMP 3 PRO BOWLS and 1x 1st team all pro .

    snake stabler 2 x 3,000 yrds passing , 4x 20 plus passing tds , NFL MVP , OPOY , 2X 1ST TEAM ALL PRO , 4X PRO BOWLER AND 1X SB CHAMP (stays with raiders he has 3)

    Bob Griese 2x all pro 1st team , 8x pro bowler , 2x superbowl champ a part of the 17-0 team from 1970 -1978 went 74-27-1 2X 20TDS , never threw for 3,000yrds.

    Anderson 2x 20 plus tds passes , 2x 3,000 passing yards , 1x 1ST TEAM ALL PRO , NFL MVP , NFL OPOY , CBPOY, 4X PRO BOWLER AND 0 SUPER BOWL WINS . as you can see AFC qbs were the best in the league (I didn't mention len dawson or bert jones )

    NFC Quarterbacks

    STAUBACH 2x 3,000 yrds passing , 3x 20 plus passing tds , 0 all pro teams 6x pro bowls 2x SB CHAMPS (if he starts in sbv he has 3 rings ).

    Tarkington 2x 3,000 passing yrds , 7x 20 plus passing tds , 0 super bowl (went 3x) 1 x 1st team ALL PRO , 9X PRO BOWLER , NFL MVP , NFL OPOY, NFC POY .

    As you can see by their stats they were were similar they all won superlatives they lead in passing , tds completions and all of that but the tie breaker is ANDERSON DIDNT WIN !! if Gregg lets pete Johnson block or do a bootleg they score and that game would have been different . plus after the 81 season from 82-86 Anderson throws only 37 tds and 36 ints . he could have put up solid mid 70's numbers and we wouldn't be having this discussion . plus from 1977-1980 the bengals were 20-32 , Anderson threw 43 tds to 56 ints that was 4 years of terrible team play and qb play which is why he was come back player of the year in 1981 when he put it all together . Anderson was a very good qb and in 1981 he was great !! but for the most part a solid nfl qb very good even but he didn't win , bradshaw, stabauch, griese , snake won 8 sb's in that decade . the other 2 was won by unitias and dawson qbs of the late 50's and 60's . now because of those type of stats and no ring is why he isn't in the HOF that is just my opinion

    ReplyDelete