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Trying to Tie in Jim Plunkett's Patriots Tenure to Super Bowl XV

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by RubberSoul1979, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. RubberSoul1979

    RubberSoul1979 Active Member

    “Jim Plunkett’s performance in this Super Bowl ball was the stuff fairy tales are made of. Ten years of disappointment were behind him, for at last, this Cinderella was healthy, poised and surrounded by men whose abilities equaled his own.” - NFL Films, “The Cinderella Super Bowl”

    The parade is over, the confetti cleared and the Lynx Gronkus led back into his pen. Seattle’s defenders now form the Legion of the Operating Room. Eventually the mood will shift from the Seahawks’ play-calling to another query to another debate, one that includes Stanford’s best all-time Super Bowl performer.

    It’s impossible not
    John Elway reversed his postseason legacy with a pair of Lombardi Trophies. But even that falls short of when Jim Plunkett crafted the Super Bowl’s most shocking outcome since the NFL-AFL merger, helping the Raiders pummel favored Philadelphia by a 27-10 score in Super Bowl XV.

    He didn’t simply engineer a standard which, until someone else from The Farm wins a Heisman, a Rose Bowl and a Super Bowl, will never be approached. Plunkett became the NFL’s ultimate redemption story – you know, someone the tarnished league could use now – upon throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns.

    Just don’t call the effort, which won him MVP honors, a storybook comeback.

    “No, I don’t think I’m a storybook story,” Plunkett said afterwards. “I always felt that I was good enough to play in the pros. I just had some hard times. I’m the happiest man in the world that has happened to me.”

    The greatest living Stanford athlete is only a few degrees of separation removed from today’s Belichick-Brady Patriots dynasty.

    The connection goes beyond the obvious, his No. 1 selection by the Patriots the year they moved to Foxboro. Plunkett lasted five dreadful season

    “It’s true that at least twice I was so down in the dumps that I felt I would have to give up football and try something else...The second time was when I went so long with Oakland without getting a chance I was sure the chance would never come.”

    Took over as starter with team 2-3.

    No turnovers for Oakland. Three punts.

    WC: 8-23-168-2-1
    Div: 14-30-149-0-2 (fumble, 3 INTs doom Cleveland)
    AFCC: 14-18-261-2

    SB: 13-21-251-3-0

    “third play of game- martin INT

    3rd and goal from 2 – TD to Branch, Plunkett stepped up in pocket, drew attention of LB Frank LeMaster.

    Illegal motion on Harold Carmichael wipes out 40-yard TD pass from Jaworski to Rodney Parker.

    “For the Raiders, on the other hand, an unusual reversal of Murphy’s Law began, as everything that could go right, did go right.”

    Plunkett, feeling pressure (and Gene Upshaw perhaps getting away with a hold against, rolled to his left before lofting a running aerial toward Kenny King.Beyond reach of Herm Edwards at the 40. The pass covered a Super Bowl record 80 yards, a record that would stand another 16 years before Antonio Freeman broke it. (0-14)

    “And Plunkett opens up a bag of tricks!” Bill King said on his radio call. “Plunkett…got good blocking, couldn’t find the receivers…skidded around and got open. And when Herm Edwards gambled, he came up snake-eyes.”

    Defense held Eagles to 69 yards rushing. Ted Hendricks and “Tooz.” Montgomery – 194 yds, 26 carries in NFC title game, 20-7 win over Dallas (first time Cowboys had ever allowed 100 yards in a postseason game.) Raiders in turn knocked Chuck Muncie out with an injured shoulder on the game’s first possession.

    “They’re playing like we would play them, to beat them,” NFL Films mikes picked up Vermeil telling Jaworski. “The big thing is, we’re all a little bit tight and..look exhausted already because of nerves. We gotta get them to relax a little bit.”

    Raiders take opening drive of 2nd half 76 yards in six plays. After a van Eeghen run for 8 yards, swing pass to King for 13 yards. Chandler over the middle for 32. Lob to Branch over Roynell Young for 29 and TD (3-21)

    Eagles moved ball to Oakland 34 on ensuing drive. March ended with another Martin interception. Completions to Raymond Chester (16 yards) and Chandler (17) set up Chris Bahr’s 46-yard FG with 5:04 left in third (3-24)

    “This was our finest hour, the finest hour in the history of the Oakland Raiders.”

    Plunkett completed only 51.6 percent of his 320 attempts 18/16. Raiders were 19th in passing. In his 10th NFL season, he had never before thrown for more interceptions than touchdowns or completed as many as 52 percent of his passes. The Patriots became a playoff team in 1976 immediately after his departure. In his first four seasons in the league, he averaged 20 interceptions per-season.

    Fouts (4,715) and Sipe (4,132) were only QB’s over 4,000 passing yards. There were 12 this year.

    Hendricks blocked Tony Franklin FG just before halftime (3-14)

    Returnees from ’76 team: Henry Lawrence (RT),Upshaw (LG), Art Shell (LT), Dalby

    Plunkett Patriot Tenure Notes (71-75)- Kapp had two years remaining on his three year contract ($130,000 per). Plunkett’s $250,000 per-year agreement loomed when Pats selected him. Kapp wound up suing the NFL over contract dispute and never played again. Pats improved from 2-12 to 6-8, and Plunkett won ROY.
    - Fairbanks arrived in 1973, helping team improve from 3-11 to 5-9, calling 95 percent of plays.
    - 80 interceptions first four years. Team began 1974 season 6-1. Major sports and news weeklies planned to put him on their cover, following wins over Rams, Vikings and Dolphins. But injuries torpedoed team in losing 6 of last 7 games.
    - By 1975, SD defensive end Coy Bacon separated his left shoulder in a preseason game. He missed first two games, then played four with pin in shoulder before being reinjured. He returned to face Dallas, only to injure knee and miss last five games. When he took the field, a loud chorus of boos greeted him. Back when NFL rosters only allowed for 43 active players.
    - Traded to NE for QB Tom Owens and four draft (three first round, one second-round) choices in April of 1976
    -“(Fairbanks) wants a quarterback to run, and I don’t consider myself a good running quarterback.”
    Between 1972 and 1975, he underwent three knee surgeries and was sacked 112 times.
    - Grogan, outlasted four coaches and 13 other QB’s.
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