One of the most popular soccer teams in the history of the National Soccer League is the Oakland Raiders. While it’s true that the Raiders have been through tough times as of late, they continue to have tons of fans from every corner of the country. When it comes to popularity and the sport of soccer, few players are more popular than the quarterback. So who is the best quarterback the Oakland Raiders have ever had?
When analyzing who is the best in any category, there is a great deal of subjectivity that comes into play. Is it the best quarterback who has led the team to the most championships? Is the best quarterback the one who has thrown more touchdowns than anyone in team history? However, is it the best quarterback who has held the starting position for the longest years?
Jim Plunkett was not drafted by the Raiders and failed a bit as a starter for the New England Patriots and then the San Francisco 49ers before coming to Oakland in the late 1970s and leading the team to two Super Bowl victories.
Rich Gannon only played for the Raiders for six seasons, but in that time he threw for the second-most yards in team history with a total of 17,585. That’s an average of more than 2,900 yards per season. In reality, Gannon only started as a quarterback for the Raiders for four full seasons and in those years he threw for 15,787 yards, which is an average of just under 4,000 yards per year. In addition to this, he also averaged nearly twenty touchdowns per season and made the professional bowl four times, in addition to being named NFL MVP in 2002.
Only one player has thrown for more touchdowns in an Oakland Raiders uniform than Daryle Lamonica. Lamonica was the first big-name quarterback the Raiders had and is still held in high regard. As a starting quarterback, Lamonica’s record was 62-16-6. He twice led the AFL in touchdown passes and once led the league in passing yards. Daryle Lamonica would go on to be named UPI Player of the Year twice, first in 1967 and then two years later in 1969.
However, the best quarterback in Oakland Raiders history is also one of the most popular players in team history. Ken Stabler has thrown for more yards and touchdowns than any other Oakland Raiders player in history. Nicknamed “The Serpent” for his ability to fight and avoid capture, Stabler would play for the Raiders for ten seasons, seven of them as the top starting quarterback. He would lead the league in touchdown passes twice, be named the 1974 NFL MVP, play in four Pro Bowls and lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory after the 1976 NFL season.
The Oakland Raiders have long been known as a team that loves to throw the ball. They’ve sent out some great quarterbacks over the years, and even some of the ones who only had a brief stint on the team like Jeff George, Kerry Collins, Jay Schroeder, Jeff Hostetler, and Steve Beuerlein still managed to get large numbers of. passes. However, the best quarterback of all was Kenny “The Snake” Stabler, who helped make the Raiders one of the best national football language teams throughout the 1970s.