Note: This post was originally about announcing Peyton Manning joining an elite club of quarterbacks that included Ken Anderson. However, that club, provided by the NFL in weekly previews to yours truly, ended up having several (and MAJOR) statistical inaccuracies and we've since had to take down that portion of the posting. However, that doesn't mean we can't debate the merits of whether or not Ken Anderson deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Ken Anderson is a four-time Pro Bowl player and the league's MVP in 1981. Before Drew Brees completed 70.623% of his passes in 2009, his 70.55% completion percentage was the league record during a single season... for 27 years! His career passer rating is better than Bart Starr, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Fouts, John Elway, Johnny Unitas, Bob Griese, Norm Van Bocklin, Sid Luckman, Y.A. Tittle, Baugh, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath, Bobby Layne, Bob Waterfield and George Blanda -- all Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
His Super Bowl XVI performance in 1981 was solid, completing 25 of 34 passes for 300 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also ran in a touchdown in the third quarter. Even though the Bengals fell 20-0 in the first half, Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson led the Bengals into a 21-point second half that nearly generated one of the greatest Super Bowl comebacks at the time. We'd be remise if we didn't mention Dan Ross' 11 reception performance for 104 yards receiving and the recipient of both of Anderson's touchdowns.
Many argue that the only reason Anderson isn't in the Hall of Fame is because he never won a Super Bowl. And I suppose it's a valid argument. Making the Hall of Fame means one of two things. You're awesome and you win the big game or you're absolutely exceptional at your position like Dan Marino or Dan Fouts. There's no middle ground. It's not like there's a conspiracy to keep Bengals players out or anything (uh hum, Ken Riley).
Should Anderson be in the Hall of Fame?