The Cincinnati Bengals announced that the first two inductees into their Ring of Honor are Paul Brown and Anthony Muñoz.
So in case any members of those two groups are reading, here’s who you should select:
- Ken Anderson
Anderson was not just good. Not just Hall of Fame worthy. He’s one of the top quarterbacks in NFL history.
If you have your doubts, just read Bryn Swartz’s article for Bleacher Report.
We all know about Anderson’s amazing 1981 MVP campaign and stellar performance in the postseason that year. And we know he was super accurate. But Swartz makes some other strong points that demonstrate just how great Anderson was.
Had 2 items left on my bucket list, getting inducted into the HOF and being interviewed by a puppet. Glad I can finally check ONE of those of my list https://t.co/uPhLPvkMxQ— Ken Anderson (@KenAndersonNFL) June 4, 2020
- “According to a study conducted at Pro Football Reference, the six greatest seasons of Ken Anderson’s career are better than the six greatest seasons of every other quarterback in NFL history,” writes Swartz.
- He was scouted by Bill Walsh while at tiny Augustana College. Walsh chose Anderson to be the first person to run his West Coast offense, which won the San Francisco 49ers five championships and earned Joe Montana the title of greatest quarterback in history (until Tom Brady arguably unseated him). If it weren’t for Anderson’s exceptional accuracy, it’s possible the West Coast offense wouldn’t have become what it did, at least not when it did.
- Head and shoulders above other QBs from his era: “Anderson produced an average of 1,894 ‘yards above average’ in his peak seasons,” Swartz notes. “His 1975 season is the ninth-best season in NFL history. His 1974 season is the twelfth-best season. And his record-setting 1982 season ranks 25th. He is the only quarterback with three of the top 25 seasons in NFL history.”
- Anderson’s average season throughout his career was approximately 1.03 standard deviations above average, which is the third most in history behind Steve Young and Joe Montana.
- Swartz points out that: “Throughout his career, Anderson led the league in passer rating four times, more than any quarterback in history except for Sammy Baugh and Steve Young.”
- Swartz writes, “In 1982, Anderson shattered the NFL single-season record for completion percentage by completing 70.6 percent of his passes. His record stood for 27 seasons until it was broken by Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees...”
- He is one of the least-intercepted quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, ranking 12th out of the 158 quarterbacks with at least 1500 career pass attempts.
- In a game in 1974, he completed a then-record 90.9% of his passes against the Steel Curtain.
2. Ken Riley
Riley, who sadly passed away last year, was not inducted into the Hall of Fame during his lifetime. Hopefully, the NFL will do right by him and at least honor him posthumously.
Riley was an amazing talent who compiled 65 career interceptions, the fourth most in history at the time of his retirement. He played 15 seasons for the Bengals and, really, he could have kept going. The man was still an interception monster his final year in the league. It was the fourth time he finished in the top ten for interceptions.
Ken Riley was so consistently great that he had 8 interceptions and was an All-Pro in his final year, at the age of 36.— Dadio Makdook (@dadiodefacto) June 8, 2020
With heavy hearts, @JamesRapien & @hodgiesmodgie join me to remember the Bengals legend.https://t.co/E7rpPOlQUt
He now ranks fifth in career interceptions. But the four people ahead of him - Paul Krause, Emlen Tunnell, Rod Woodson, and Dick Lane - have all been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
You can watch our discussion of why the Kens should be the next two inducted in the video below:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: