3 Down, 3 to go. To recap, the entries for consideration of being voted the Arizona Cardinals G.O.A.T. are: DT Eric Swann, WR Rob Moore, and LB Ronald McKinnon. Looking back to the offensive side of the ball, we can’t go on any further until we talk about this guy:
- Drafted in the 2nd Round in 1997 by the Cards (ASU)
- Started in 84 games in six seasons in the desert
- Completions: 1540 for 2754 = 55.9%
- Total Passing yds: 17,622 yds w/ 90 TDs, 114 INTs
- Total Rushing yds: 1183 yds w/ 10 TDs
- Averaged 210 yds passing per game
- Only AZ QB to win a playoff game in the SB Era (1998)
Jake ‘the snake’ Plummer, love him or hate him, that last stat speaks for itself. Jake was the only Cards QB in the last 50 years to take the team to the playoffs and win. Not only did they win, he beat America’s team – the Dallas Cowboys. Sure Jake was kind of erratic and was turnover prone (the 114 INTs also speak for themselves), but that was more the product of a bad supporting cast than anything else.
In 2001, Jake finally broke through and threw for more TDs than INTs (18 TDs, 14 INTs). And he continued to prosper with a better Offensive line protecting him when he left for Denver. But the great thing about Jake was that no matter what, you always felt like he gave you a chance to win, which is more than any other player did. Ever since his days at ASU, Jake just had a knack for the fourth quarter comeback. Indeed, he led the NFL in 4th quarter comebacks from 1998-2001 with 7. He had the ability to keep a play alive and just never gave up.
He just found a way to make a play, whether it was with his feet or his arm, Jake could sometimes conjur up some pretty magical stuff. Until 2006, he had held the rookie passing record for yards in a single game with 406 (which was oddly enough broken by Cards rookie QB Matt Leinart).
Now they say that Quarterback is the most difficult position in all of professional sports to play. However, looking at the history of the NFL, it would seem that playing Quarterback for the Cardinals is actually the most difficult position to play in all of sports. Up until Jake, the team rotated QBs every year, from Boomer Esiason to Jay Schroeder to Tom Tupa to Chris Chandler, etc. But for 6 years from 1997 to 2002, the team had it’s play caller.
That’s 4 down:
1. Eric Swann, DT
2. Rob Moore, WR
3. Ronald McKinnon, LB
4. Jake Plummer, QB
With two more left. Sticking with the offense, next up………FB Larry Centers.