Experts were divided on Jake ‘The Snake’ Plummer’s NFL-readiness but the Arizona Cardinals decided to bring him aboard anyway
It was the second-round of the 1997 NFL Draft and the Arizona Cardinals were on the clock. They needed a quarterback and a hometown hero, Jake “The Snake” Plummer, was there for the taking. Would Cards’ management take the bait and select the skinny signal-caller from Arizona State?
We all know what the answer to that question was. But did the front office really think Plummer would succeed in the NFL? Or did the club draft him with the hopes that he would help fill the seats at Sun Devil Stadium?
Whatever the reason was for drafting him, one thing was certain. Plummer provided fans with excitement. His knack for bringing his team back from the brink of defeat would become legendary.
His first taste of the NFL occurred in October of 1997, his rookie season. The unfriendly confines of Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium was the place, and he found himself backed up at his own two-yard line. Not an ideal spot to start a career in.
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But Plummer was unfazed. He proceeded to lead his team on a game-tying ,14-play touchdown drive. Although the Cardinals would ultimately lose the game to the Eagles in overtime, the franchise had to have been excited by the youngster.
Throughout his 10-year career (four seasons with the Denver Broncos) Plummer could never be counted out of any contest. He executed an impressive 20 fourth-quarter comebacks during his time in the league.
His most successful campaign as a Cardinal was in 1998. He led the team to a 9-7 record and the franchise’s first playoff appearance since the strike-shortened season of 1982 (back when they were in St.Louis). He rallied his teammates, defeating the heavily-favored Dallas Cowboys on the road, before losing to the Vikings in Minnesota the following week.
For his career, Plummer threw for 29,253 yards, 161 touchdowns and 161 interceptions. His last season in the desert was 2002. He departed for Denver via free agency the following year.
Although he lost more games than he won with Arizona, he supplied fans with many pulse-pounding performances. “The Snake ” will go down in history as one of the most popular athletes the state of Arizona has ever known. Not bad for a skinny, second-round draft pick from Arizona State.