George Blanda...

Angry Pope

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Triple-Threat Blanda

July 17, 2006


As legendary Raiders head coach John Madden prepares to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, August 5th, we present a look back at the 16 proud members of the Silver and Black who have previously earned such distinction. We continue with Raiders QB/K George Blanda, who was enshrined in 1981.

In 1967, The Oakland Raiders picked up one of the best quarterback/kickers that the American Football League had to offer. And for 26 seasons George Blanda became one of the most memorable athletes to ever play the game. He set many records including the record for the oldest quarterback to ever play in a title game in 1970, at age 43.

To this day, no one has ever played professional football for as long as Blanda. He played in 340 games, 224 consecutively. As a quarterback and a kicker he was able to set the all-time scoring record with the Raiders (863) and is third in scoring in NFL history with 2,002 points.

At quarterback, Blanda completed 1,911 passes for 26,920 yards and 236 touchdowns, and recorded nine rushing touchdowns throughout the course of his career. As a kicker, he led the NFL eight times in extra points scored in a season, including 64 in 1961 and only missed 16 of 959 extra point attempts in a 26-year span. He kicked 335 field goals with nine from 50 yards or more and was named the 1970 AFC Player of the Year for both his quarterback and kicking abilities.


According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's official web site, Blanda's best year was in 1970 while playing with the Raiders, where over a five-game period he provided the Raiders with four wins and one tie with last-second touchdown passes or field goals at the age of 43. The string started with a three-touchdown pass and one field goal outburst against Pittsburgh and continued with a 48-yard field goal with three seconds left to tie Kansas City. He threw a touchdown pass and added a 52-yard field goal in the last 96 seconds to defeat Cleveland. From there he then went on to toss the game winning touchdown against Denver and hit a last-second field goal to defeat San Diego.

During his career he played for three teams and in 1981 Blanda was inducted into the Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility, making him the second Raider to ever be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In 1976, Blanda retired from the Raiders at the age of 48. Over 26 seasons, he played in 11 championship games, seven of which were with the Raiders, and played on three AFL Championship teams. He played for nine seasons with the Raiders setting the Raiders all-time scoring record, the Raiders single season scoring record (117) and also became the first player ever, to score more than 500 points for three teams. He has been named the placekicker for the AFL-NFL 25-year All-Star team.
 
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