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Virginia Viking

The Knighting of Sir Francis...All Hail Fran Tarkenton

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CwsfdY5o08

Fran Tarkenton had an amazing career.  A 3rd round draft pick of the brand new Minnesota Vikings, Tarkenton retired the all-time statistical leader of any quarterback to play in the NFL up to that point.  He carried the records for pass attempts, pass completions, passing yardage and touchdowns.  The "Grand Slam" for quarterbacks!  Yet, the reason he's not in the conversation regarding greatest quarterback of all time is because of three Super Bowl losses.

Attached are some highlights from Tarkenton's career as seen on the NFL Network's 100 Greatest Players of All Time.  Fran was 91.  I can't think of any quarterback who ever played in the NFL who was more creative and entertaining than Tarkenton.  When you look at his scrambling...yes, he was trying to avoid being sacked...yes, he was trying to extend the play...but notice where his eyes are ALL the time!  Downfield.  He doesn't look at the pass rushers...he feels them.  He doesn't look at the offensive line players...he is always looking for a receiver.

If Fran hadn't broken his leg in his final game, playing the Cincinnati Bengals, I think he could've played at a pretty high level for another 3 to 5 years.  If he had been able to play that long, there's a chance that he might still hold all the passing records that count...and maybe...just maybe...might have won that allusive Super Bowl ring.

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He would be fantastic in today's version of the game.  

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Its sad that the teams failures in 70s playoffs holds Tarkenton back from being more recognized. His highlight clips are so much fun to watch!

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Tarkenton and Jim Marshall were my favorite players of that era.

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1. T. Brady 2. D. Marino 3. J. Montana 4. J. Unitas 5. P. Manning 6. F. Tarkington 7. J. Kelly 8. O. Graham 9. D Brees 10. B. Starr

 

I know I'm gonna get allot of flack for leaving Elway, Farve, and Rodgers out of my top ten but all three are in my top 15

 

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Fran Tarkenton is a Pro Football Hall of Famer and perhaps the most storied quarterback in the history of the Minnesota Vikings organization and it should come as no surprise that NFL.com feels the same way. Ali Bhanpuri has been scanning through each division and team to pull out the team's all-time best quarterback and Tarkenton sits firmly at the top of the list for what he accomplished in his time with the team.

In order to have qualified for this list, the player must have had a minimum of 48 starts with the team and also meet two of the following three criteria:

1. Winning regular-season record

2. Passer rating of at least 75.0

3. At least one appearance in the Pro Bowl

Here is why Tarkenton received the nod in this exercise, per Bhanpuri:

"Tarkenton’s accomplishments in his first go-around with the Vikings (1961-66) aren’t applicable to this exercise, but he’s more well-known for the feats he achieved in his Vikings return, anyway. After re-joining the team in 1972 following a five-year stint with the Giants, Tarkenton guided Minnesota on an incredible run that included six straight postseason trips and three Super Bowl berths in four years.

Though the Vikings never captured football’s ultimate trophy during that span — and they still haven’t — no other QB in franchise history provided as much stability and sustained winning as he did. Had Randall Cunningham’s 1998 squad finished off the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game and finally captured a championship for Minnesota, I wonder if his Vikings tenure might’ve turned out differently. Would his name be the fourth on the Vikes’ list?"

Tarkenton went into the Hall of Fame in 1986 after a career that saw him go 91-73-6 with three Super Bowl appearances in his time in Minnesota. At the time of his retirement in 1978, he was the all-time passing leader in NFL history and still ranks 11th to this day.

https://247sports.com/nfl/minnesota-vikings/Article/Fran-Tarkenton-Vikings-all-time-QB-132463878/

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