Why Is Ken Anderson Not In The HOF?

William NoonanContributor ISeptember 24, 2009

PITTSBURGH - 2009:  Ken Anderson of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by NFL Photos)

Steelers Quarterback coach Ken Anderson returns to Cincinnati Sunday with his first Super Bowl ring, but still is on the outside looking in when it comes to enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What does this guy have to do to get elected? The facts show that Anderson was one of the best QB's of his era and his statistics are as good as and sometimes better than other quarterbacks already in Canton.

Let’s take a closer look at Anderson's career and see how he measures up against other great QB's: Kenny led the league in passer rating four times which is more than other HOF QB's Dan Fouts, Warren Moon, and Jim Kelley. In fact, Fouts or Moon never led the league in passer rating. Anderson accomplished this feat in 1974, 1975, 1981 and 1982. To put those numbers into perspective, consider that only Sammy Baugh and Steve Young led the league more often in passer rating (six times each). The consistency with which Anderson was always among the league’s most efficient passers is made all the more impressive by the fact that twice each year the Cincinnati QB had to line up against the Steel Curtain, arguably the greatest defense in history.

Kenny Anderson was the first QB to run Bill Walsh's West Coast offense and it could be argued that he ran it better than anyone, even Joe Montana. Anderson was one of the most accurate QB's in NFL history, but still gets the shaft with HOF voters because he never won a Super Bowl. In 1981, Anderson led the Bengals to the Super Bowl against Walsh's 49ers after winning the NFL MVP and the Comeback Player of The Year awards, but could not beat SF due to poor special teams play and the inability to score from the one yard line on four tries.

Ken Anderson was never a flashy player nor was he a media darling compared to other QB's in his era such as, Ken Stabler, Dan Fouts, Terry Bradshaw, and Roger Staubach. He chose to follow the lead of his coach Paul Brown who chose to "act like you have been there before" and let his play do all of his talking. However, Anderson's stats are as good as or better than all of these players in most statistics that matter.

At the time of Ken's retirement following the 1986 season, he held NFL records for consecutive pass completions (20), completion percentage for a single game (20 of 22, 90.9%, vs. Pittsburgh in 1974) and completion percentage for a season (70.6% in 1982), as well as the Super Bowl records for completion percentage (73.5%) (Since broken by Phil Simms) and completions (25). Furthermore, Ken was ranked 6th all-time for passing yards in a career at the time of his retirement. Ken's record for completion percentage in a season still stands over 20 years after his retirement. He is among the top 30 all-time leaders in pass attempts (24th), completions (18th), passing yards (21st) and passing touchdowns (28th). He led the NFL in passing yards and completions twice, and led the league in fewest interceptions per pass attempt 3 times. He ranks second in NFL history for postseason quarterback rating, 93.5 (Joe Montana ranks first with a postseason rating of 96.3).

Kenny has been nominated for the HOF several times, and on 2 occasions was among the 15 finalists for enshrinement, but to this day he has not yet been voted in. What has he done to deserve the snub from the HOF voters? It is a crime that Ken Anderson is not in the Hall of Fame and hopefully, one day this will change and he will take his place among his peers and one of the best all time.