“I was so excited when we got Bert Jones (in 1982), he was one of the best.”- Jack Youngblood.
There were many great quarterbacks in the AFC during the 1970s with Terry Bradshw, Joe Namath and Ken Stabler. But it would be wrong to overlook Bert Jones who led the Baltimore Colts from 1973 to 1981.
Jones’ best season came in 1976 when he led the NFL with 3,104 passing yards to go with 24 touchdowns and just nine interceptions as he earned the MVP award. Impressive numbers for the day with just 14 games and more liberties given to defensive players. He had the Colts lined up for a deep playoff run the following year, but was done in by “the Ghost to the Post” as Baltimore lost an overtime thriller to the hated Raiders.
Jones battled injuries the next two seasons and two additional years with some struggling Colts teams led to him being dealt to the Los Angeles Rams in 1982 (and led to one of the most embarrassing SI covers of all-time). The Rams struggled that year to a 2-7 mark and Jones retired. But he was still one of the most respected quarterbacks of his era.
Adam Rank is an old man in a young man’s body. Follow him on Twitter @adamrank