A+ A A-

22. Cliff Branch

Rate this item
(4 votes)
Cliff Branch
Wide Receivers have exploded in terms of yardage but the 70’s did not feature a lot of game breakers at that or any other position.  One of those exceptions was Cliff Branch who during the mid 70’s was one of the most explosive athletes on the field.


Cliff Branch was the deep threat for the Raiders when the Silver and Black were the most feared team in the league.  From 1974 to 1976, Branch would twice lead the league in receiving touchdowns and though the amount of catches he managed in that time frame seems average today, his average yards per catch holds up in any era.  Branch was also part of three Super Bowl Championship teams and caught a combined three touchdowns in the wins.

Branch’s style may have been a better fit in today’s current game, but had he had one or two more dominating years (and make no mistake, he was one of the elite receivers for a three year period) he would not be considered the fringe candidate he is as opposed to the Hall threat he should be.




The Bullet Points:

Country of Origin:
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Eligible Since:
2001

Position:
Wide Receiver

Played for:
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

College:
Colorado

Drafted:
4th Round, 98th Overall in 1972

Major Accolades and Awards:
Pro Bowl Selections (4) (1974, 1975, 1976 & 1977)
First Team All Pro Selections (3) (1974, 1975 & 1976)
Most Receiving Yards (1) (1974)
Most Receiving Touchdowns (2) (1974 & 1976)
Most Receiving Yards/Game (2) (1974 & 1976)
Super Bowl Rings (3) (Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Super Bowl XI, XV & XVIII)

Other Points of Note:
Top Ten Finishes: Receptions (2) (1974 & 1975)
Top Ten Finishes: Receiving Yards (4) (1974, 1975, 1976 & 1982)
Top Ten Finishes: Receiving Touchdowns (5) (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 & 1982)
Top Ten Finishes: Receiving Yards/Game (3) (1974, 1975 & 1976)
Top Ten Finishes: Touchdowns (2) (1974 & 1976)
Top Ten Finishes: Points Scored (1) (1974)

Notable All Time Rankings:
36. Receiving Touchdowns: 67
58. Receiving Yards: 8,685
92. Touchdowns: 67

Years Nominated for the Hall of Fame:
Semi Finalist: 2004 & 2010



Should Cliff Branch be in the Hall of Fame?

(You must be registered and logged in to vote!)
Definitely put him in! - 47.1%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 41.2%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 5.9%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 5.9%
Last modified on Saturday, 07 March 2015 22:02

Comments   

 
+3 #1 jimmy26 -0001-11-29 19:00
Are you kidding me? Arguably the best deep threat in the history of football. He defined what the Raiders offensive scheme was all about. Get the ball vertical! 3 rings! 3 rings. Biletnikoff is in and only has one. Besides Otis Taylor the best wide receiver not to get in and wide receiver in the mnost underappreciate d position in the hall. And he wasn't even a prima donna. Think of this. Branch's career is parallel to Lynn Swann's in chronology. Now put his stats next to Swann's. dwarfs him but Swanny got in. super bowls? he has one more. stats. obviously not. because he was a bigger name that the media hyped more. If Branch would have been a little more self promoting (or a sideline announcer for 25 years) he would for sure be in. As a matter of fact put him up against 90 percent of the receivers already in and you will get the same results. Branch needs to be in.
Quote
 
 
+2 #2 sg15fan -0001-11-29 19:00
i agree branch needs to be in but comparing him to swann doesnt help that case. swann is probably the biggest joke in the hall. and best deep threat ever.....lance alworth
Quote
 
 
-9 #3 Robert 2012-07-14 10:56
To me Branch is only a borderline case for being in. Yes he was a great deep threat, but that doesn't get you in by itself. Branch didn't go over the middle, and he never had a game like Swann did in the Super Bowls. Pure numbers aren't the only thing that get a player into the Hall of Fame. Can you tell the history of the NFL without Cliff Branch? I think so. But you can't without Swann.
But the best deep threat ever was Bob Hayes. And he shouldn't be in the HOF either.
Quote
 
 
+2 #4 Yienwae 2013-03-19 16:06
Bob Hayes does deserve to be in the Hall of Fame for what he did in that era. Same goes for Swann (if only for what he did in the SB highlight reel) and for Branch. Growing up in the 70's, all NFL fans and players knew that the deep threat and the bomb from the Raiders was Cliff Branch. So if the argument comes up that if a person can tell the history of the NFL without Cliff Branch I will say this. If you don't include the Raiders, the answer is Yes. But if you are including the Raiders and the way they did things, Cliff Branch's name comes up in the same breath as any other top Raider of that era.
Quote
 
 
+3 #5 Gene 2014-07-28 22:40
Just look at the resume Branch has and it's clear, he is as good as any of the 1970s receivers. There is no way in h--- you can have Lynn Swann and John Stallworth in the HOF and not Cliff Branch.
Quote
 
 
+1 #6 jbmony 2015-02-05 09:35
Quoting Robert:
To me Branch is only a borderline case for being in. Yes he was a great deep threat, but that doesn't get you in by itself. Branch didn't go over the middle, and he never had a game like Swann did in the Super Bowls. Pure numbers aren't the only thing that get a player into the Hall of Fame. Can you tell the history of the NFL without Cliff Branch? I think so. But you can't without Swann.
But the best deep threat ever was Bob Hayes. And he shouldn't be in the HOF either.

The guy that, because of his speed, forced the invention of the zone defense?? He should not be in???? Are you crazy???
Quote
 
 
0 #7 E coast raider fan 2015-02-23 14:29
He avg almost 18 yards a catch and should be in . but Kenny stabler & Todd Christensen should be in first . But because most 60 plus YO sports writers hate the raiders and with 23 raiders in the hall already who knows ? Funny I was watching Stabler highlights on YouTube and Google branches stats found this !
Quote
 
 
+1 #8 Sydney J. Russel, III 2015-03-03 21:26
When Cliff retired in 1985 he was 14th all-time in receptions, 11th in yards, 12th in tds, All time postseason leader in receptions and yards upon retirement. He is currently 8th in receptions and 3rd in yards all time postseason. There is no reason he shouldn't be in the hall
Quote
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Login

Click an icon to login instantly with your social account. (If you are logged into Facebook, clicking the Facebook icon will log you in to Not in Hall of Fame instantly.)

Search

  • 141. Tangerine Dream
    The more we thought about it, the more we became amazed as to just how much musical influence was coming out of Germany in the late 60’s and 70’s. One of those bands was the Berlin based group; Tangerine Dream was no exception as their musical contributions is felt very much in multiple genres.   Like other Krautrock artists, Tangerine…
    Add new comment

red gold blue

© 2009-2012 Kirk Buchner & David Johnson