List of NFL starting quarterbacks

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Brett Favre holds the record for most wins and for most consecutive starts by a starting quarterback.

This is a list of starting quarterbacks in the National Football League updated through week two of the 2014 NFL season. The position of starting quarterback is regarded as the most visible and important role on the team. The position is the most influential due to the quarterback touching the ball on nearly every offensive play and the responsibility of both calling plays and making decisions during the play.[1]

Brett Favre holds the record for most wins by a starting NFL quarterback with 186 wins total over his nineteen-year career.[2] Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has the most wins amongst active NFL quarterbacks with 155 wins.[3] Favre also holds the record for most consecutive starts by an NFL quarterback. From September 27, 1992, to December 5, 2010, Favre started a total of 297 regular season games and twenty-four playoff games, totaling 321 consecutive games.[4][5] The longest active streak of consecutive starts is held by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at 136 starts, with his first start coming on November 21, 2004.[6][7]

List[edit]

Notes:
  1. This list is sortable in various ways. Click the sort button Sort both.gif at the top of the column you wish to sort. Click again to reverse the order of sorting. Reload the page to reset everything to its original format.
  2. "Starter since" refers to the start date of a quarterback's current starter streak (regular season only).
  3. Injury icon 2.svg0 indicates that the quarterback is injured and will not start the following week.
  4. Finland road sign 331.svg0 indicates that the quarterback is no longer with the team and will not start the next game.
Division: Team (starting quarterbacks list): Current starting quarterback: College drafted from: Year drafted (pick): Starter since: Ref:
NFC West Arizona Cardinals (list) Palmer, CarsonCarson Palmer USC 2003 (1) September 8, 2013 [8]
NFC South Atlanta Falcons (list) Ryan, MattMatt Ryan Boston College 2008 (3) December 20, 2009 [9]
AFC North Baltimore Ravens (list) Flacco, JoeJoe Flacco Delaware 2008 (18) September 7, 2008 [10]
AFC East Buffalo Bills (list) Manuel, EJEJ Manuel FSU 2013 (16) September 7, 2014 [11]
NFC South Carolina Panthers (list) Newton, CamCam Newton Auburn 2011 (1) September 14, 2014 [12]
NFC North Chicago Bears (list) Cutler, JayJay Cutler Vanderbilt 2006 (11) December 15, 2013 [13]
AFC North Cincinnati Bengals (list) Dalton, AndyAndy Dalton TCU 2011 (35) September 11, 2011 [14]
AFC North Cleveland Browns (list) Hoyer, BrianBrian Hoyer Michigan State 2009 (undrafted) September 7, 2014 [15]
NFC East Dallas Cowboys (list) Romo, TonyTony Romo Eastern Illinois 2003 (undrafted) September 7, 2014 [16]
AFC West Denver Broncos (list) Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning Tennessee 1998 (1) September 9, 2012 [17]
NFC North Detroit Lions (list) Stafford, MatthewMatthew Stafford Georgia 2009 (1) September 11, 2011 [18]
NFC North Green Bay Packers (list) Rodgers, AaronAaron Rodgers Cal 2005 (24) December 29, 2013 [19]
AFC South Houston Texans (list) Fitzpatrick, RyanRyan Fitzpatrick Harvard 2005 (250) September 7, 2014 [20]
AFC South Indianapolis Colts (list) Luck, AndrewAndrew Luck Stanford 2012 (1) September 9, 2012 [21]
AFC South Jacksonville Jaguars (list) Henne, ChadChad Henne Michigan 2008 (57) October 13, 2013 [22]
AFC West Kansas City Chiefs (list) Smith, AlexAlex Smith Utah 2005 (1) September 7, 2014 [23]
AFC East Miami Dolphins (list) Tannehill, RyanRyan Tannehill Texas A&M 2012 (8) September 9, 2012 [24]
NFC North Minnesota Vikings (list) Cassel, MattMatt Cassel USC 2005 (230) December 8, 2013 [25]
AFC East New England Patriots (list) Brady, TomTom Brady Michigan 2000 (199) September 14, 2009 [26]
NFC South New Orleans Saints (list) Brees, DrewDrew Brees Purdue 2001 (32) September 9, 2010 [27]
NFC East New York Giants (list) Manning, EliEli Manning Ole Miss 2004 (1) November 21, 2004 [7]
AFC East New York Jets (list) Smith, GenoGeno Smith West Virginia 2013 (39) September 8, 2013 [28]
AFC West Oakland Raiders (list) Carr, DerekDerek Carr Fresno State 2014 (36) September 7, 2014 [29]
NFC East Philadelphia Eagles (list) Foles, NickNick Foles Arizona 2012 (88) November 3, 2013 [30]
AFC North Pittsburgh Steelers (list) Roethlisberger, BenBen Roethlisberger Miami (Ohio) 2004 (11) December 9, 2012 [31]
AFC West San Diego Chargers (list) Rivers, PhilipPhilip Rivers NC State 2004 (4) September 11, 2006 [32]
NFC West San Francisco 49ers (list) Kaepernick, ColinColin Kaepernick Nevada 2011 (36) November 19, 2012 [33]
NFC West Seattle Seahawks (list) Wilson, RussellRussell Wilson Wisconsin 2012 (75) September 9, 2012 [34]
NFC West St. Louis Rams (list) Davis, AustinAustin Davis Southern Miss 2012 (undrafted) September 14, 2014 [35]
NFC South Tampa Bay Buccaneers (list) McCown, JoshJosh McCown Sam Houston State 2002 (81) September 7, 2014 [36]
AFC South Tennessee Titans (list) Locker, JakeJake Locker Washington 2011 (8) September 7, 2011 [37]
NFC East Washington Redskins (list) Griffin III, RobertRobert Griffin III Baylor 2012 (2) September 7, 2014 [38]

Starting quarterbacks[edit]

AFC East[edit]

Buffalo Bills: EJ Manuel[edit]

List of Buffalo Bills starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) EJ Manuel
EJ Manuel enrolled in Florida State University, where he played for coach Bobby Bowden and coach Jimbo Fisher's Florida State Seminoles football teams from 2008 to 2012. While he was a student, he joined the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.[39] Manuel became the second collegiate quarterback to win four straight bowl games. The first one being Pat White of West Virginia.

Manuel was the 16th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.[40] Manuel was the only quarterback taken in the first round of the draft, a draft that was seen as especially thin at quarterback (the Bills, who originally drafted eighth and had a great need for a quarterback, even traded down to obtain more picks); Manuel was drafted ahead of higher-profile quarterbacks such as Matt Barkley and Geno Smith, as well as Ryan Nassib, who had played under Bills head coach Doug Marrone when Marrone coached the Syracuse Orange. On June 14, 2013, Manuel signed a four year contract with the Buffalo Bills.[41] The deal is worth a fully guaranteed $8,885,300.00, including a $4,852,036.00 signing bonus evenly spaced out annually ($1,210,509.00) over the next four years. His salary in 2013 will be $1,615,509, $2,019,386 in 2014, $2,423,264 in 2015, and $2,827,141 in 2016.[42]

On October 3, 2013, during the third quarter in a game against the Cleveland Browns, Manuel sprained the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. The injury caused him to miss 5 weeks of the season.[43] Manuel had an up and down rookie season, but was given a vote of confidence by coach Doug Marrone as he was announced as the starter for the 2014 season.[44] Manuel is considered an "up and comer" in the league projected to be a future star for the Bills.

EJ Manuel.jpg

Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill[edit]

List of Miami Dolphins starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 34 (since September 9, 2012) Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill made his first starts in college at Texas A&M playing receiver during the first six games of the 2010 season. Over those six games, he made eleven catches for 143 yards.[45] He attempted four passes during the season opener. He first saw extended time at quarterback during the Kansas game, splitting time with starter Jerrod Johnson. Tannehill finished with twelve completions on sixteen attempts for 155 yards and three touchdowns.[46] In his first career start at quarterback, Tannehill led the Aggies to a 45–27 victory over Texas Tech. He set a school record with his 449 passing yards. He also made a 33-yard pooch punt, his first career kick.[47] Tannehill quarterbacked the Aggies to a victory over eleven ranked Oklahoma, which moved the team into the top twenty-five rankings. He helped the team maintain their ranking through victories over Baylor and number nine Nebraska. He picked up All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors.[48] In 2011, Tannehill started all thirteen games (including the bowl game) at quarterback for the Aggies and served as team captain. He threw for 3,744 yards and twenty-nine touchdowns, with fifteen interceptions. He completed 61.6% of his passes and posted a quarterback rating of 133.2. He also ran for four touchdowns. Tannehill concluded his quarterback career at Texas A&M with a total of 5,450 passing yards and forty-two touchdown passes.[49]

In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Tannehill with the eighth overall pick.[50] He was the first quarterback selected by the Dolphins in the first round since Dan Marino in 1983. On July 28, 2012, Tannehill signed a four-year contract with the Dolphins worth approximately $12.688 million, with an option for a fifth year, as reported by the Miami Herald.[51] On August 20, 2012, Tannehill was named the starting quarterback over Matt Moore for the season opener against the Houston Texans.[52]

Ryan Tannehill - Miami.jpg

New England Patriots: Tom Brady[edit]

List of New England Patriots starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 82 (since September 14, 2009) Tom Brady
Tom Brady, prior to suffering his 2008 injury, had been the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots since 2001. Brady was taken in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots in the sixth round and started out as a backup to veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe. In week two of the 2001 NFL season, Bledsoe was hit by New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis, knocking Bledsoe out of the game. This resulted in Tom Brady making his first career start September 30, 2001.[53] Brady went on to start every regular season game after that point and went on to lead the Patriots to a playoff season every year between 2001 and 2007 (except for the 2002 season). Brady and the Patriots went on to capture three Super Bowl titles within four years: XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX. In addition to that, he was the Super Bowl MVP for Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII and voted to four Pro Bowls. In 2007, Brady and the Patriots completed a perfect regular season for which Brady won the NFL MVP award. However, the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. At the time, Brady placed fourth all-time in consecutive starts by a quarterback, behind only Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Ron Jaworski.[54][55][56]

In 2008, during a week-one game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard hit Brady in the left knee, tearing both his anterior cruciate ligament and his medial collateral ligament. The hit put Brady on the injury reserves list for the remainder of the season.[57] Backup Matt Cassel would take Brady's starting position for the remainder of the 2008 season.

Brady made his return from injury on September 14, 2009, and has not lost his starting position since then.[26] Since returning, he has brought the Patriots to the playoffs every year since 2009 and was elected to the Pro Bowl four years straight. Brady also won the NFL MVP a second time in 2010. In 2011, Brady led the Patriots to a fifth Super Bowl, Super Bowl XLVI, but again lost to the New York Giants. Brady is fifth all-time in wins by a starting quarterback with a total of 138 wins[53] and has the highest winning percentage (.780) in the history of the NFL.[58] With the Patriots' victory over the Houston Texans in the 2012 divisional playoffs, Brady claimed the record for most postseason victories with seventeen.[59] Considering Brady's many records and achievements, many analysts have called Brady one of the greatest quarterbacks and draft steals of all time.[60][61][62][63]

Tom Brady (cropped).jpg

New York Jets: Geno Smith[edit]

List of New York Jets starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 18 (since September 8, 2013) Geno Smith
Geno Smith was drafted by the New York Jets with the thirty-ninth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.[64] General manager John Idzik, following the selection, stated Smith would compete with incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to determine the starting quarterback.[65] Smith signed a four-year $5 million contract on July 22, 2013[66] with approximately $690,000 in workout bonuses.[67]

Smith made his professional debut in the preseason on August 9, 2013 against the Detroit Lions.[68] He completed six of seven passes for forty-seven yards but left the game due to an ankle injury in the second quarter.[68] Smith was later named the starting quarterback due to a shoulder injury to Sanchez which required surgery. In his first regular season game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Smith completed twenty-four of his thirty-eight passes for 256 yards and a touchdown to Kellen Winslow II. Smith also led New York with forty-seven yards rushing. Smith led the Jets to his first career victory after a late hit on Smith from Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David set up the Jets with a field goal with seven seconds left in the game.[69]

Geno Smith at Jets training camp.JPG

AFC North[edit]

Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco[edit]

List of Baltimore Ravens starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 98 (since September 7, 2008) Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco was taken in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft as the eighteenth overall pick by the Baltimore Ravens. Flacco being drafted was on the heels of the Ravens finishing the previous season last in the AFC North with a record of 5-11. The Ravens used three starting quarterbacks that season: Steve McNair,[70] Kyle Boller[71] and Troy Smith.[72] The Ravens hired John Harbaugh to replace head coach Brian Billick who was fired in December mid-season.[73] The Ravens eventually released starter Steve McNair, and Harbaugh named Flacco the starter for week one of the 2008 regular season, retaining Boller and Smith at backup. Flacco started his first game September 7, 2008, against the Cincinnati Bengals, and has not missed a single game since then.[74]

As a starter, Flacco has led the Ravens to the playoffs for all five seasons at starting quarterback. As a rookie in the 2008–09 NFL playoffs, he won his first playoff game on the road against the Miami Dolphins in a wild card game, becoming the first rookie quarterback to win in the playoffs on the road.[75] He then went on to defeat the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, becoming the first rookie quarterback to win two games.[76] Flacco and the Ravens ended up losing the AFC Championship Game against their AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.[77] In the 2009–10 playoffs, Flacco played injured in his wild card win against the New England Patriots[78] and in his divisional round loss to the Indianapolis Colts.[79] The Ravens started out their 2010–11 playoffs run by winning their wild card match, defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. With the win, Flacco became the first quarterback in NFL history to start and win a playoff game in each of his first three seasons.[80] The Ravens would again lose to the Steelers (31-24), however in the Divisional Playoffs this time.[81] In 2011, the Ravens automatically advanced to the divisional round of the 2011–12 playoffs by having the second best record in the AFC. They defeated the Houston Texans in the Divisional Playoffs, advancing to their second AFC Championship under Flacco.[82] On January 22, the Ravens lost to the New England Patriots by a score of 23-20 in the AFC Championship Game, sending them home one game short of a Super Bowl for the second time in four years.[83] In the 2012 season, Flacco and the Ravens claimed their revenge against the Patriots, winning 28-13 in the conference championship, and later defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII by a score of 34-31, and Flacco won MVP honors after completing 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns.[84] On March 1, 2013, Fox Sports analyst Jay Glazer reported that Flacco and the Ravens will agree to a six-year contract worth over $120 million, making Flacco the highest paid quarterback in NFL history.[85]

Flacco has the eleventh most wins amongst active quarterbacks in the NFL with fifty-four wins in his five seasons at quarterback (not including playoffs).[86] Flacco also has the third longest streak of consecutive starts amongst active quarterbacks with eighty regular season and 13 playoff starts, ninety-three total combined (as of 2012). Flacco only trails Eli Manning and Philip Rivers.[87]

Joe Flacco training camp.jpg

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton[edit]

List of Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 50 (since September 11, 2011) Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton was selected as the thirty-fifth overall pick in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Dalton competed for the starting quarterback position with Bruce Gradkowski. The previous starter for the Bengals, Carson Palmer, made it known his intention not to report to camp and wanting to be traded.[88] Marvin Lewis named Dalton the starter and decided to keep Palmer on the reserve/did not report list. Dalton's first ever NFL regular season start came on September 11, 2011, on the road against the Cleveland Browns. Dalton completed ten of his fifteen pass attempts for eighty-one yards and one touchdown, posting a 102.4 quarterback rating. The Bengals won the game, 27-17.[89]

By the bye week for the Bengals, Dalton had led the Bengals to a 5-2 record as a starter. On October 18, 2011, the Oakland Raiders contacted the Bengals about trading for Palmer after their starter Jason Campbell went down with an injury. The Bengals traded for Palmer and reaffirmed Dalton's position as starter.[90] On November 3, 2011, Dalton was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October. Dalton led the Bengals to a 4-0 record with 909 yards passing and six touchdowns in the month[91] Dalton won two Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards in the month of November. November 6, Dalton threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions against the Tennessee Titans in a comeback 24-17 victory.[92] On November 27, Dalton again won the award after he passed for 270 yards and a touchdown in a comeback 23-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns.[93]

Dalton started the remainder of the regular season, going 5-5 in his final games after the bye week. The Bengals ended the regular season with a loss to their AFC North rival the Baltimore Ravens, losing 24-16.[94] However, due to tiebreaker rules, the Bengals made the 2011–12 NFL playoffs as a wild card. The Bengals faced the Houston Texans on January 7, 2012, and lost 31-10, ending Dalton's first season at starting quarterback.[95] Dalton finished the season with 300 completions, 3,398 passing yards for twenty touchdowns and thirteen interceptions.[96]

Dalton was named, initially, as a Pro Bowl Alternate at the conclusion of the season. He was officially added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster after the New England Patriots won the AFC Championship Game, forcing Tom Brady to withdraw. Dalton was the first rookie quarterback named to the Pro Bowl since Vince Young in 2006.[97]

Andy Dalton pass(CROP).jpg

Cleveland Browns: Brian Hoyer[edit]

List of Cleveland Browns starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) Brian Hoyer
Despite being invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, Hoyer was not selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. He signed immediately after the draft with the New England Patriots Hoyer debuted in the Patriots' preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, completing 11 of 19 passes for 112 yards. In the preseason finale against the New York Giants, Hoyer played at quarterback the entire game, leading the team on a comeback after trailing 21–0 in the first quarter to a 38–27 win, completing 18 of 25 passes for 242 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. Hoyer finished the preseason 29-44 for 354 yards, including one touchdown, with a 98.1 passer rating. Of the four quarterbacks behind Tom Brady during training camp, the Patriots released Matt Gutierrez, Kevin O'Connell, and Andrew Walter,[98] leaving Hoyer as Brady's only backup when the Patriots made their final cutdowns on September 5. He made his professional debut on October 18, in the second half of a game against the Tennessee Titans. On his first drive, he was 5/5 for 35 yards, concluding it with a 1-yard rushing touchdown, which set a franchise record for points scored in the Patriots' 59-0 win. In the 2010 season finale against the Miami Dolphins, Hoyer threw his first career touchdown pass, a 42-yard pass to Brandon Tate.[99] In the final game of the 2011 season, the Patriots sent Hoyer in, and opted to throw to tight end Rob Gronkowski instead of kneeling down, letting Gronkowski break the NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a season.[100]

On August 31, 2012, during final cuts, Hoyer was released by the Patriots.[101] He practiced with Saint Ignatius players while hoping for another team to sign him.[102] On November 20, 2012, Hoyer signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers after injuries to starting Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and backup Byron Leftwich within a week of each other.[103] He served as the backup to Charlie Batch in Weeks 12 and 13 against the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens respectively. He was released on December 8, 2012.

He was claimed on waivers by the Arizona Cardinals on December 10. Hoyer replaced Ryan Lindley in Week 16 against the Chicago Bears, and completed 11 of 19 passes for 105 yards and one interception.[104] On December 26, Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt announced that Hoyer would start the season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, making him the fourth quarterback for the Cardinals.[105] On May 12, 2013, Hoyer was released by the Cardinals.[106]

On May 16, he was signed by the Cleveland Browns to a 2-year deal.[107] On September 18, in relief of then-starter Brandon Weeden, who was out with a thumb injury, the Browns skipped over 2nd string Jason Campbell and named him the starting quarterback for the Week 3 game against the Minnesota Vikings. He threw for 321 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in the team's first win of the season. It was announced later in the week that Hoyer would be the Browns' starting quarterback for Week 4 against the rival Cincinnati Bengals, as Weeden remained out with a thumb injury. Hoyer led the Browns to another win, completing 25 of 38 passes for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with throwing no interceptions in a 17-6 victory. The next day on September 30, Hoyer was named the starter for a third straight game, Thursday Night Football vs the Buffalo Bills. Despite being named starter for three straight games, Hoyer was not declared the official starter for the remainder of the 2013 season by Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski, who referred to the situation as "a week-to-week thing." He later added that, if Hoyer continued to exceed expectations, he would maintain his starting position. However, Hoyer sustained an ACL tear in the Thursday Night game versus the Buffalo Bills ending his promising season.[108]

Brian Hoyer 2014 Browns Training Camp.jpg

Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger[edit]

List of Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 21 (since December 9, 2012) Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger was taken eleventh overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and was touted as the franchise quarterback by then-coach Bill Cowher.[109] Tommy Maddox was the starting quarterback for the Steelers at the beginning of the season, but due to an injury to backup Charlie Batch and ineffectiveness at the position by Maddox, Roethlisberger was named starter. Roethlisberger got his first start October 3, 2004, against the Cincinnati Bengals.[110] After Roethlisberger became the quarterback, the rookie went through the regular season undefeated, getting thirteen straight victories to end the regular season 15-1 and lead the Steelers to the playoffs.[111] The Steelers went on to the playoffs where they defeated the New York Jets in the divisional round, but ultimately lost to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, in the AFC Championship.[112] After the season, Roethlisberger was awarded both the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. Since 2004, Roethlisberger has been the starting quarterback, only sitting out for rest or injuries.

Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to five other trips to the postseason. After his successful rookie season, Roethlisberger and the Steelers made the playoffs again as a wild card team[113] and winning his first AFC Championship.[114] In 2005, the Steelers won their first Super Bowl under the start of Roethlisberger, defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. The Steelers didn't make it back to the playoffs in 2006, but returned in 2007 to win their division. They lost their wild card match against the Jacksonville Jaguars by the score of 31-29.[115] In 2008, the Steelers made the 2008–09 NFL playoffs with a 12-4 regular season record.[116] The Steelers went on to defeat the Baltimore Ravens to win their second AFC Championship under Roethlisberger.[117] Roethlisberger won his second Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XLIII defeating the Arizona Cardinals. After missing the playoffs the following season, Roethlisberger advanced to the Super Bowl for the third time in his career in six years, but lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. The Steelers made the 2011–12 NFL playoffs, but were quickly eliminated in the wild card round by the Denver Broncos in an overtime loss.[118] Roethlisberger made the 2012 Pro Bowl after the season concluded. Amongst active quarterbacks, Roethlisberger has the fourth largest most amount of wins with eighty seven total through the end of the 2012 season.[119]

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers cropped.jpg

AFC South[edit]

Houston Texans: Ryan Fitzpatrick[edit]

List of Houston Texans starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick was taken in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. Fitzpatrick made his first start in the 2005 NFL season due to an injury to Jamie Martin. He would make two more starts that season backing up Martin and finished the 2005 season with four touchdowns and eight interceptions. Fitzpatrick remained backup through most of his early career and wouldn't make another start until 2008, now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. He started a majority of the games that season after Carson Palmer suffered an elbow injury early on. He finished the regular season, missing the playoffs, with a 4-7-1 record with eight touchdowns, nine interceptions and 1,905 completion yards.[120]

Fitzpatrick signed with the Buffalo Bills on February 27, 2009, and was given his first start in week seven of the 2009 NFL season.[121] He started in place of an injured Trent Edwards who had suffered from a concussion a week prior. Fitzpatrick remained the starter for the rest of the season except for one game started by Brian Brohm in week sixteen. The Bills finished the 2009 season with a 4-5 record with Fitzpatrick starting and missing the playoffs. Fitzpatrick started the 2010 season being regulated to backup once again to Edwards. After starting 0-2 under Edwards though, head coach Chan Gailey benched Edwards and named Fitzpatrick the starter once again.[122] Fitzpatrick started the next thirteen games, producing a record of 4-9. Brian Brohm started for the Bills in week seventeen to finish the season.[120]

On September 11, 2011, Fitzpatrick was named the Bills starting quarterback for week one of the 2011 NFL season.[123] On October 28, 2011, after the Bills started 4-2 through their week seven bye, Fitzpatrick signed a six year, $59 million contract extension including a $10 million signing bonus with the Bills. He became the first Bills quarterback to sign an extension since Doug Flutie in 1999.[121] After the contract signing, the Bills went on a seven-game losing streak to be officially eliminated from playoff contention. Fitzpatrick played all sixteen regular season games finishing their 2011 season with a 6-10 record.[124] Fitzpatrick finished the season with 353 completions, 3,832 passing yards, twenty-four touchdowns and twenty-three interceptions.[120]

On March 12, 2013, Fitzpatrick was released by the Bills,[125] and six days later, he was picked up by the Tennessee Titans and agreed to a two-year contract.[126] He was the starter while Jake Locker recovers from a hip injury.

Fitzpatrick was traded to the Houston Texans on March 20, 2014.[127] He was named the Texans' starting quarterback by new head coach Bill O'Brien on June 17.[128]

Ryan Fitzpatrick.JPG

Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck[edit]

List of Indianapolis Colts starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 34 (since September 9, 2012) Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck, prior to his sophomore season at Stanford, was considered by Sports Illustrated′s Tony Pauline to be "the most NFL-ready of all the draft-eligible quarterback prospects."[129] After a stellar sophomore year, Luck was widely projected to be the number one pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but decided to return for his junior season.[130] Right after the 2011 draft, in May 2011, he was unanimously projected as the top prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft.[131][132][133] By midseason, Pauline described him as "the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning" in 1998,[134] while ESPN′s Mel Kiper, Jr. went even further, calling Luck the best quarterback prospect since John Elway in 1983.[135] Despite Robert Griffin III′s impressive Heisman Trophy winning season, Luck's status as the number one overall draft prospect was never questioned.[136][137]

Throughout the 2011 NFL season, some fans called for their teams to try to lose their remaining games (or "suck for Luck"), in order to improve their chances for the first pick in the draft.[138] The Indianapolis Colts won the honors of the number one overall draft pick with a 2-14 record.[1] Since their long-time franchise quarterback Peyton Manning was scheduled to return from injury in 2012, it was suggested that the Colts may trade the pick,[139] but eventually decided to release Manning instead.[140] Ending speculations on April 24, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson announced the team would take Luck with their first overall draft pick.[141] The decision became official on draft day, April 26, 2012. Luck was the fourth Stanford quarterback to be selected first overall, after Bobby Garrett in 1954, Jim Plunkett in 1971, and John Elway in 1983. Luck was the second Stanford quarterback to be taken first overall by the Indianapolis Colts (John Elway 1983).

On July 19, 2012, Luck officially signed a four-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts worth $22 million.[142] This deal made Luck the fourth starting quarterback for the Colts in the past two NFL seasons[143] following Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky.[144] In his debut, a preseason game against the St. Louis Rams, Luck's first pass was a sixty-three yard touchdown pass to running back Donald Brown. He also threw a touchdown pass to receiver Austin Collie.[145] In his first twenty games, Luck was 14-6 (.700), tying him with John Elway for the most wins by a quarterback in his first 20 games.[146]

In his first two seasons with the Colts, Luck led the team to two playoff berths including one division championship in 2013. Luck also was a Pro Bowl selection in his first two seasons.

Andrew Luck (cropped).jpg

Jacksonville Jaguars: Chad Henne[edit]

List of Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 13 (since October 13, 2013) Chad Henne
Chad Henne was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft fifty-seventh overall. For his rookie season, he played backup to starter Chad Pennington. During the second game of the 2008 season, Henne made his NFL debut down 31–3 against Arizona Cardinals with 9:42 left in the game. Henne spent the remainder of the season on the bench and only played in two other games.[147] During the third game of the 2009 season, in the early third quarter of their road game versus the San Diego Chargers, San Diego linebacker Kevin Burnett knocked Chad Pennington out of the game with a dislocated shoulder and a torn rotator cuff. Henne came off the bench in relief for the injured quarterback in a losing effort.[148] After Pennington's season-ending injury, Henne made his first start on October 4, 2009, against the Buffalo Bills at home. Henne went fourteen for twenty-two in his pass attempts with one touchdown pass in the Dolphins' first victory of the season, 38-10.[149] Henne started thirteen games in 2009, throwing 274 for 451 completions for 2,878 yards, twelve touchdowns and fourteen interceptions.[147] Henne began the 2010 season as the starting quarterback for the Dolphins, but after a 4-4 start, Henne was benched in favor of Pennington. On November 14, during the Dolphins game against the Tennessee Titans, Henne came in relief for Pennington who went out with an apparent shoulder injury. During the third quarter though, Henne himself was injured his knee and was replaced by Tyler Thigpen.[150] Henne finished the season with fourteen starts as the Dolphins missed the playoffs. He had 301 completions for 3,301 yards with fifteen touchdowns and nineteen interceptions.[147]

Henne returned as the starter for the Dolphins in 2011. In his first game of the season against the New England Patriots, he threw for a career high 416 yards with a passer rating of 93.6. He and Tom Brady both threw for over 400 yards, the seventh time in NFL history two quarterbacks did so in the same game.[151] On October 2, 2011, in a game against the San Diego Chargers, Henne hurt his left shoulder at the end of a run and did not return. His injury was later revealed to be a separated shoulder in his left (non-throwing) arm. Slated to undergo surgery.[152] Henne was placed on injured reserve and missed the rest of the 2011 season.[147] Following the 2011 season, the Dolphins released Henne.[153] In March, Henne signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a backup to starter Blaine Gabbert for the 2012 season.[154] After an injury to Gabbert in their game against the Houston Texans, Henne was announced as the starter for week twelve against the Tennessee Titans.[155] Henne would go on to start for the Jaguars remaining five games when Gabbert was placed on the injured reserve list. Henne finished the season with over 2,000 passing, with eleven touchdowns and eleven interceptions. In 2013, Henne was again set on the depth chart behind Gabbert, but due to an injury week one, Henne got to start week two against the Oakland Raiders. Gabbert returning to his starting position week four, but was sidelined again with a hamstring injury, allowing Henne to start week six.[22]

Chad Henne Jets-Dolphin game, Nov 2009 - 049.jpg

Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker[edit]

List of Tennessee Titans starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) Jake Locker
Jake Locker was selected with the 8th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. On July 29, he signed a 4-year contract worth a reported $12 million.[156] Locker saw his first real playing time on November 20, against the Atlanta Falcons, replacing an injured Matt Hasselbeck. In a losing effort, Locker threw for 2 touchdowns and 140 yards. Locker completed his rookie season with 4 passing touchdowns as well as 1 rushing touchdown. He acted as backup and occasional relief to Matt Hasselbeck.

After competing with Hasselbeck during the 2012 preseason, Locker was named the starter for the regular season on August 20, 2012.[157] His first start came on September 9 against the Patriots and was a rough affair as he completed 229 yards passing and one touchdown with one interception. His first win came on September 23 against the Lions as he threw for 373 yards and two scores in a 44-41 overtime Titans win. On September 30, Locker tore his non-throwing shoulder, and was replaced by Hasselbeck. Locker was later confirmed by Titans head coach Mike Munchak as the starter on November 9 against the Miami Dolphins.[158] Locker finished 2012 with 177 completions, 2,176 yards, ten touchdowns, and eleven interceptions. He rushed 41 times for 291 yards and a touchdown.

In 2013, the Titans started their season week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He went 11/20 passing and had 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the 16-9 win. On September 29, 2013, in a 38-13 win over the New York Jets, Locker was hit by two Jets defenders and was carted off the field with what appeared to be a serious right leg injury. Initial news reports, from multiple sources, indicated that the injury was to his right hip. Locker, according to a report by the team posted on USA Today, would miss three weeks. During a November 10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Locker sustained a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, ending his season.[159]

Jake Locker.jpg

AFC West[edit]

Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning[edit]

List of Denver Broncos starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 34 (since September 9, 2012) Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning was selected first overall in the 1998 draft by the Indianapolis Colts.[160] In his rookie season, he passed for 3,739 yards with twenty-six touchdowns, set five different NFL rookie records, including most touchdown passes in a season, and was named to the NFL All-Rookie First Team.[161][162][163] Manning's first win came against fellow rookie quarterback Ryan Leaf, 17-12 over the San Diego Chargers.[164] From his first start at the beginning of his rookie season on September 6, 1998, Manning started every game for the Colts, the last being on January 2, 2011. Manning is second all-time for most consecutive starts (behind only Brett Favre) with 208 consecutive regular season starts and twenty-four playoff games for 227 total consecutive games.[165][166] Manning's consecutive starts streak ended at the beginning of the 2011 season when on September 7, 2011, the Colts officially ruled Manning out for the season opener against the Houston Texans after neck surgery.[167] Manning also holds the record for most wins amongst active starting quarterbacks with 141 wins.[3]

In Manning's fourteen-year career with the Colts, Manning led the Colts to the playoffs a total of eleven times. In 2003, Manning and the Colts had a three seed in the 2003–04 NFL playoffs after winning the AFC South. They defeated the Denver Broncos in the wild card round[168] and the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round to advance to their first AFC Championship under Manning.[169] The Colts would end up meeting Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and losing the game 24-14.[170] In 2006, Manning led the Colts to the wild card round of the playoffs after winning the AFC South and securing a three seed. Despite three interceptions, Manning completed thirty out of thirty-eight passes as the Colts beat the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 23-8.[171] The following week they were limited to five field goals and no touchdowns, but defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 15-6.[172] In the AFC Championship game against the rival Patriots, Manning led the Colts to thirty-two points in the second half for a 38–34 victory with the final score coming late in the fourth quarter. The comeback was the largest deficit ever overcome in a conference championship.[173] Manning led the Colts to a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was voted Super Bowl MVP.[174] In 2009, Manning advanced to the 2009–10 NFL playoffs after leading the Colts to a 14-2 record during the regular season and earning a first round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. In the divisional round against the Baltimore Ravens, Manning threw two touchdown passes late in the first half to build a 17–3 halftime lead. He completed thirty passes for 246 yards in his victory over the Ravens.[175] In the AFC Championship against New York Jets, Manning overcame a 17–6 deficit late in the second quarter to lead the Colts to twenty-four unanswered points in a 30-17 win. Manning set a playoff record with his seventh 300-yard passing game in the postseason.[176] However, Manning and the Colts came up short in Super Bowl XLIV against the New Orleans Saints, losing 31-17.[177] In addition to holding various NFL records, Manning is an eleven-time Pro Bowler (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), a five-time All-Pro (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009), six-time AFC Player of the Year (1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009) and a four-time Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player (2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009).

After missing the entire 2011 season stemming from neck surgery, and anticipating taking quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Manning was released by the Colts on March 7, 2012.[178][179][180] As a free agent, Manning reached an agreement with the Broncos on a five-year contract worth $96 million on March 20, 2012.[181][182] Although #18 is retired in honor of Frank Tripucka, Manning was given permission from Tripucka to wear it. On August 9, 2012, Manning made his first appearance as a Bronco in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears,[183] where he completed four of seven passes for forty-four yards, and was intercepted once by Bears safety Major Wright.[184] On September 5, 2013 against the Baltimore Ravens, Manning threw seven touchdown passes, becoming one of six quarterbacks to accomplish the feat, and the first since Joe Kapp in 1969.[185] Two weeks later against the Oakland Raiders, Manning broke the record previously set by Tom Brady for most touchdown passes through the first three weeks of the season with 12.[186]

Peyton Manning throwing.jpg

Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Smith[edit]

List of Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) Alex Smith
Alex Smith was drafted 1st overall in the 2005 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers, who held the first overall pick, had hired a head coach with a strong personality in Mike Nolan. Nolan thought Smith to be cerebral, introspective, and non-confrontational. Nolan also evaluated Aaron Rodgers but did not believe that Rodgers' attitude could co-exist with him.[187] Smith was the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, selected by the San Francisco 49ers. In July 2005, Smith agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million contract with the 49ers; the contract included $24 million in guaranteed money.

Dealt with an injury and being taken in and out of the lineup by then-head coach Mike Nolan, Smith played in nine games in his rookie season, recording just one touchdown pass, against the Houston Texans, while throwing 11 interceptions. After the challenges faced by his rookie campaign, Smith went into the 2006 season with a new offensive coordinator (Norv Turner) and an improved set of offensive weapons around him. The 49ers used their top draft choice on Vernon Davis, a tight end from Maryland. They also upgraded their offensive backfield, trading underachieving running back Kevan Barlow to the Jets, making Frank Gore the feature back. Overall, Smith improved in his second year by throwing as many touchdowns as interceptions. He threw for 16 TDs, 16 interceptions, 2,890 yards and a 74.8 quarterback rating, all improvements over his rookie year. Alex also became the first 49ers quarterback in club history to take every snap from center over the course of a season in 2006. In 2006, Smith was named the starter at the beginning of the season and started all sixteen regular season games. In fact, Smith became the first 49ers quarterback to take every snap from under center for an entire season.[188] He finished the season with 2,893 completion yards with sixteen touchdowns and interceptions a piece, but missed the playoffs with only seven wins.[189]

Smith entered the 2007 season learning under a third offensive coordinator in three seasons. Norv Turner was hired as the head coach by the San Diego Chargers. Jim Hostler replaced Turner. Hostler's system involved a mixture of the offensive system installed by Turner with elements of the West Coast offense installed by Mike McCarthy for the 2005 season. During the offseason, the 49ers added wide receivers Darrell Jackson, Ashley Lelie, and rookie Jason Hill as new offensive targets for Smith. The 49ers did not win a game after September 16 until November 25. Among all NFL quarterbacks who qualify for league statistics, only the Jets' Kellen Clemens had a poorer passer rating than Smith (57.2), Smith completed under 50% of his passes, far below the league average of 60%. Smith was at odds with 49ers head coach Mike Nolan over the severity of his injury. Nolan publicly inferred that Smith was not fighting through the injury, while Smith felt that the injury still affected his ability to throw accurately, an account that was supported by players from the Seahawks.[190][191][192] Nolan decided to rest Smith following a loss in that game to the Seahawks on November 12 and start Trent Dilfer to allow Smith's shoulder to recover. Following the decision, orthopedic surgeon James Andrews said that upon further examination the shoulder did not heal as significantly as Andrews thought it would, and on December 11, 2007, Smith was placed on injured reserve to undergo surgery on the shoulder, ending his season. Smith started a total a seven games, while Trent Dilfer, Shaun Hill and Chris Weinke took the rest of the snaps for the rest of the season.[193]

[194] believed to have been caused by a wire left in his shoulder from the previous surgery, which had sawed through the bone.[195] With Smith injured, it left Shaun Hill and J. T. O'Sullivan to take eight starts each.[196] During the off-season, Smith restructured his contract to remain with the 49ers for two more seasons.[197] During the 2009 off-season, Hill won the starting spot away from Smith and Sullivan, going on to start the first six games of the regular season. However, during haltime of their week seven game against the Houston Texans, Hill was benched in favor of Smith.[198] The next day, Smith was named the starter and remained so for the rest of the season. The 49ers went 5-5 under Smith as starter and missed the playoffs once again. He went 225 for 372 for 2,350 passing yards with eighteen touchdowns and twelve interceptions.[199] In 2010, Smith was again named starting quarterback, but during a week seven game against the Carolina Panthers re-injured his shoulder and was replaced for a total of six games by Troy Smith. Alex Smith's current streak of starts currently begins on January 2, 2011, the last week of the 2011 regular season.[200] In ten games, Smith threw for 2,370 yards, fourteen touchdowns and ten interceptions.[201] In 2011, Smith completed the entire regular season without missing a start and led the 49ers to the 2011–12 NFL playoffs. Smith finished the season with seventeen touchdowns and a league low five interceptions, with career bests in yards at 3,144 and in completion percentage at 61.3%.[202] The 49ers defeated the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Playoffs,[203] but lost in the NFC Championship to eventual Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants.[204] In week ten against the St. Louis Rams, Smith sustained a concussion, and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick against the Chicago Bears the following week.[205]

On February 27, 2013, the 49ers agreed to trade Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for the Chiefs' second round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.[206] The deal became official at the beginning of the new league year on March 12.[207]

Alex Smith 2014 Pro Bowl.jpg

Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr[edit]

List of Oakland Raiders starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) Derek Carr
Carr was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft. On May, 16th 2014 he was assigned his requested number of 4. On May 21, he was signed to a 4-year, $5.37 million contract with a $2.2 million signing bonus.

On August 28, 2014, Carr impressed the coaches and fans in the Raiders 4th and final preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks after coming into the game as backup to Matt Schaub and took the Raiders down the field for three touchdowns in the first quarter and threw another touchdown on their next possession of the second quarter before being relieved. [208] For his short playing time in the game he went 11/13 for 143 yards and 3 TD's for a nearly perfect quarterback rating.

On September 1, 2014, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen announced that Carr would start over Matt Schaub in the team's opener against the New York Jets, and mentioned that the decision was not week to week and that Carr would be the Raiders starting quarterback moving forward.[209] Carr therefore became the first rookie quarterback in Raiders history to start a season opener, and was also the only rookie quarterback from the 2014 draft class to start in week one.[210]

Derek Carr -4.jpg

San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers[edit]

List of San Diego Chargers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 130 (since September 11, 2006) Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers was drafted fourth overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and then traded to the San Diego Chargers. He started out as the third-string quarterback behind starter Drew Brees and Doug Flutie. Rivers wouldn't make a single start for the 2004 and 2005 seasons, only playing in a total of four games.[211] After Brees suffered an injury and was traded to the New Orleans Saints, Rivers was named quarterback for the 2006 season. He made his first start on September 11, 2006, against the Oakland Raiders and hasn't missed a start since then.[32] Rivers passed only eleven times, but completed eight passes for one touchdown, in a 27–0 victory. After his first game, Rivers led the NFL in quarterback rating with 133.9.[32] In his first season, Rivers won fourteen of his sixteen regular season games, leading the Chargers to first place in the AFC West and to the 2006–07 NFL playoffs. Rivers was unsuccessful in his first playoff start however and lost the divisional round game against the New England Patriots by the score of 24-21.[212] After a 1-3 start to the 2007 season, the Chargers found their groove, finishing 11-5 and winning the AFC West for the second straight year. The Chargers also won their first two playoff games since the 1994 season, beating the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts before falling to the Patriots for a second year straight, this time in the AFC Championship Game, 21-12. In the 2007 AFC Championship Game, Rivers' was lauded by his teammates and the press for playing the entire game with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which later required surgery and was ranked among the NFL Top 10 Gutsiest Performances.[213]

In 2008, Rivers and the Chargers made the playoffs again with a record of 8–8 and won their division for a third year in a row. The Chargers became the first team since the 1985 Cleveland Browns to win their division at 8-8 and also became the first team in NFL history to start the season 4–8, yet make the playoffs.[214] The Chargers ultimately lost to the eventual Super Bowl champions the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Playoffs.[215] In the 2009 season, Rivers won thirteen regular season games, leading the Chargers to their fourth consecutive division title and a bye week in the playoffs. Despite this though, like his rookie season, Rivers and the Chargers were eliminated in the divisional playoffs with home-field advantage, this time by the New York Jets 17-14.[216] In 2010 and 2011, Rivers failed to make the playoffs, losing the division for the first time in his career. Despite that, Rivers posted career highs in total number of completions and in yards thrown with 4,710 and 4,624 yard seasons.[211]

Rivers has been named to the Pro Bowl a total of four times, in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and was also the 2010 NFL Alumni Player of the Year. Through the end of the 2012 season, he also has the seventh most wins amongst active starting quarterbacks with seventy total.[217] Rivers is now fifth all-time in NFL history for most consecutive starts. He has had 112 consecutive regular season games and seven playoff games, for 119 total consecutive games.[211]

Philip Rivers 2006-10-01.jpg

NFC East[edit]

Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo[edit]

List of Dallas Cowboys starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) Tony Romo
Tony Romo, from Eastern Illinois University, attended the 2003 NFL Combine, but, despite intriguing some scouts, went undrafted by any NFL team during the 2003 NFL Draft. Throughout the draft, Romo was assured by Sean Payton of the Cowboys' interest (Romo was also intensely pursued by former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan),[218] and shortly afterwards was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cowboys. Romo entered the 2003 training camp third on the Cowboys' depth chart behind Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson. In 2004, the Cowboys released quarterback Chad Hutchinson and signed veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde and traded a third round draft pick to the Houston Texans for quarterback Drew Henson. Romo faced being cut from the roster until Quincy Carter was released following allegations of substance abuse. Throughout 2004 and 2005, Romo served as the holder for placekicks.[219] After Testaverde's tenure in Dallas ended in 2005, the Cowboys signed veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe, the eighth starting quarterback for the Cowboys since 2000. One of Romo's early career highlights was in 2004, when (as the third string QB) he rushed for the winning touchdown with six seconds left in a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Elevated to the Cowboys' #2 quarterback in 2005, Romo had strong showings in the 2005 and 2006 pre-seasons. He began the 2006 season as a backup to starter Bledsoe and took his first regular season snap at quarterback in a home game against the Houston Texans on October 15. His first NFL pass was a thirty-three-yard completion to Sam Hurd. His only other pass of the game was a two-yard touchdown pass, his first in the NFL, to Terrell Owens.[220] Bledsoe was eventually benched for the remainder of the season and Romo got his first start on their week eight game against the Carolina Panthers on NBC Sunday Night Football. Romo led the Cowboys to victory in his first game as a starter, 35-14.

In the 2006 off-season, Sean Payton (now head coach of the New Orleans Saints), offered a third round draft pick for Romo, but Jerry Jones refused, asking for no less than a second round draft pick. Romo eventually took over the first-string quarterback role from Bledsoe during half time against the New York Giants on October 23, 2006. Romo aided the Cowboys in clinching a playoff spot, the second since Bill Parcells became coach in 2003. He concluded the 2006 regular season with 220 completions on 337 pass attempts for 2,903 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, with a passer rating of 95.1. The Cowboys played the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card playoff round on January 6, 2007. With the Cowboys trailing 21–20 on fourth-and-one with 1:19 left in the game, the Cowboys attempted a 19-yard field goal. Romo, the holder for the kick, fumbled the snap. He recovered the ball and attempted to run it in, but was tackled short of the first down marker by Jordan Babineaux, and turned the ball over on the Seattle 2-yard line. The Cowboys went on to lose the game.[221] Romo finished the 2006 season ranked seventh in the NFC in passing yards (2,903) and touchdown passes (19). Romo played in the 2007 Pro Bowl after Drew Brees went down with an elbow injury as a substitution for Marc Bulger. Romo threw one touchdown and one interception. Romo was the NFC's holder in the game.

On October 29, 2007, Romo reached an agreement to a six-year, $67.5 million contract extension with the Cowboys.[222] Romo brought the Cowboys to the playoffs for a second year in a row after starting all sixteen regular season games for the first time as a starter and winning thirteen games. The Cowboys hosted the New York Giants in their divisional playoff game, but Romo was unable to lead his team to a come-from-behind victory in the game. On fourth down with less than half a minute and no timeouts left, Romo threw the ball into the endzone, but it was intercepted by Giants cornerback R. W. McQuarters, ensuring that the Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs with a 21-17 loss.[223]

In week seventeen of 2008, in what became a de facto playoff game for Romo shortly prior to its start, Romo and the Cowboys failed to compete against the Philadelphia Eagles in a 44-6 loss.[224] Romo committed three turnovers in the game and went twenty-one for thirty-eight for 183 yards and no touchdowns.[225] The loss dropped Romo's combined record in December to 5–8 and Romo missed the playoffs for the first time since being starter, finishing third in the division.[226] Romo made the 2008 Pro Bowl, his second consecutive Pro Bowl since he became starter. The following season, on January 3, 2010, Romo and the Cowbboys again met the Eagles in a week seventeen game to decide the division, this time defeating the Eagles 24-0 and placing first in the NFC East. The Cowboys advanced to the wild card round of the playoffs, only to meet the Eagles for a third game that season. Romo and the Cowboys again defeated the Eagles, 34-14, giving Romo his first playoff win as a starting quarterback.[227] The Cowboys advanced to the Divisional Playoffs, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings 34-3.[228] Romo was voted to the 2010 Pro Bowl at the end of the season, for his third career Pro Bowl. Romo's returned for the 2010 season but it was cut short due to injury. On the Cowboys' October 25, 2010 Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants, Romo suffered a broken left clavicle. The injury occurred during the second quarter, when Romo was driven to the turf by Giants linebacker Michael Boley.[229] He was placed on injured reserve on December 21, 2010, and replaced by veteran John Kitna and third-string quarterback Stephen McGee for the rest of the season. Romo returned from injury for the 2011 season, competing in all sixteen regular season games, but was eliminated from playoff contention week seventeen when they failed to win the NFC East title away from eventual Super Bowl champions that season, the New York Giants.[230]

In 2013, the Cowboys gave Romo a 6-year extension worth $108 million, with 55 million guaranteed and $25 million in bonuses, thus securing him for the rest of his career and relieving the pressure from salary cap, which was reported to have less than $25,000 in cap space before the deal was struck.[231] In the middle of April 2013, he underwent back surgery to remove a cyst, that although it was characterized as a minor procedure by the team, he would end up missing all of the Mini-camp and Organized Team Activities. Romo opened the season with a win over the New York Giants, passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns. He briefly left the game with a rib injury, but returned after halftime to finish the game. After week seven, his 100th career start, Romo had thrown for 27,485 yards, the most by a quarterback in his first 100 starts since 1960.[232] In the fifteenth game of the season playing against the Washington Redskins, with the Cowboys trailing in the fourth quarter and needing to win to keep its playoff hopes alive, he led the team to a touchdown drive with 1:08 minutes remaining in a 24-23 victory, with what was later diagnosed as a season ending herniated disk injury. Head coach Jason Garrett would later say: “He might have had his finest hour … We talk about mental toughness, being your best, regardless of circumstances. Somehow, some way, he helped us win that ballgame.”.

Romo underwent back surgery on December 27, 2013 and was placed on the Cowboys' injured reserve list. Garrett announced that Kyle Orton would be the starting quarterback for the week 17 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, which the team would eventually lose 24-22.[233]

Tony Romo (cropped).png

New York Giants: Eli Manning[edit]

List of New York Giants starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 153 (since November 21, 2004) Eli Manning
Eli Manning was drafted first overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and then traded to the New York Giants. Manning started out as the backup to former Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner, but after three losses in four games, Warner was benched and Manning got the start. Manning got his first start on November 21, 2004[7] and has started every game for the Giants since then for 161 consecutive starts (the most amongst active NFL quarterback and third in NFL history).[6] In seven starts his rookie season, Manning would only get one win and missed the playoffs.[234] In 2005, Manning finished among the top five quarterbacks in both passing yards and touchdown passes, while leading an offense that finished third in the NFL in scoring with a total of 422 points.[235][236] It was the most points the Giants scored in a single season since 1963 and the Giants won the NFC East with an 11-5 record[237] and advanced to the postseason. Manning and the Giants faced the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs, but was shut out 23-0.[238] In 2006, Manning returned the playoffs after finishing the season with 3,244 completion yards, twenty-four touchdowns, eighteen interceptions and completed 57.7 percent of his passes.[239] Manning finished the season with a quarterback efficiency rating of 77.0 (eighteenth in the league) with 6.2 yards per attempt. The Giants finished 8-8 in the NFC East and earned a wild card game against division rivals Philadelphia Eagles, but lost the game 23-20.[240] The Giants returned to the playoffs for a third year in a row in 2007. On January 6, 2008, Manning went twenty of twenty-seven for 185 yards playing on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The underdog Giants won 24-14, and Manning had two touchdown passes.[241] On January 13, 2008, Manning led the Giants to an upset victory over the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys, the number one seed in the NFC.[242] The victory secured an NFC Championship berth against the Green Bay Packers on January 20, 2008. In the championship game, the Giants beat the Packers in overtime, with a score of 23-20.[243] The victory secured Manning and the Giants a trip to Super Bowl XLII.[244] This was the first Super Bowl appearance for the New York Giants since Super Bowl XXXV in 2001.[245] The Giants defeated the then-undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and Manning was named the Super Bowl MVP.[246]

Coming off their Super Bowl run in 2007, Manning managed to return to the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, and won the NFC East with a 12-4 record. The Giants faced the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round and lost 23-11.[247] At the end of the season, Manning was voted to the 2009 Pro Bowl, his first Pro Bowl appearance. In 2009, Manning and the Giants started the season, but dropped the final eight of eleven games. The Giants ended at 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time with Manning as a starter since his rookie season. In 2010, they missed the playoffs for a second consecutive year after finishing 10-6 and losing a tiebreaker with the Green Bay Packers, who defeated the Chicago Bears and advanced to the playoffs. The Giants returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season in 2011. The Giants entered the 2011 postseason as underdogs, with the lowest winning record of any NFC team. The Giants first defeated the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 in the wild card round and then stunned the defending Super Bowl champions and top-seeded Green Bay Packers to advance to the NFC Championship Game. In the win, Manning completed twenty-one out of thirty-three attempts and threw three touchdowns and one interception.[248] The following week, the Giants would avenge their regular season loss to the San Francisco 49ers with a 20-17 overtime win in the NFC Championship Game.[249] This victory secured Manning and the Giants a second trip in five years to the Super Bowl, setting up a highly anticipated rematch against the New England Patriots. In the most-watched program in the history of United States television,[250] Manning once again led the Giants to an upset victory over the 2½ point favored Patriots 21-17, his second Super Bowl win and the fourth overall for the franchise.[251] Like 4 years before, Manning was again named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVI, becoming the third quarterback in a row to win the award.[252] The Giants also became the first team ever with fewer than ten wins in a sixteen-game regular season to win the Super Bowl[253] and Manning was voted into the 2012 Pro Bowl, his second Pro Bowl in his career.

2012 Packers vs Giants - Eli Manning 3.jpg

Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Foles[edit]

List of Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 10 (since November 3, 2013) Nick Foles
Nick Foles, during his senior year at Arizona in 2011, completed 387 of 560 passes for 4,334 yards and twenty-eight touchdowns. He ranked first in the Pac-12 Conference and fifth among all NCAA Division I FBS players with an average of 352.58 yards of total offense per game.[254] He also ranked second in the Pac-12 and twentieth among all FBS players in total passing yardage.[255]

Foles was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round, eighty-eighth overall, of the 2012 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year contract with the team on May 21, 2012. Despite speculation that Foles would start the Eagles' Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints on November 5 (Week 9),[256] Eagles coach Andy Reid stated that Vick would start that game.[257] Foles made his debut on November 11 in a 38-23 loss the Dallas Cowboys after Vick exited in the second quarter with a concussion. Foles threw his first career touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin for forty-four yards and finished with twenty-two completed passes out of thirty-two attempts for 219 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Foles was sacked twice for eleven yards. With Philadelphia behind 31-23 in the last minute, Foles lost the ball as he was sacked, and Jason Hatcher of the Cowboys recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.[258] Vick was ruled out of the Week 11 game against the Washington Redskins, and Foles was named the starter for the game.[259] On December 3, Eagles head coach Andy Reid named Foles as the starter for the remainder of the 2012 season.[260] In week sixteen against the Washington Redskins, Foles broke his hand, and was placed on injured reserve on December 26.[261] Vick was named the starter for the 2013 season, but after a week five hamstring injury, Foles once again got the start the following week.[262] In week nine against the Oakland Raiders, Foles tied the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a game with seven.[263]

Nick Foles calling play in 2012.jpg

Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III[edit]

List of Washington Redskins starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears came into the 2011 college football season not expected to do well, being picked sixth in the Big 12 preseason poll.[264] The Bears opened the season with fifteenth ranked TCU. The Bears took a 47-23 lead into the fourth quarter, and were able to fight off a comeback after TCU gained the lead 48-47 briefly, only for Baylor to kick the game winning field goal and win 50-48. They pulled off the upset in large part to Griffin's performance, who passed for 359 yards, five touchdowns and a 77.8% completion percentage. Following the win, Baylor entered the AP Poll rankings for only the third time in the previous fifteen seasons, at twentieth,[265][266] and Griffin was considered by many to be a Heisman Trophy candidate.[267] At the conclusion of the season, Griffin won the Heisman, becoming the first player from Baylor to win it. Griffin also led Baylor to a 10-3 record, including a 67-56 win over the Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl. With a combined 123 points, it stands as the highest scoring regulation bowl game in NCAA history. Due to the Alamo Bowl, Griffin became the first player since Tim Tebow in 2007 to win the Heisman, and not appear in the National Championship (#1 LSU faced #2 Alabama).

Griffin was not perceived as a first-round draft pick prior to his junior season,[268][269][270] but by mid-season, he had drawn the attention of NFL scouts and analysts, and was projected an early first round selection.[134][271] Towards the end of his junior season, Griffin had established himself as the number two quarterback prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft, behind the unanimous first pick projection Andrew Luck.[272][273]

Griffin was widely projected to be the No. 2 pick of the draft, but the St. Louis Rams—the team originally holding the pick—had already selected Sam Bradford to be their long-term starting quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Wanting to stick with Bradford, the Rams decided to deal the pick prior to the draft, with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins perceived as the most interested bidders. After a brief bidding process, the Redskins acquired the pick by giving the Rams four high-value draft picks over three years: their No. 6 overall pick in 2012, their second-round pick in 2012, and their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.[274] As expected, the Redskins selected Griffin at No. 2, making him the second Baylor Bear to be drafted that high in four years (after Jason Smith in 2009), but the first Baylor quarterback to be chosen second overall since Adrian Burk in 1950.

For the 2012 season, Griffin set records for highest passer rating by a rookie quarterback (102.4) and highest touchdown to interception ratio (4:1). Aside from the week 15 game against the Cleveland Browns where he did not play, Griffin played a vital role in helping the Redskins finish the regular season on a 7-game winning streak after starting the season 3-6, leading the team to its first playoff appearance since the 2007 season. On December 26, Griffin was named to enter the 2013 Pro Bowl.[275] Due to injuries on his ACL and LCL ligaments in his right knee, he was negated from the Pro Bowl roster and replaced by Drew Brees.[276] On December 26, Griffin was named to his first career Pro Bowl,[277] and on February 2, 2013, Griffin was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.[278]

In 2013, after some controversy over whether Griffin would be ready for the season opener (he did not play a single preseason game), he debuted in the loss to Philadelphia Eagles.[279] Griffin failed to replicate his 2012 success during the first half of the 2013 season and remained statistically below expectations until Washington's Week 7 game against the Chicago Bears. Leading the Redskins to a 45-41 victory, Griffin recorded 298 passing yards and two touchdowns,[280] including a 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson.[281] The Redskins' 27-6 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12 was the first game in Griffin's collegiate and professional career where he failed to score a single offensive touchdown.[282] On December 11, Head coach Mike Shanahan announced that, in order to eliminate risk of further injury, Griffin would be inactive for last three games of the season and that Kirk Cousins would finish the season as the starter.[283]

Robert Griffin III throwing.jpg

NFC North[edit]

Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler[edit]

List of Chicago Bears starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 5 (since November 15, 2013) Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler was drafted eleventh overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2006 NFL Draft. He originally served as backup to Jake Plummer until November, when Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan announced that Cutler will replace Plummer, and in his first game against the Seattle Seahawks, Cutler completed ten for twenty-one passes for 143 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, with his first touchdown pass going to tight end Stephen Alexander.[284] In 2007, his first full season as the starting quarterback, Cutler became the first Broncos quarterback to begin his Denver career with a touchdown pass in his first seven games. However, Cutler injured his leg against the Denver Broncos, and was replaced by Patrick Ramsey.[285] In 2008, Cutler led the AFC in pass completions (102), passing yards (1,275) and passing attempts (157), and was second in passing yards per attempt (8.12), third in passing touchdowns (9), and passer rating (98.6), and fifth in completion percentage (65.0%). Though Denver originally was 3-1, the Broncos eventually went 4-7, and was eliminated from playoff contention. Despite this, Cutler was named as a reserve to the 2009 Pro Bowl.[286] In 2009, Shanahan was fired, and was replaced by Josh McDaniels.[287] Talks of a possible three-way trade between the Broncos, New England Patriots and Detroit Lions/Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which would involve trading away Cutler, began circulating.[288] As a result, Cutler expressed his disappointment, and requested a trade from the team.[289]

Ultimately, Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton and three draft picks in the next two drafts.[290] In his debut game against the Green Bay Packers, Cutler threw four interceptions, as the Packers would go on to win 21-15.[291] Like Denver in 2008, Chicago would go 3-1, but the Bears would then win only four games for the rest of the season. Against the San Francisco 49ers in week ten, Cutler threw a career-high five interceptions, including a game-ending interception by Michael Lewis.[292] Cutler's total of twenty-six interceptions led the league. In 2010, Cutler's interception total dropped by ten, but Cutler was also sacked a league-high fifty-two times. Against the New York Giants, Cutler was sacked an NFL record nine times in the first half before going out with a concussion.[293] However, the Bears still went on to go 11-5, and qualify for the playoffs. In Cutler's playoff debut against the Seattle Seahawks, he threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, en route to a 35-24 victory.[294] In the NFC Championship Game, Cutler left the game with an MCL injury, as the Bears lost to the Packers 21-14.[295] After the game, Cutler was hit with criticism on Twitter by various critics, including players Maurice Jones-Drew, Darnell Dockett, Deion Sanders, and Mark Schlereth, who questioned his toughness.[296][297] The Bears would eventually defend Cutler,[298] along with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who called the criticism "disrespectful" and "very inappropriate".[299] In 2011, Cutler and the Bears went 7-3, though Cutler still repeatedly was sacked, leading to an incident during a game against the Minnesota Vikings where Cutler shouted at offensive coordinator Mike Martz, "Tell him I said fuck him!"[300] Against the San Diego Chargers, Cutler broke his thumb while attempting to tackle Antoine Cason,[301] and was eventually placed on injured reserve,[302] leading to the Bears starting Caleb Hanie as Cutler's replacement.[303] However, the Bears would lose five consecutive games, and had to rely on Josh McCown to play in the final two games, as the Bears were then eliminated from playoff contention with an 8-8 record.[304] In 2012, the Bears promoted offensive line coach Mike Tice to offensive coordinator, who gave Cutler the ability to call audibles before the snap, which Cutler wasn't allowed to do under Martz.[305] The Bears hired Jeremy Bates, Cutler's former quarterbacks coach in Denver,[306] and also acquired his former teammate Brandon Marshall.[307] Cutler was undefeated in games when he has a passer rating over 100[308] until the Bears lost to the Seahawks in week thirteen.[309] Against the Houston Texans in week ten, Cutler sustained a concussion, and was replaced by Jason Campbell. Cutler was then ruled out of the game against San Francisco, and was replaced by Campbell.[310] Cutler finished the season with a fourth-quarter passer rating of 114.7, which led the league.[311] In 56 games played with the Bears, Cutler became the team's all-time leader in passer rating (81.9) and completions (1,034) while ranking second in yards (12,292) and touchdowns (82).[312] In week seven of 2013 against Washington, Cutler tore a groin muscle after getting sacked by Chris Baker, and was ruled out for the next four weeks.[313] However, on November 7, Cutler was medically cleared to start against the Detroit Lions.[314] In his return, Cutler threw a touchdown to Brandon Marshall, while also throwing an interception. In the second quarter, Cutler suffered an ankle injury after being hit by Stephen Tulloch,[315] which limited his performance, and he was replaced by McCown on the final drive.[316] Cutler ended by completing 21 of 40 passes for 250 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 69.8 passer rating. On November 11, head coach Marc Trestman stated that Cutler is not expected to start week eleven against the Baltimore Ravens, meaning McCown will most likely get the start.[315] McCown eventually started the game, and on November 18, Trestman announced that Cutler will not play in week twelve.[317] On December 12, Trestman announced that Cutler will start in week fifteen against the Cleveland Browns.[318] In the season finale against the Green Bay Packers, Cutler completed 15 of 24 passes for 226 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and a 103.8 passer rating, but the Bears lost 33-28. The loss marked the third time in Cutler's career that his team lost despite recording a 100+ passer rating. He ended the 2013 season having completed 224 of 355 passes for 2,621 yards, 19 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a career-high 89.2 passer rating.[319]

Jay Cutler - 11-01-2009.jpg

Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford[edit]

List of Detroit Lions starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 50 (since September 11, 2011) Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford was the selected by the Detroit Lions as the number-one overall draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.[320] Stafford was immediately named the starter after beating out veteran Daunte Culpepper for the starting job.[321] Stafford made his first start in the NFL on September 13, 2009, against the New Orleans Saints. He was the first Lions rookie quarterback to start the season since Greg Landry in 1968. He completed sixteen of thirty-seven passes for 205 yards and three interceptions; he was intercepted twice by Darren Sharper, the other time by Scott Shanle. He also ran in a 1-yard touchdown.[322] Stafford was placed on injured reserve on December 24 for the minor knee injury, with backups Culpepper and Drew Stanton getting the remaining starts.[323] Stafford concluded his rookie season having passed for 2,267 yards, thirteen touchdowns, and twenty interceptions. In all ten of the games he started for the Lions he either threw or ran for a touchdown.[323] Stafford returned to the starting position at the beginning of the 2010 season, but injured his right shoulder in the season opener against the Chicago Bears. Stafford returned on October 31 against the Washington Redskins and threw four touchdowns to lead the Lions to a 37–25 win.[324] On November 7, Stafford re-injured his right shoulder in the fourth quarter of the Lions 23–20 overtime loss to the New York Jets.[325] Dr. James Andrews performed surgery on Stafford's throwing shoulder, which included an AC joint repair and a clavicle shaving, thus ending his 2010 season.[326] Stafford only started three games total in 2010, with backup Shaun Hill starting for the majority of the season thereafter.

In 2011, Stafford would return as the starter for opening day on September 11[18] and would go on to start every game in the regular season for the first time in his career. On January 1, 2012, Stafford became the fourth quarterback in NFL history and third in the 2011 season, along with Tom Brady and Drew Brees, to throw for 5,000 passing yards in a season after collecting 520 passing yards against the Green Bay Packers in a 45-41 loss in Week seventeen. Stafford finished the season with a 10-6 record, leading the Lions to their first playoff appearance since 1999. The accomplishment makes Stafford the second youngest quarterback in NFL history to do so behind only Dan Marino.[327] Over the last four games of the 2011 regular season, Stafford became the only quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 1,500 yards (1,511) and fourteen touchdowns over a four-game span. During the Wild Card round in the playoffs against the New Orleans Saints, Stafford threw for 380 yards with three touchdowns passes and rushing for one, but threw two late interceptions in the fourth quarter that sealed the game for the Lions, as they were defeated 45-28.[328] Stafford was named a Pro Bowl alternate for the NFC after the 2011 NFL season. He was also later named the 2011 AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year, PFWA Comeback Player of the Year and the NFL Alumni's Quarterback of the Year.[329] In 2012, Stafford attempted 727 passes, passing Drew Bledsoe's record set in 1994.[330]

Matthew Stafford (cropped).jpg

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers[edit]

List of Green Bay Packers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 3 (since December 29, 2013) Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers was taken with the twenty-fourth pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers spent his first three seasons with the Packers as a backup to long-time veteran Brett Favre, who had started every game for the Packers since September 27, 1992.[4] However, Favre's retirement announcement on March 4, 2008, opened up the Packers' starting quarterback position to Rodgers for the 2008 season. Although Favre decided to return from retirement, he was traded to the New York Jets, which meant that Rodgers would become the starter.[331] With Rodgers making his debut as a starter, the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings 24–19 at Lambeau Field. Rodgers ended the game with 178 yards passing and two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing).[332] Rodgers would finish the 2008 season with six wins as a starter and missing the playoffs. He totaled 4,038 yards with twenty-eight touchdowns and thirteen interceptions.[333] Rodgers returned as the starter for all sixteen games in 2009, finishing the season with eleven wins and placing second in the NFC North and securing a wild card playoff game. In his first action as a starter in the playoffs against the Arizona Cardinals, Rodgers's first pass was intercepted by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. However he finished the game going twenty-eight of forty-two for 422 yards with four touchdowns. Despite Rodgers' offensive efforts, the Packers lost the game when he fumbled on the last play of the game in overtime. The ball was returned by Karlos Dansby for the winning touchdown in the 51–45 Cardinals victory. It was the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.[334] Due to his regular season performance, Rodgers earned a trip to his first Pro Bowl as the NFC's third Quarterback behind Drew Brees and Brett Favre. However, after Favre dropped out due to injury and Brees was replaced due to his participation in Super Bowl XLIV, Rodgers became the NFC's starter for the game. He finished the day fifteen of nineteen passing with 197 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort.

In 2010, with a 10–6 record, the Packers entered the NFL playoffs as the number six seed wild card. Rodgers led the Packers past the top three seeds in the NFC on the road in consecutive weeks. In the wild card round, they defeated the number three seeded Philadelphia Eagles 21–16. In the divisional round, Rodgers completed thirty-one of thirty-six pass attempts for 366 yards and three touchdowns in a 48–21 victory over the number one seeded Atlanta Falcons.[335] During the contest with the Falcons, Rodgers tied an NFL record for consecutive playoff games with at least three touchdown passes (3 games). On January 23, 2011, Rodgers struggled with a 55.4 passer rating as the Packers beat the number two seed Chicago Bears by the score of 21–14 win to capture the NFC Championship.[336] The Packers earned a trip to Super Bowl XLV, which they won, 31–25, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rodgers completed twenty-four of thirty-nine pass attempts for 304 yards and three touchdowns in the win, and was named Super Bowl XLV MVP for his performance.[337][338] He was also named the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year for the 2010 season.[339] In 2011, Rodgers got the Packers off to a 13–0 start until they were beaten by the Kansas City Chiefs. He played the best season in his career to date, throwing for 4,643 yards, forty-five touchdowns and just six interceptions, good for a passer rating of 122.5, which is now the best single season passer rating in NFL history.[333] The Packers finished the regular season with a 15–1 record, a Green Bay Packers franchise best. Rodgers started fifteen of the sixteen games, with the only exception being week seventeen against the Detroit Lions, a game in which he could be rested after the club clinched home-field advantage for the playoffs the previous week. Matt Flynn would make the final start for the Packers to end the regular season. Rodgers would return for the playoffs, but lost to the Packers' divisional round opponents, and eventual Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants 37-20.[340] At the end of 2011, Rodgers was voted to his second Pro Bowl, named a first team All-Pro and Associated Press Athlete of the Year, and was awarded the NFL MVP award.

Aaron Rodgers drops back (cropped).jpg

Minnesota Vikings: Matt Cassel[edit]

List of Minnesota Vikings starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 6 (since December 8, 2013) Matt Cassel
Matt Cassel was selected by the New England Patriots with the 230th pick in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Between 2005 and 2007, Cassel served as backup to Tom Brady, playing in fourteen games over three seasons, not making a single start.[341] In 2008, during a week one game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard hit Brady in the left knee, tearing both his anterior cruciate ligament and his medial collateral ligament. The hit put Brady on the injured reserve list for the remainder of the season.[57] Cassel would take over in the game, completing thirteen of eighteen passes for 152 yards and one touchdown and led the Patriots to defeat the Chiefs 17-10.[342] Cassel made his first career start on September 14, 2008, with a win over the New York Jets, completing sixteen of twenty-three passes for 165 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. The Patriots' 19-10 victory was the first time in six tries that a quarterback making his first NFL start defeated a team led by Brett Favre.[343] Cassel was voted AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his week seven performance against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. He had 183 passing yards and three touchdowns in the Chiefs 41-7 victory, making it his first three touchdown pass game.[344] In Week 12, Cassel led the Patriots to a 48–28 win over the Miami Dolphins, who in Week 3 had ended the Patriots' NFL record twenty-one game regular season win streak. Cassel completed thirty of forty-three passes for 415 yards, three touchdowns to Randy Moss, and one interception, for a 114.0 quarterback rating. Cassel also had 14 yards on two rushes, including an eight-yard touchdown run. The performance made Cassel the first quarterback in franchise history, and only the fifth quarterback in NFL history, to have consecutive games with 400+ yards passing. His efforts earned him the title of AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time.[345] Cassel started the rest of the regular season's fifteen games throwing for 327 completions for 3,693 yards, twenty-one touchdowns and eleven touchdowns, but missed the playoffs.[341]

On February 28, 2009, the Patriots traded both Cassel and OLB Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs for the No. 34 overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.[346] On August 29, 2009, Cassel suffered an MCL injury during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. Cassel was dragged to the ground and grabbed for his knee immediately upon impact. He attempted to continue playing but called a timeout and limped off the field.[347] Brodie Croyle started the final game of the preseason against the St. Louis Rams as well as the regular season opening game against the Baltimore Ravens when Cassel was still unable to play.[348][349] Cassel, though, started every game of the season after that, only winning four of fifteen games. Matt Cassel threw for 2,924 yards with sixteen touchdowns and interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 69.9 in first season with the Chiefs.[341] In 2010, Cassel led the Chiefs to a 7–4 record over the first twelve weeks of football. Due to his form during November, he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November.[350] On December 8, 2010, Cassel underwent an emergency appendectomy. It was unclear at the time whether he would be able to play in that week's game against the San Diego Chargers.[351] The Chiefs ended up starting backup Brodie Croyle and lost the game 31–0. Cassel would return the next two games however and would lead the Chiefs to landslide wins over both the St. Louis Rams in the Governors Cup and then at home against the Tennessee Titans. The 34–14 win over the Titans, along with a loss by the Chargers to the Bengals, helped the Chiefs clinch AFC West.[352] This would be the first Chiefs playoff game in four years and the first home playoff game since 2003, the last time the Chiefs won the AFC West division.[352] The Chiefs lost their wild card game to the Baltimore Ravens.[353] Cassel was named as an alternate to the 2011 Pro Bowl in place of an injured Tom Brady where Cassel threw for two touchdowns and two interceptions. In 2011, Cassel started the season 4-5 as a starter, but injured his hand in the Chiefs week ten game against the Seattle Seahawks. He had surgery on the injured hand on November 14 and was replaced by Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton for the rest of the season. On November 21, he was placed on the injured reserve list, ending his season.[354]

On March 14, 2013, two days after the acquisition of Alex Smith, the Chiefs released Cassel.[355] On the same day, the Minnesota Vikings signed Cassel.[356] After a slow 0-3 start with Christian Ponder starting, the Vikings named Cassel the starter for their week four game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[357]

Matt Cassel (cropped).jpg

NFC South[edit]

Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan[edit]

List of Atlanta Falcons starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 69 (since December 20, 2009) Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan was taken by the Atlanta Falcons third overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Ryan being drafted came on the heel of a season trying to replace their former starter Michael Vick with various backups Byron Leftwich, Chris Redman and Joey Harrington. On August 24, Ryan was named the starting quarterback for the September 7 regular season opener against the Detroit Lions becoming the first rookie quarterback to start a season for the Falcons since Steve Bartkowski in 1975.[358] In the game, Ryan completed his first NFL pass for a 62-yard touchdown to Michael Jenkins, becoming the first quarterback to throw a touchdown on his first career NFL pass since Michael Bishop of the New England Patriots in 2000.[359] Ryan would go on to start all sixteen regular season games for the Falcons and give them a playoff berth for the first time since 2004.[360] He finished the season with 3,440 passing yards, seventeen touchdowns (one rushing), and eleven interceptions. Ryan became one of the two rookie quarterbacks to throw for over 3,000 yards in their rookie season (the other being Peyton Manning). On December 31, Ryan was named the AP NFL Rookie of the Year.[361][362] Ryan made his first playoff start against the Arizona Cardinals on January 3, 2009, in a losing effort, 30-24.[363] The following season wasn't as successful as the Falcons ended with a record of 9-7 and placed second in their division, missing the playoffs. However, the Atlanta Falcons attained back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history.[364] 2009 is also the year Ryan missed his first games as a starter. Ryan suffered a turf toe injury during the game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chris Redman stepped in for the remainder of the game and for the next two weeks (both losses against the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints).[365] Ryan returned from the injury on December 20, and hasn't missed a single start since then.[9]

In the 2010 season, Ryan led the Atlanta Falcons to an NFC best 13-3 record, second in the NFL behind only the 14-2 New England Patriots. He set career highs with twenty-eight touchdowns, a 62.5 completion percentage and 3,705 completion yards while only tossing nine interceptions.[366] The Falcons held home-field advantage and had a bye week in the playoffs, but lost their divisional round game against eventual Super Bowl champions the Green Bay Packers.[367] Ryan was invited to the 2011 Pro Bowl at the conclusion of the season where he threw for two touchdowns (one to Tony Gonzalez and the other to Larry Fitzgerald.) The 2011 regular season wielded similar results and for the first time the history of the franchise, the Falcons clinched consecutive playoff berths. The Falcons also won ten or more games in consecutive seasons for the first time in their history. Ryan finished the season statistically strong with 347 completions for a career high 4,177 yards, with twenty-nine touchdowns and twelve interceptions.[366] Ryan made his third trip to the playoffs in four years, but ultimately lost to eventual Super Bowl XLVI champions, the New York Giants by a score of 24-2.[368]

Matt Ryan training camp 2013 02.jpg

Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton[edit]

List of Carolina Panthers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 1 (since September 14, 2014) Cam Newton
Cam Newton was taken by the Carolina Panthers as the first overall draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He won the starting quarterback position away from Jimmy Clausen and Derek Anderson and made his first NFL start on September 11, 2011. In his NFL debut game, Newton was twenty-four for thirty-seven passing for 422 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, in a 28–21 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals. With a quarterback rating of 110.4, he also rushed for a touchdown, and became the first rookie to throw for 400+ yards in his first career game. His 422 passing yards broke Peyton Manning's rookie record for most passing yards on opening day.[369] In his second career game, a 30–23 home loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, Newton broke his own record, set the weekend previously, with 432 yards passing, throwing and rushing for a touchdown.[370] Newton's 854 passing yards through the first two games of the season, the most in league history by a rookie,[371] broke the NFL record of 827 set by Kurt Warner in the 2000 season and stood as the most by any quarterback in the first two weeks of the season until New England's Tom Brady broke the mark again later in the day with 940.[371] He also became the only player to begin his career with consecutive 400-yard passing games[372] and broke the Carolina Panthers franchise record of 547 yards previously held by Steve Beuerlein.[373] On December 24, 2011, in a 48-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Newton threw for 171 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for sixty-fie yards and a score. In the process, he broke Peyton Manning's record of 3,739 yards passing for a rookie. On January 1, 2012, against the New Orleans Saints, Newton threw for 158 yards and becoming the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards. He finished his rookie season with 4,051 passing yards.

On January 22, 2012, Newton was named to be heading to the Pro Bowl after the New York Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. Because Eli Manning was one of the three quarterbacks for the NFC to be selected, and with Newton being picked as the NFC alternate later in December, Newton was able to play in the Pro Bowl with Manning headed to the Super Bowl. He finished the Pro Bowl with 186 yards along with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Newton was named both the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year on February 4, 2012, and was later also named Sporting News Rookie of the Year and PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Cam Newton's first play (cropped).jpg

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees[edit]

List of New Orleans Saints starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 66 (since September 9, 2010) Drew Brees
Drew Brees was drafted thirty-second overall in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. Brees started out as a backup to Doug Flutie and not starting a single game his rookie season. By 2002, Brees was named the starter and made his first career start on September 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals.[374] Brees started every game in 2002 but finished the season with only eight wins and missed the playoffs. Brees started the first eleven games in 2003, but was replaced by Flutie for the remainder of the season after a disappointing start. In 2004, the Chargers drafted Philip Rivers and it was anticipated he was going to be the new starter. However, due to Rivers holding out, Brees remained the starter throughout the 2004 season and led the Chargers to win the AFC West with a 12-4 record and to the playoffs. Brees was named the 2005 Pro Bowl and named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.[375] Through 2005, Brees played out the remainder of his contract with the Chargers with a franchise tag, expecting not to return the next season.[376] In the final game of the season however, Brees tore his labrum while trying to pick up his own fumble after being hit by Broncos safety John Lynch. Denver tackle Gerard Warren hit Brees while he was on the ground, causing the injury. In the off-season, Brees was signed by the New Orleans Saints after fully recovering from his injury.[377]

Between 2006 and 2011, Brees has started all but one game for the New Orleans Saints, a week seventeen game in the 2009 season to rest for the playoffs.[378] Brees led the Saints to the 2009–10 NFL playoffs after placing first in the NFC South with a 13-3 record. The Saints defeated the Arizona Cardinals in the Divisional Playoffs[379] and the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Conference Championship, taking the Saints to their franchise-first Super Bowl appearance.[380] The Saints met the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV and defeated them 31-17 while Brees won the Super Bowl MVP award. Since becoming a member of the Saints, Brees has been elected to the Pro Bowl five times (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and named an All-Pro four times (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011). Brees also won the AP Male Athlete of the Year and the Sportsman of the Year in 2010 and the Bart Starr Man of the Year Award in 2011. In 2011, Brees set the NFL single-season record for most passing yards in a season by a quarterback, with 5,476 yards, surpassing Dan Marino.[378] Amongst active quarterbacks, Brees has the third most wins as a starter with ninety-two total.[381]

Drew Brees Saints 2008.jpg

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh McCown[edit]

List of Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since September 7, 2014) Josh McCown
Josh McCown shot up the draft charts after an outstanding performance at the NFL Combine, which saw him post a 4.57 40-yard dash, a 10-foot long jump, and a 38½-inch vertical jump. After being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft, future Cardinals coach Dennis Green said of McCown, "I think he's going to be a great one, when I buy into a quarterback, I really do." McCown played as a quarterback for the Cardinals from 2002 until 2005. In his first season at Arizona, he played in two games, debuting against the Kansas City Chiefs when he entered to the game for starter Jake Plummer. In 2003 played in eight games with three starts, and completed 95 of 166 passes for 1,018 yards with five TDs and six INTs and also rushed for a career-high 158 yards and a TD on 28 carries. McCown was notable for hitting receiver Nate Poole for the game-winning touchdown to knock the Vikings and-coincidentally-future offensive coordinator and coach with the Bears Mike Tice out of the playoffs 18-17.[382] His best season for the Cardinals was in 2004 when he played in 14 games and passed for 2,511 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 112 yards and two TDs on 36 attempts. In his career he has rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit for a victory on four occasions, all of them in 2004. He connected on a career-high 76.9 percent of his passes, 20 of 26 at Atlanta. He started for the Cardinals at the first regular season game outside the United States, played at Estadio Azteca on October 2, 2005 against the San Francisco 49ers,[383] but McCown relinquished the starting role to Kurt Warner in 2005.

In the 2006 off-season, McCown was released by the Arizona Cardinals and became a free agent. He signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions on March 16, 2006. He was the backup quarterback to Jon Kitna, and was occasionally used in as the Y (slot receiver),[384] passing Corey Bradford and Mike Williams on the depth chart as the third WR. McCown caught 2 passes for 15 yards when playing wide receiver in 2006 making his career total 3 catches for 10 yards against the New England Patriots. After the Lions drafted Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton in the 2007 NFL Draft, McCown was traded along with Williams to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick, A. J. Davis.[385]

McCown's first regular season start for the Raiders was the 2007 season opener against his former team, the Lions. He was impressive, completing 30 of 40 passes for 313 yards with two touchdowns in a 36-21 loss to the Lions. Unfortunately, he also threw two interceptions and fumbled late in the game to end the Raiders' attempt at a comeback. McCown had played through the second half of the game against the Lions with a right foot injury. McCown has struggled this season with injuries, and in 13 games McCown has only played in 7, losing 5 games and winning 2. In the 7 games that McCown played in, he completed 85 of 143 passes for 901 yards with 9 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Veteran quarterback Daunte Culpepper was signed by the Raiders prior to the start of the 2007 season,[386] and was used as a back-up quarterback to McCown when McCown was active. But when McCown was unable to play, Culpepper was the starting quarterback for the Raiders, playing in 7 games, winning 3 games, and losing 4 games. Culpepper was questionable for the Raiders game against the Denver Broncos on December 2 after missing practice on November 30 with sore quadriceps. However, McCown's status was listed as probable and ended up being the starting quarterback against the Broncos. Along with running back Justin Fargas, McCown led the Raiders to a 34-20 victory over the Denver Broncos, improving the Raiders record to 4-8. In the game, McCown completed 14 of 21 passes for 141 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, and a 125.2 passer rating, the highest of his career.[387] The next week, McCown left the game against the Green Bay Packers with an injury and the Raiders lost, eliminating them from playoff contention.

On February 29, 2008, McCown signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.[388] Prior to training camp in July, McCown needed six stitches in his throwing hand's index finger. He suffered the injury holding firewood as his brother Luke chopped it.[389] Coming into the preseason, McCown was listed on the Dolphins depth chart as their starting quarterback over John Beck. Following the signing of free agent quarterback Chad Pennington,[390] McCown failed to appear in the team's final three preseason games. He was traded to the Carolina Panthers on August 29.[391]

On August 29, 2008, the Carolina Panthers acquired McCown from the Dolphins for a 7th round pick (#237 overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft. The move came a day after Panthers quarterback Matt Moore suffered a leg injury.[392][393] He made his debut as a Panthers player when he entered the field against the Atlanta Falcons only for the end-game kneeldowns that drained the last 73 seconds from the clock. He had the same role against the Kansas City Chiefs.

On August 17, 2011, McCown signed with the San Francisco 49ers.[394] He was released by the 49ers on September 3, 2011.[395] McCown eventually served as an assistant coach at Marvin Ridge High School.[396]

On November 23, 2011, McCown signed with the Chicago Bears, as a backup to Caleb Hanie, after an injury to starting quarterback Jay Cutler.[397] On December 18, 2011, McCown came in for Hanie during a 38-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. McCown threw 2 times, one of his throws for a 12-yard gain, and the other was intercepted. On December 21, 2011, the Bears announced that McCown would start on the Christmas Day game against the defending champion Green Bay Packers, due to Caleb Hanie's struggles since taking over for the injured Jay Cutler. Despite a 35-21 loss, McCown had a somewhat decent game, throwing for a touchdown and 2 interceptions, with a passer rating of 78.5. In Week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings, McCown completed 15 for 20 for 160 yards with a touchdown and a pick with a 75.4 passer rating, but was sacked 7 times, and Jared Allen nearly broke the NFL record for sacks in a season, but fell .5 sacks short of the record. The Bears won 17-13.[398]

In 2012, McCown was re-signed to a 1-year deal by the Bears, and was reassigned a new number from 15 to 12 after Brandon Marshall joined the team before McCown was re-signed.[399] On August 31, McCown was waived by the team.[400] On November 12, McCown was again re-signed by the Bears after starting quarterback Jay Cutler sustained a concussion.[401]

Despite becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2013, on March 29, McCown signed a one-year deal with the Bears.[402] McCown played in the second half of week 7 against the Washington Redskins after Cutler hurt his groin in the first half.[403] McCown completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown to Martellus Bennett, but the Bears lost 45-41.[404] On November 4, McCown led the Bears to a victory over the rival Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. McCown threw for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns en route to a 27-20 victory.[405] Cutler started the week ten game against the Detroit Lions, but was replaced by McCown on the final drive due to an ankle injury. McCown guided the Bears to a 74-yard touchdown drive, completing 6 of 9 passes for 62 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to Brandon Marshall. However, the Bears lost 21-19.[406] On November 11, Bears head coach Marc Trestman stated that Cutler is not expected to play the following week against the Baltimore Ravens, and McCown will most likely get the start.[407] McCown started his second game against the Ravens, completing 19 of 31 passes for 216 yards with one touchdown and a 92.9 passer rating in a 23-20 victory. In the last four games, McCown has thrown for 754 yards with five touchdowns, no interceptions and a 100.0 passer rating. From week 6 to week 12 in the 2013 NFL season, McCown had the highest passer rating of any quarterback in the league. McCown started week twelve against St. Louis.[408] Against St. Louis, McCown completed a franchise-record 36 passes for 352 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.[409] The next week against the Minnesota Vikings, McCown threw for a season-high 355 yards, completing 23 of 36 passes for two touchdowns and a 114.9 rating. In week 14 against the Dallas Cowboys, McCown threw for four touchdowns and ran for another while completing 27 of 36 passes for 348 yards and a career-high 141.9 passer rating en route to a 45-28 victory. McCown became the first Bears quarterback to score five touchdowns since Jack Concannon in 1972. McCown was eventually named NFC Player of the Week.[410] McCown ended the 2013 season completing 66.8 of his passes for 1,829 yards with 13 touchdowns, one interception and a 109.0 passer rating, the third highest behind Peyton Manning and Nick Foles,[411] the best in Bears history.[412] On January 24, 2014, McCown was named to the USA Today All-Joe Team.[413]

On March 12, 2014, McCown signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[414][415] Another $5 million is available based on playoff appearances and playing time.

Josh McCown (cropped).JPG

NFC West[edit]

Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer[edit]

List of Arizona Cardinals starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 18 (since September 8, 2013) Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer was selected as the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer started out as a backup behind Jon Kitna for the 2003 season with Palmer not taking a single snap that year. In 2004, Palmer won the starting position away from Kitna and got his first start on week one of the season against the New York Jets. Palmer completed eighteen of twenty-seven passes for two touchdown passes and an interception in a 31-24 loss.[416] Palmer started for the first thirteen games with 432 completions for 2,897 yards with eighteen touchdowns and interceptions a piece. In his week fourteen game against the New England Patriots, Palmer sprained his knee and missed the rest of the season.[417] In 2005, Palmer would start all sixteen games that season and led the Bengals to the playoffs for the first time since 1990, winning the AFC North with a record of 11-5. On January 8, 2006, the Bengals met their division rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round of the AFC playoffs at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. During the game, Steelers defensive tackle Kimo von Oelhoffen dove at Palmer's left leg, violently wrenching Palmer's knee, and he was forced to leave the game. An MRI revealed a severe knee injury, thought to be career-threatening at the time. Palmer had tears of both the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments as well as cartilage and meniscus damage.[418] Having knocked Palmer out of the game the Steelers went on to win 31–17. In the off-season, he underwent rehabilitation and recovered from the injury successfully in time for the 2006 season. Palmer was awarded the AFC Player of the Year, FedEx Air Player of the Year and the NFL Alumni Ouarterback of the Year. He was also voted to the 2006 Pro Bowl as a reserve. Palmer returned for the 2006 season and started every regular season game, but failed to make the playoffs after a week sixteen loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and ending 8-8.[419] Palmer was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row and won the Pro Bowl MVP award. In 2007, Palmer started his third complete season of sixteen games, but missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record, finishing third in the AFC North.

In 2008, Palmer's consecutive start streak of fifty-one games when he missed the Bengals week four game against the Cleveland Browns. The cause of Palmer's sore elbow was later diagnosed as a partially torn ligament and tendon and he was placed on the injured reserve list for the remainder of the season.[420] In 2009, Palmer led the Bengals to the 2009–10 NFL playoffs after winning the division with a 10-6 record. The Bengals lost to the New York Jets in the wild card round by a score of 24-14.[421] In 2010, Palmer started all sixteen games and finished with his worst season record of his career at 4-12 and requested he be traded.[422] Palmer was placed on the reserve/did not report list on July 29, 2011, after failing to report to training camp in the 2011 off-season.[423] The Bengals, preparing for a future without Carson Palmer, selected quarterback Andy Dalton with their second choice in the 2011 NFL Draft. After nine weeks into the 2011 season, and after Dalton led the Bengals to a 6-2 start, Palmer was traded to the Oakland Raiders after starting quarterback Jason Campbell went down with an injury.[424] On October 23, Palmer came off the bench against the Kansas City Chiefs to relieve starting quarterback Kyle Boller who had thrown three interceptions and had the team down 21-0. Palmer completed eight of his twenty-one passes for 116 yards and threw three interceptions in his Raider debut. Palmer took over as starter for the remainder of the season on November 6 against the Denver Broncos.[425] He went on to finish the regular season with four wins in the nine games he started, missing the playoffs due to a tiebreaker with the Broncos. On April 2, 2013, Palmer was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a seventh-round draft pick in the 2014 draft after the Raiders acquired Matt Flynn. Palmer ended his tenure in Oakland completing 60.1 of his passes while throwing for 4,018 yards in fifteen games (second most in Raiders history) along with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.[426] Amongst active quarterbacks, Palmer has the tenth most amount of wins with fifty.[427]

Carson Palmer.jpg

San Francisco 49ers: Colin Kaepernick[edit]

List of San Francisco 49ers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 25 (since November 19, 2012) Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick was taken by the San Francisco 49ers as the fourth pick, thirty-sixth overall in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The 49ers traded up with the Denver Broncos from the thirteen pick in the second round to select Kaepernick. The Broncos received picks 45, 108 and 141 overall in exchange for the pick that led to Kaepernick being drafted. Kaepernick spent his rookie season as the second-string quarterback behind starter Alex Smith and made no starts. At the end of the season, Kaepernick appeared in six games, throwing sixteen for twenty-six completions for 206 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.[428]

In 2012, Kaepernick was promoted to the backup quarterback position behind Alex Smith. Against the New York Jets, Kaepernick scored his first career touchdown on a seven-yard run.[429] Kaepernick had been used throughout the 2012 season as a wildcat quarterback.[430] In his first NFL start against the Chicago Bears, Kaepernick completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards with two TDs and a 133.1 rating, as the 49ers went on to win 32-7.[431] In his first postseason start against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick broke the record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game (playoffs or regular season) with 181, previously held by Michael Vick.[432] Kaepernick also became the third quarterback in league history to throw two touchdown passes and run for two more in a playoff game.[433]

Colin Kaepernick - San Francisco vs Green Bay 2012.jpg

Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson[edit]

List of Seattle Seahawks starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 34 (since September 9, 2012) Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson, prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, had been projected by NFL scouts and analysts to be a middle-round pick.[434] On April 27, 2012, Wilson was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round (seventy-fifth pick overall) of the draft.[435] Wilson signed a four-year, $2.99 million contract with the Seahawks on May 7, 2012.[436] He made his debut on August 11, 2012, in the first Seahawks preseason game versus the Tennessee Titans. Wilson played the entire second half and finished with twelve pass completions on sixteen attempts for 124 yards, a thirty-nine yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards, and an interception. He also led the team in rushing with fifty-nine yards on four attempts and a thirty-two yard touchdown for a 27-17 win.[437] Wilson had his first preseason start on August 24 against the Kansas City Chiefs, finishing with thirteen pass completions on nineteen attempts for 185 yards and two touchdown passes, along with two rushing attempts totaling fifty-eight yards.[438] On August 26, 2012, Wilson was named the Seahawks starting quarterback for the 2012 season.[439] With the Seahawks victory over the Chicago Bears in week thirteen, Wilson has thrown a total of three touchdown passes in the final two minutes of a game or overtime, the most by any rookie since 1970. Wilson has lost only 1 home game , having a record of 13-1. Wilson also has the highest passer rating at home with 122.0.[440] Wilson concluded the regular season with an 11-5 record (8-0 at home), a 100.0 passer rating (one of two rookie quarterbacks to ever finish a season with a triple-digit passer rating. the first being Robert Griffin III with a 102.4 passer rating.), twenty-six touchdowns and ten interceptions. With his twenty-sixth touchdown pass, he tied Peyton Manning's rookie record. His +16 touchdown-to-interception differential set an NFL record for rookie quarterbacks.[441] Russell Wilson vs Vikings, November 4, 2012.jpg

St. Louis Rams: Austin Davis[edit]

List of St. Louis Rams starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 1 (since September 14, 2014) Austin Davis
Austin Davis went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and signed a free agent deal with the St. Louis Rams. On August 30, 2013, Davis was cut by the Rams.

The Miami Dolphins signed Davis to their practice squad on September 10, 2013.

Davis re-signed with the Rams on October 22, 2013, after an injury to Sam Bradford. In the first week of the 2014 NFL season against the Minnesota Vikings, Davis entered the game at the start of the second half in relief of starter Shaun Hill. A week later, due to Hill's prevailing injury, Davis made his NFL starting debut on September 14th, in a winning effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Austindavis8-16-2013.jpg

See also[edit]

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