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 seventeen of the 2013 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) Lewis, ThadThad Lewis Duke 2010 (undrafted) December 22, 2013 [11]
NFC South Carolina Panthers (list) Newton, CamCam Newton Auburn 2011 (1) September 11, 2011 [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) Campbell, JasonJason Campbell0Finland road sign 331.svg Auburn 2005 (25) December 8, 2013 [15]
NFC East Dallas Cowboys (list) Orton, KyleKyle Orton Purdue 2005 (106) December 29, 2013 [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) Schaub, MattMatt Schaub0Finland road sign 331.svg Virginia 2004 (90) December 22, 2013 [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) Daniel, ChaseChase Daniel Missouri 2009 (undrafted) December 29, 2013 [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) Pryor, TerrelleTerrelle Pryor0Finland road sign 331.svg Ohio State 2011 (supplemental draft) December 29, 2013 [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) Clemens, KellenKellen Clemens0Finland road sign 331.svg Oregon 2006 (49) October 28, 2013 [35]
NFC South Tampa Bay Buccaneers (list) Glennon, MikeMike Glennon NC State 2013 (73) September 29, 2013 [36]
AFC South Tennessee Titans (list) Fitzpatrick, RyanRyan Fitzpatrick0Finland road sign 331.svg Harvard 2005 (250) November 14, 2013 [37]
NFC East Washington Redskins (list) Cousins, KirkKirk Cousins Michigan State 2012 (102) December 15, 2013 [38]

Starting quarterbacks[edit]

AFC East[edit]

Buffalo Bills: Thad Lewis[edit]

List of Buffalo Bills starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since December 22, 2013) Thad Lewis
Thad Lewis played college football for Duke, and set school records for passing yards and touchdowns with 10,065 yards and 67 touchdowns, and was a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award in 2009.[39] went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, and was picked up by the St. Louis Rams after the draft.[40] In the preseason, Lewis completed 22 of 28 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, one interception, along with a 113.6 passer rating.[39] On September 4, 2011, Lewis was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns.[41] Lewis was on the Browns practice squad for the entire 2012 season until December 24, where he was elevated to the active roster after injuries kept Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy out of practice. As a result, Lewis took first-team repetitions,[42] and on December 28, he was announced as the Browns starter for week seventeen against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[43]

Lewis was waived by the Browns on May 22, 2013. He was claimed off waivers 6 days later by the Detroit Lions. On August 25, Lewis was acquired by the Buffalo Bills for Chris White after injuries sustained by EJ Manuel and Kevin Kolb.[44] The Bills released him on August 31, but returned to the Bills after passing through waivers unclaimed.[45] He was subsequently signed to the practice squad.[46] Lewis got his first start as a Bill on October 13, 2013 against the Cincinnati Bengals after an injury to EJ Manuel.[47]

Thaddeus Lewis.jpg

Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill[edit]

List of Miami Dolphins starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 32 (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.[48] 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.[49] 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.[50] 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.[51] 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.[52]

In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Tannehill with the eighth overall pick.[53] 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.[54] On August 20, 2012, Tannehill was named the starting quarterback over Matt Moore for the season opener against the Houston Texans.[55]

Ryan Tannehill - Miami.jpg

New England Patriots: Tom Brady[edit]

List of New England Patriots starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 80 (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.[56] 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.[57][58][59]

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.[60] 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[56] and has the highest winning percentage (.780) in the history of the NFL.[61] With the Patriots' victory over the Houston Texans in the 2012 divisional playoffs, Brady claimed the record for most postseason victories with seventeen.[62] Considering Brady's many records and achievements, many analysts have called Brady one of the greatest quarterbacks and draft steals of all time.[63][64][65][66]

Tom Brady (cropped).jpg

New York Jets: Geno Smith[edit]

List of New York Jets starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 16 (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.[67] General manager John Idzik, following the selection, stated Smith would compete with incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to determine the starting quarterback.[68] Smith signed a four-year $5 million contract on July 22, 2013[69] with approximately $690,000 in workout bonuses.[70]

Smith made his professional debut in the preseason on August 9, 2013 against the Detroit Lions.[71] He completed six of seven passes for forty-seven yards but left the game due to an ankle injury in the second quarter.[71] 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.[72]

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: 96 (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,[73] Kyle Boller[74] and Troy Smith.[75] The Ravens hired John Harbaugh to replace head coach Brian Billick who was fired in December mid-season.[76] 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.[77]

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.[78] He then went on to defeat the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, becoming the first rookie quarterback to win two games.[79] Flacco and the Ravens ended up losing the AFC Championship Game against their AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.[80] In the 2009–10 playoffs, Flacco played injured in his wild card win against the New England Patriots[81] and in his divisional round loss to the Indianapolis Colts.[82] 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.[83] The Ravens would again lose to the Steelers (31-24), however in the Divisional Playoffs this time.[84] 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.[85] 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.[86] 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.[87] 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.[88]

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).[89] 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.[90]

Joe Flacco training camp.jpg

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton[edit]

List of Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 48 (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.[91] 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.[92]

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.[93] 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[94] 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.[95] 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.[96]

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.[97] 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.[98] Dalton finished the season with 300 completions, 3,398 passing yards for twenty touchdowns and thirteen interceptions.[99]

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.[100]

Andy Dalton pass(CROP).jpg

Cleveland Browns: Jason Campbell[edit]

List of Cleveland Browns starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 4 (since December 8, 2013) Jason Campbell
Jason Campbell was drafted in the first round, twenty-fifth overall, in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, and made his NFL debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a year later.[101] 2007 was an injury-filled season for Campbell. Campbell was injured after a hit by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel,[102] and also dislocated his patella against the Chicago Bears later in the season.[103] In 2008, Campbell was considered as one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks, stemming from Jim Zorn's "tough love" approach.[104] In 2009, Campbell had what was considered by ESPN as his best season, completing 64.5 percent of his passes with twenty touchdowns, fifteen interceptions and a passer rating of 86.4.[105] However, the Redskins went 4-12, and Zorn was fired.[106] New head coach Mike Shanahan stated that a tender will be offered to Campbell.[107] Though he signed the tender, after the acquisition of Donovan McNabb, on April 24, 2010, Campbell was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a 2012 NFL Draft pick.[105] Campbell had a lackluster 2010 season, such as being benched against the St. Louis Rams after throwing an interception, sacked two times, and fumbled twice in the first half. As a result, he was benched by Raiders head coach Tom Cable in favor of Bruce Gradkowski.[108] After recording a career-low 10.7 passer rating against the San Francisco 49ers, Campbell recorded a career-high 127.9 rating in the 59-14 win over the Denver Broncos.[109] In 2011, Campbell led Oakland to a 4-2 start while completing 100 of 165 passes for 1,170 yards with six touchdowns, four interceptions and an 84.2 passer rating.[110] Campbell broke his collarbone against the Cleveland Browns,[111] and was replaced by Carson Palmer, who was acquired by Oakland via trade.[112] On March 13, 2012, Campbell signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears to serve as backup for Jay Cutler.[113] In week ten against the Houston Texans, Cutler went down with a concussion, and was replaced by Campbell, who completed eleven of nineteen passes for ninety-four yards and a 70.9 passer rating in a losing effort for the Bears.[114] Cutler was eventually ruled out of the Bears-San Francisco 49ers game, and Campbell started the game.[115] During the game, Campbell struggled, completing 14 of 22 passes for 107 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a 52.7 passer rating, and was sacked six times, as the Bears lost 32-7.[116]

On March 26, 2013, NFL.com reported that Campbell has signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Browns.[117] Campbell took over as the starter for the Browns week eight against the Kansas City Chiefs when Brandon Weeden was benched.[118]

Jason Campbell 2011.JPG

Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger[edit]

List of Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 20 (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.[119] 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.[120] 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.[121] 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.[122] 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[123] and winning his first AFC Championship.[124] 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.[125] In 2008, the Steelers made the 2008–09 NFL playoffs with a 12-4 regular season record.[126] The Steelers went on to defeat the Baltimore Ravens to win their second AFC Championship under Roethlisberger.[127] 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.[128] 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.[129]

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers cropped.jpg

AFC South[edit]

Houston Texans: Matt Schaub[edit]

List of Houston Texans starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 2 (since December 22, 2012) Matt Schaub
Matt Schaub was drafted in the third round, ninetieth overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2004 NFL Draft. Schaub spent three seasons with the Falcons, playing backup to Michael Vick. He started only two games in three years, one his rookie season and one his sophomore season.[130] Schaub threw for 1,033 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions in his three seasons with the Falcons. In March 2007, the Houston Texans acquired Schaub from the Falcons for second round picks in 2007 and 2008. As part of the deal, the teams also swapped first round picks in 2007, exchanging the Falcons' tenth pick with the Texans' eighth pick.[131] Schaub was introduced to his new team at a press conference on March 22, 2007, and the same day, the Texans released David Carr, opening the door for Schaub to become their long-term starter.[132] In each of the first two games of the 2007 season, Schaub threw for over 220 yards, a 71% completion percentage, and attained a quarterback rating of over 100; both games were victories for the Texans, winning 20-3 over the Kansas City Chiefs and 34-21 over the Carolina Panthers. The second victory marked the first 2-0 start in franchise history.[133] In week four, he started against his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, in which he completed twenty-eight of forty attempts, with 317 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions in what would be his second loss of the 2007 season.[134] Though Schaub was plagued with injuries throughout the 2007 season, he and backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels improved on the team's 2006 record of 6-10, bringing the Texans to their first .500 season with an 8-8 record which is also a first in the team's short history.

Schaub returned as the starter for the 2008 season. In week six, Schaub set the Texans franchise record for passing yards with 379 in a comeback win against the Miami Dolphins in which Schaub scored the winning touchdown on a quarterback draw with 3 seconds left.[135] Schaub's season was broken up however with a knee injury against the Minnesota Vikings, which expected to keep him out for around four weeks, making Sage Rosenfels the new starter.[136] The season ended the same as the previous season at 8-8 with Schaub throwing for 3,043 yards, fifteen touchdowns and ten interceptions.[130] During the 2009 NFL season, Schaub led the Texans to a 9-7 record, the first winning record in team history. He led the league in passing yards (4,770), completions (396), yards per game (298) and passing attempts (583), while finishing fifth in touchdowns with twenty-nine and compiling a quarterback rating of 98.6. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl as an injury replacement to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, winning MVP honors. He went on to start in the Pro Bowl.[137] The following season, Schaub started all sixteen regular season games and finished fourth in the league with 4,370 passing yards, but again missed the playoffs with a 6-10 record. In 2011, Schaub began the season 7-3 as a starter, leading the Texans in the AFC South. However, on November 13 in the Texans week ten game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Schaub suffered a foot injury that would keep him out for the rest of the season.[138] Schaub was replaced by Matt Leinart who went down with a collarbone injury the following week who was then replaced by T. J. Yates. Yates started for the remainder of the season and led the Texans to their first playoff win, against the Cincinnati Bengals and to the divisional round against the Baltimore Ravens before losing.[139]

Matt Schaub drops back.jpg

Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck[edit]

List of Indianapolis Colts starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 32 (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."[140] 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.[141] Right after the 2011 draft, in May 2011, he was unanimously projected as the top prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft.[142][143][144] By midseason, Pauline described him as "the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning" in 1998,[145] while ESPN′s Mel Kiper, Jr. went even further, calling Luck the best quarterback prospect since John Elway in 1983.[146] Despite Robert Griffin III′s impressive Heisman Trophy winning season, Luck's status as the number one overall draft prospect was never questioned.[147][148]

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.[149] 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,[150] but eventually decided to release Manning instead.[151] Ending speculations on April 24, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson announced the team would take Luck with their first overall draft pick.[152] 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.[153] This deal made Luck the fourth starting quarterback for the Colts in the past two NFL seasons[154] following Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky.[155] 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.[156] 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.[157]

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: 11 (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.[158] 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.[159] 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.[160] Henne started thirteen games in 2009, throwing 274 for 451 completions for 2,878 yards, twelve touchdowns and fourteen interceptions.[158] 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.[161] 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.[158]

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.[162] 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.[163] Henne was placed on injured reserve and missed the rest of the 2011 season.[158] Following the 2011 season, the Dolphins released Henne.[164] In March, Henne signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a backup to starter Blaine Gabbert for the 2012 season.[165] 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.[166] 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: Ryan Fitzpatrick[edit]

List of Tennessee Titans starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 7 (since November 14, 2013) 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.[167]

Fitzpatrick signed with the Buffalo Bills on February 27, 2009, and was given his first start in week seven of the 2009 NFL season.[168] 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.[169] 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.[167]

On September 11, 2011, Fitzpatrick was named the Bills starting quarterback for week one of the 2011 NFL season.[170] 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.[168] 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.[171] Fitzpatrick finished the season with 353 completions, 3,832 passing yards, twenty-four touchdowns and twenty-three interceptions.[167]

On March 12, 2013, Fitzpatrick was released by the Bills,[172] and six days later, he was picked up by the Tennessee Titans and agreed to a two-year contract.[173] He is the starter while Jake Locker recovers from a hip injury.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Bills vs Jets.jpg

AFC West[edit]

Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning[edit]

List of Denver Broncos starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 32 (since September 9, 2012) Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning was selected first overall in the 1998 draft by the Indianapolis Colts.[174] 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.[175][176][177] Manning's first win came against fellow rookie quarterback Ryan Leaf, 17-12 over the San Diego Chargers.[178] 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.[179][180] 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.[181] 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[182] and the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round to advance to their first AFC Championship under Manning.[183] The Colts would end up meeting Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and losing the game 24-14.[184] 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.[185] The following week they were limited to five field goals and no touchdowns, but defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 15-6.[186] 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.[187] Manning led the Colts to a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was voted Super Bowl MVP.[188] 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.[189] 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.[190] However, Manning and the Colts came up short in Super Bowl XLIV against the New Orleans Saints, losing 31-17.[191] 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.[192][193][194] As a free agent, Manning reached an agreement with the Broncos on a five-year contract worth $96 million on March 20, 2012.[195][196] 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,[197] where he completed four of seven passes for forty-four yards, and was intercepted once by Bears safety Major Wright.[198] 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.[199] 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.[200]

Peyton Manning throwing.jpg

Kansas City Chiefs: Chase Daniel[edit]

List of Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 1 (since December 29, 2013) Chase Daniel
Chase Daniel was an undrafted free agent in the 2009 NFL Draft. He was signed by the Washington Redskins,[201] but was waived however when making the final cutdowns on September 5, 2009.[202]

Daniel was signed to the New Orleans Saints practice squad on September 6, 2009. He was promoted to the active roster on September 26, and named the emergency third quarterback for the September 27 game against the Buffalo Bills. The Saints waived Daniel on October 12, 2009 after placekicker Garrett Hartley came back from a four-game suspension. Daniel was re-signed on October 16.[203][204] On November 17, 2009, ESPN reported that Daniel had been cut once again, to allow the Saints to sign cornerback Chris McAlister.[205] He was signed to the team's practice squad once again on November 20, 2009. Daniel was released from the practice squad on December 9, 2009,[206] only to be re-signed to the practice squad two days later on December 11, 2009.[207] Daniel was promoted to the active roster prior to regular season finale on January 1, 2010. Daniel was a member of the 2009-2010 New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Championship team,[208] although he did not take the field that season.[209] Going into the 2010 season, Daniel was expected to battle with veteran Patrick Ramsey for the backup quarterback position behind Drew Brees. Daniel and Ramsey put up similar numbers during the preseason, but on September 3, it was reported that Daniel had been chosen for the spot while Ramsey had been waived.[210] He signed a new one-year contract with the Saints in March 2012.[211] Daniel continued as the primary backup to Brees, as well as the team's placekick holder, for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons.

After being released by the Saints, Daniel signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on March 12, 2013 as the backup to starter Alex Smith. Daniel got his first start at quarterback for the Chiefs when Alex Smith and other starters for the Chiefs were benched week seventeen to rest for the playoffs. The Chiefs lost the game 27-24 in O/T.[23]

Chase Daniel Saints parade.jpg

Oakland Raiders: Terrelle Pryor[edit]

List of Oakland Raiders starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 1 (since December 29, 2013) Terrelle Pryor
Terrelle Pryor was drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft as a supplementary pick by the Oakland Raiders;[212] Pryor had been suspended from the Ohio State football team for five games in 2010 for receiving improper benefits and selling memorabilia,[213] and was eligible for the Supplementary Draft after being banned from the football program.[214] Pryor was suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season, which was carried over from the Ohio State scandal.[215] Pryor mainly backed up Carson Palmer throughout the season.[216] In 2012, Palmer went down with an injury, and Pryor competed with Matt Leinart for the starting job in the season finale against the San Diego Chargers. On December 28, Pryor was named the starter.[217] For 2013, Pryor competed with Matt Flynn and Tyler Wilson for the starting job, and on September 3, Pryor was named the starter.[218] Terrelle Pryor.jpg

San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers[edit]

List of San Diego Chargers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 128 (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.[219] 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.[220] 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.[221]

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.[222] The Chargers ultimately lost to the eventual Super Bowl champions the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Playoffs.[223] 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.[224] 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.[219]

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.[225] 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.[219]

Philip Rivers 2006-10-01.jpg

NFC East[edit]

Dallas Cowboys: Kyle Orton[edit]

List of Dallas Cowboys starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 1 (since December 29, 2013) Kyle Orton
Kyle Orton was taken in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Orton was put into the starting lineup as a rookie after a preseason injury to starter Rex Grossman and poor performance from backup Chad Hutchinson. Orton started fifteen games his rookie season, only being replaced by Grossman after halftime during the Bears' week fifteen victory against the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears clinched the NFC North championship and a first-round bye in the 2005-06 playoffs with their week sixteen victory over the Green Bay Packers. Orton was benched for the playoffs and Grossman started for their only post-season game in a lose to the Carolina Panthers.[226] Overall, the Bears had a record of 10-5 in games that Orton started in 2005, including an eight-game winning streak after a 1-3 start. Despite the team's success, Orton finished with the lowest quarterback rating in the NFL (59.7) among all qualified quarterbacks (those with 224+ pass attempts).[227] Orton finished the season with 1,869 passing yards, nine touchdowns and thirteen interceptions.[228] Following the 2005 season, the Bears signed veteran Brian Griese as the team’s second-string quarterback. As a result, the Bears' demoted Orton to third-string quarterback, and did not see any action throughout the entire 2006 season. In 2007, after the Bears lost their chances of making a post-season berth, Lovie Smith chose to start Orton over Griese.[229] Orton made his first start in nearly two seasons on December 17, 2007 against the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears lost the game 20-13 and Orton finished with twenty-two completions on thirty-eight attempts, 184 yards, and an interception.[230] He improved in the final two games of the season, leading the Bears to two consecutive victories, passing for 294 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.[228] In 2008, Smith named Orton the team's starting quarterback for the 2008 season in Week three of the preseason.[231] Orton started fifteen games in 2008 and the Bears finished the season with a 9-7 record, missing the playoffs by a game.[232] Orton threw for a then-career high 2,972 passing yards, eighteen touchdowns and twelve interceptions. However, it wasn't enough to secure his job, and on April 2, 2009, the Bears traded Orton (along with their first and third-round draft picks in 2009 and their first-round pick in 2010) to the Denver Broncos for Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler and the Broncos' fifth round pick in 2009.[233]

On June 13, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels declared Orton the starting quarterback for the season. Orton led the Broncos to a 12-7 victory in the 2009 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was won on a deflected pass that landed in the arms of Brandon Stokley who took it 87 yards for a touchdown.[234] The Broncos started 6-0 under the start of Orton, but went on to drop eight of ten games to end the season and missed the playoffs. For the 2009 season (playing in 16 games with 15 starts), Orton threw twenty-one touchdown passes and twelve interceptions with an 86.8 quarterback rating.[228] In 2010, Orton was named the Broncos starting quarterback. However, Orton went 3-10 starting the season and with the Broncos eliminated from playoff contention, Tim Tebow was named the starter the following week by interim coach Eric Studesville and played the last three games of the season.[235] Orton finished the season with 3,653 completion yards, twenty touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Orton entered the 2011 season as the Broncos starting quarterback. The team had a 1–4 start with Orton throwing 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.[236] He was replaced by Tebow during the week five contest against the San Diego Chargers, and Orton never took another snap for the Broncos. Orton was waived on November 22, 2011, officially ending his tenure with the Denver Broncos. The following day, Orton was claimed off waivers by AFC West rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs.[237] On December 4, 2011, in a game against his former team, the Chicago Bears, Orton came in to the second quarter to relieve Tyler Palko, but was injured on his first pass attempt. On December 18, Orton was named the starting Chiefs' quarterback by new interim coach Romeo Crennel, replacing a struggling Tyler Palko. In his first game as their starter, he led the Chiefs to a 19-14 upset of the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers ending the defending Super Bowl champions winning streak at 19 games, dating back to the previous season.[238] Orton was starter for the remainder of the season and finished with one touchdown and two interceptions.[228] During the off-season, on March 14, 2012, Orton signed a three-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys to play backup to Tony Romo. Matt Cassel is expected to return to the starting position for the Chiefs in 2012.[239] In week four against the Bears, Orton threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten with 34 seconds left in the game, though Chicago still won 34-18.[240]

Kyle Orton2.jpg

New York Giants: Eli Manning[edit]

List of New York Giants starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 151 (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.[241] 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.[242][243] 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[244] and advanced to the postseason. Manning and the Giants faced the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs, but was shut out 23-0.[245] 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.[246] 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.[247] 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.[248] 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.[249] 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.[250] The victory secured Manning and the Giants a trip to Super Bowl XLII.[251] This was the first Super Bowl appearance for the New York Giants since Super Bowl XXXV in 2001.[252] The Giants defeated the then-undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and Manning was named the Super Bowl MVP.[253]

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.[254] 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.[255] 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.[256] 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,[257] 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.[258] 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.[259] The Giants also became the first team ever with fewer than ten wins in a sixteen-game regular season to win the Super Bowl[260] 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: 8 (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.[261] He also ranked second in the Pac-12 and twentieth among all FBS players in total passing yardage.[262]

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),[263] Eagles coach Andy Reid stated that Vick would start that game.[264] 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.[265] Vick was ruled out of the Week 11 game against the Washington Redskins, and Foles was named the starter for the game.[266] On December 3, Eagles head coach Andy Reid named Foles as the starter for the remainder of the 2012 season.[267] In week sixteen against the Washington Redskins, Foles broke his hand, and was placed on injured reserve on December 26.[268] 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.[269] In week nine against the Oakland Raiders, Foles tied the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a game with seven.[270]

Nick Foles calling play in 2012.jpg

Washington Redskins: Kirk Cousins[edit]

List of Washington Redskins starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 3 (since December 15, 2013) Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins played his college career at Michigan State where he led the Spartans to an 11–2 record and a Big Ten Championship his junior year. In 2011, the Spartans went 11-3 and played in the first ever Big Ten Football Championship Game. Cousins was named Second Team All-Big Ten by the coaches, and played his final game as a Michigan State Spartan on January 2, 2012 defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl.[271]

In the 2012 NFL Draft, Cousins was selected by the Washington Redskins as the seventh choice in the fourth round, making him the 102nd draft pick overall.[272] He officially signed with the Redskins on May 31, 2012 to a four-year contract.[273] In the second game of the preseason against the Chicago Bears, Cousins threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, though the Bears would win 33-31.[274] In the fourth and final game of preseason against Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cousins completed fifteen of twenty-seven passes for 222 yards, in a Washington Redskins 30-3 win. He made his NFL debut in Week five loss against the Atlanta Falcons after Robert Griffin III left the game late in the third quarter after suffering a concussion. Cousins scored his first touchdown after throwing a seventy-seven yard pass to Santana Moss, but then followed that play by throwing two interceptions in his last two series of the game while trying to tie the score and go into overtime.[275] On December 15, Griffin was ruled out of the Redskins' week fifteen game against the Cleveland Browns, and Cousins made his first career start.[276] Cousins was declared the starter once again at the end of the 2013 season. Griffin was benched when the Redskins were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.[38]

Kirk cousins redskins.jpg

NFC North[edit]

Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler[edit]

List of Chicago Bears starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 3 (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.[277] 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.[278] 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.[279] In 2009, Shanahan was fired, and was replaced by Josh McDaniels.[280] 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.[281] As a result, Cutler expressed his disappointment, and requested a trade from the team.[282]

Ultimately, Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton and three draft picks in the next two drafts.[283] In his debut game against the Green Bay Packers, Cutler threw four interceptions, as the Packers would go on to win 21-15.[284] 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.[285] 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.[286] 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.[287] In the NFC Championship Game, Cutler left the game with an MCL injury, as the Bears lost to the Packers 21-14.[288] 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.[289][290] The Bears would eventually defend Cutler,[291] along with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who called the criticism "disrespectful" and "very inappropriate".[292] 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!"[293] Against the San Diego Chargers, Cutler broke his thumb while attempting to tackle Antoine Cason,[294] and was eventually placed on injured reserve,[295] leading to the Bears starting Caleb Hanie as Cutler's replacement.[296] 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.[297] 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.[298] The Bears hired Jeremy Bates, Cutler's former quarterbacks coach in Denver,[299] and also acquired his former teammate Brandon Marshall.[300] Cutler was undefeated in games when he has a passer rating over 100[301] until the Bears lost to the Seahawks in week thirteen.[302] 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.[115] Cutler finished the season with a fourth-quarter passer rating of 114.7, which led the league.[303] 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).[304] 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.[305] However, on November 7, Cutler was medically cleared to start against the Detroit Lions.[306] 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,[307] which limited his performance, and he was replaced by McCown on the final drive.[308] 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.[307] McCown eventually started the game, and on November 18, Trestman announced that Cutler will not play in week twelve.[309] On December 12, Trestman announced that Cutler will start in week fifteen against the Cleveland Browns.[310] 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.[311]

Jay Cutler - 11-01-2009.jpg

Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford[edit]

List of Detroit Lions starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 48 (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.[312] Stafford was immediately named the starter after beating out veteran Daunte Culpepper for the starting job.[313] 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.[314] Stafford was placed on injured reserve on December 24 for the minor knee injury, with backups Culpepper and Drew Stanton getting the remaining starts.[315] 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.[315] 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.[316] 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.[317] 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.[318] 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.[319] 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.[320] 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.[321] In 2012, Stafford attempted 727 passes, passing Drew Bledsoe's record set in 1994.[322]

Matthew Stafford (cropped).jpg

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers[edit]

List of Green Bay Packers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 1 (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.[323] 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).[324] 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.[325] 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.[326] 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.[327] 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.[328] 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.[329][330] He was also named the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year for the 2010 season.[331] 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.[325] 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.[332] 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: 4 (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.[333] 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.[60] 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.[334] 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.[335] 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.[336] 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.[337] 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.[333]

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.[338] 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.[339] 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.[340][341] 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.[333] 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.[342] 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.[343] 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.[344] 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.[344] The Chiefs lost their wild card game to the Baltimore Ravens.[345] 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.[346]

On March 14, 2013, two days after the acquisition of Alex Smith, the Chiefs released Cassel.[347] On the same day, the Minnesota Vikings signed Cassel.[348] 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.[349]

Matt Cassel (cropped).jpg

NFC South[edit]

Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan[edit]

List of Atlanta Falcons starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 67 (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.[350] 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.[351] 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.[352] 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.[353][354] Ryan made his first playoff start against the Arizona Cardinals on January 3, 2009, in a losing effort, 30-24.[355] 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.[356] 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).[357] 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.[358] 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.[359] 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.[358] 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.[360]

Matt Ryan training camp 2013 02.jpg

Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton[edit]

List of Carolina Panthers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 48 (since September 11, 2011) 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.[361] 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.[362] Newton's 854 passing yards through the first two games of the season, the most in league history by a rookie,[363] 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.[363] He also became the only player to begin his career with consecutive 400-yard passing games[364] and broke the Carolina Panthers franchise record of 547 yards previously held by Steve Beuerlein.[365] 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: 64 (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.[366] 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.[367] Through 2005, Brees played out the remainder of his contract with the Chargers with a franchise tag, expecting not to return the next season.[368] 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.[369]

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.[370] 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[371] and the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Conference Championship, taking the Saints to their franchise-first Super Bowl appearance.[372] 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.[370] Amongst active quarterbacks, Brees has the third most wins as a starter with ninety-two total.[373]

Drew Brees Saints 2008.jpg

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Glennon[edit]

List of Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 13 (since September 29, 2013) Mike Glennon
Mike Glennon was taken with the seventy-third pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of NC State. On June 12, 2013, Glennon signed a four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worth $3,104,063, with a $637,500 signing bonus.[374] On September 25, 2013, it was announced Glennon would start week four over Josh Freeman, who was benched after an 0-3 start to the season. Glennon made his first start on September 29, 2013 against the Arizona Cardinals.[36] [[File:|200px]]

NFC West[edit]

Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer[edit]

List of Arizona Cardinals starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 16 (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.[375] 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.[376] 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.[377] 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.[378] 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.[379] 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.[380] 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.[381] 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.[382] 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.[383] 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.[384] 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.[385] Amongst active quarterbacks, Palmer has the tenth most amount of wins with fifty.[386]

Carson Palmer.jpg

San Francisco 49ers: Colin Kaepernick[edit]

List of San Francisco 49ers starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 23 (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.[387]

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.[388] Kaepernick had been used throughout the 2012 season as a wildcat quarterback.[389] 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.[116] 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.[390] Kaepernick also became the third quarterback in league history to throw two touchdown passes and run for two more in a playoff game.[391]

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: 32 (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.[392] On April 27, 2012, Wilson was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round (seventy-fifth pick overall) of the draft.[393] Wilson signed a four-year, $2.99 million contract with the Seahawks on May 7, 2012.[394] 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.[395] 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.[396] On August 26, 2012, Wilson was named the Seahawks starting quarterback for the 2012 season.[397] 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.[398] 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.[399] Russell Wilson vs Vikings, November 4, 2012.jpg

St. Louis Rams: Kellen Clemens[edit]

List of St. Louis Rams starting quarterbacks Current consecutive regular season starts: 9 (since October 28, 2013) Kellen Clemens
Kellen Clemens, prior to starting for the St. Louis Rams, had only nine starts in his first five years in the NFL.[400] Clemens was taken in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Clemens first starts came in 2007 as a member of the Jets when starter Chad Pennington was benched during a week eight game against the Buffalo Bills. Clemens would go on the following week to make his first NFL start against the Washington Redskins.[401] Pennington was benched for the rest of the season, as Clemens would go on the start the last eight games of the Jets regular season. The Jets failed to make the playoffs with a record of 4-12, with Clemens going 3-5 in his eight starts.[402] Clemens finished the 2007 season with 130 completions, 1,529 passing yards, five touchdowns and ten interceptions.[400]

In 2008, Brett Favre was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the Jets, while former starter Pennington was released and later signed by the Miami Dolphins.[403] Clemens was then regulated to the backup position behind Favre for the entire 2008 season, not making a single start. Clemens was kept as a backup after Favre's departure from the Jets and Mark Sanchez was named the new starter. On December 3, 2009, Sanchez suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in the third quarter, allowing Clemens to take his place for the rest of the game. Head coach Rex Ryan benched Sanchez the following game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for precautionary reasons.[404] Clemens got the start against the Buccaneers and led them to victory by a score of 26-3. Clemens passed for 12-23 for 111 yard, with no touchdowns or interceptions.[405] After Sanchez' return, Clemens would not make another start in 2009 or in 2010.

After short stints with the Washington Redskins[406] and Houston Texans[407] he was picked up off of waivers by the St. Louis Rams on December 7, 2011. After injuries to starting quarterback Sam Bradford and backup A. J. Feeley, Clemens started his first game as a St. Louis Ram on December 18 against the Cincinnati Bengals.[408] Clemens played the final three games of the season, not winning a single game he started. He had 48 completions for 546 passing yards with two touchdowns and an interception.[400] Bradford returned to the starting position at the beginning of the 2012 season.[409] Clemens would not get another start until week eight of the 2013 season when Bradford suffered a season-ending injury.[35]

KellenClemens8-6-2013.jpg

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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