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This is a list of starting quarterbacks in the National Football League updated through week seventeen of the 2012 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.
Brett Favre holds the record for most wins by a starting NFL quarterback with 186 wins total over his nineteen-year career. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has the most wins amongst active NFL quarterbacks with 141 wins. Favre also hold 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. The longest active streak of consecutive starts is held by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at 119 starts, with his first start coming on November 21, 2004.
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.
Ryan Fitzpatrick signed with the Buffalo Bills on February 27, 2009 and was given his first start in week seven of the 2009 NFL season. 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. 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.
On September 11, 2011, Fitzpatrick was named Buffalo Bills starting quarterback for week one of the 2011 NFL season. 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. 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. Fitzpatrick finished the season with 353 completions, 3,832 passing yards, twenty-four touchdowns and twenty-three interceptions.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Tannehill with the eighth overall pick. 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. On August 20, 2012, Tannehill was named the starting quarterback over Matt Moore for the season opener against the Houston Texans.
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 three 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. 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.
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. 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. Since returning, he has brought the Patriots to the playoffs every year since 2009 and was elected to the Pro Bowl three 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 124 wins and has the highest winning percentage (.780) in the history of the NFL. Considering Brady's many records and achievements, many analysts have called Brady the one of the greatest quarterbacks and draft steals of all time.
Mark Sanchez was selected fifth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, the first quarterback selected by the Jets in the first round since Chad Pennington. The pick was made after quarterback Brett Favre decided not to return to the Jets next season and retired (for the time being.) On August 26, 2009, Sanchez was named the starter, becoming the first rookie quarterback to start the season for the Jets since Dick Jamieson in 1960. Sanchez started his first regular season game against the Houston Texans on September 13, 2009.
In the team's second meeting against the Buffalo Bills on December 3, 2009, Sanchez suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in the third quarter, prompting Kellen Clemens to take his place. Though there were no setbacks to the injury, head coach Rex Ryan benched Sanchez the following game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for precautionary reasons. Sanchez returned as the starter on December 20, 2009 against the Atlanta Falcons, and has not missed a start since.
Sanchez then led the New York Jets to the 2009–10 NFL playoffs, defeating their wildcard and divisional round opponents, the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers, respectively. The Jets season concluded after a 30-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. Sanchez finished the 2009 season 10-8 as a starter, including the playoffs, and was awarded the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week award three times throughout the season. In 2010, Sanchez led the Jets to the playoffs for a second year in a row. The Jets defeated the previous year's AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts in the wildcard round and AFC East rival New England Patriots in the divisional round to advance to their second consecutive AFC Championship game. On January 23, 2011, the Jets lost the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game by the score of 24-19.
In 2011, the Jets were heading into week fourteen with an 8-5 record after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs. The Jets preceded to drop three straight games, and finishing the season with a loss to the Miami Dolphins in week seventeen. This was the first time the Jets failed to make the playoffs with Sanchez as a starter. In the off-season, the Jets agreed to a three-year contract extension with Sanchez, with $20 million in guarantees, on March 9, 2012. Sanchez struggled throughout various parts of the season, and was finally benched for the first time in his career after committing five turnovers against the Tennessee Titans in week fifteen, and was replaced by Greg McElroy the following week. However, McElroy suffered concussion symptoms against the San Diego Chargers, and Sanchez will start the season finale against the Buffalo Bills.
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, Kyle Boller and Troy Smith. The Ravens hired John Harbaugh to replace head coach Brian Billick who was fired in December mid-season. 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.
As a starter, Flacco has led the Ravens to the playoffs for all four 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. He then went on to defeat the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, becoming the first rookie quarterback to win two games. Flacco and the Ravens ended up losing the AFC Championship Game against their AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the 2009–10 playoffs, Flacco played injured in his wild card win against the New England Patriots and in his divisional round loss to the Indianapolis Colts. 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. The Ravens would again lose to the Steelers (31-24), however in the Divisional Playoffs this time. 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. 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.
Flacco has the twelfth most wins amongst active quarterbacks in the NFL with forty-four wins in his four seasons at quarterback (not including playoffs). Flacco also has the third longest streak of consecutive starts amongst active quarterbacks with sixty-four regular season and nine playoff starts, seventy-one total combined. Flacco only trails Eli Manning and Philip Rivers.
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. 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.
By the bye week for the Bengals, Dalton had led the Bengals to a 5-2 record as a starter. On October 18, 2012, 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. 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 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. 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.
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. 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. Dalton finished the season with 300 completions, 3,398 passing yards for twenty touchdowns and thirteen interceptions.
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.
Thaddeus 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. went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, and was picked up by the St. Louis Rams after the draft. In the preseason, Lewis completed 22 of 28 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, one interception, along with a 113.6 passer rating. On September 4, 2011, Lewis was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns. 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 repititons, and on December 28, he was announced as the Browns starter for week seventeen against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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 and winning his first AFC Championship. 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. In 2008, the Steelers made the 2008–09 NFL playoffs with a 12-4 regular season record. The Steelers went on to defeat the Baltimore Ravens to win their second AFC Championship under Roethlisberger. 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. Roethlisberger's current consecutive starts streak begins on January 1, 2012 after returning in week seventeen against the Cleveland Browns from an ankle injury. 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. Roethlisberger made the 2012 Pro Bowl after the season concluded. Amongst active quarterbacks, Roethlisberger has the fourth largest most amount of wins with eighty total.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. The season ended the same as the previous season at 8-8 with Schaub throwing for 3,043 yards, fifteen touchdowns and ten interceptions. 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. 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. 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.
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." 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. Right after the 2011 draft, in May 2011, he was unanimously projected as the top prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft. By midseason, Pauline described him as "the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning" in 1998, while ESPN′s Mel Kiper, Jr. went even further, calling Luck the best quarterback prospect since John Elway in 1983. Despite Robert Griffin III′s impressive Heisman Trophy winning season, Luck's status as the number one overall draft prospect was never questioned.
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. The Indianapolis Colts won the honors of the number one overall draft pick with a 2-14 record. 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, but eventually decided to release Manning instead. Ending speculations on April 24, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson announced the team would take Luck with their first overall draft pick. 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 dollars. This deal made Luck the fourth starting quarterback for the Colts in the past two NFL seasons following Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. 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.
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. 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. 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. Henne started thirteen games in 2009, throwing 274 for 451 completions for 2,878 yards, twelve touchdowns and fourteen interceptions. 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. 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.
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. 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. Henne was placed on injured reserve and missed the rest of the 2011 season. Following the 2011 season, the Dolphins released Henne. In March, Henne signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a backup to starter Blaine Gabbert for the 2012 season. 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.
Jake Locker, with one year of eligibility remaining at Washington, was considered to be a top prospect in the 2010 NFL Draft by many internet mock drafts, with some analysts ranking him in the top three available quarterbacks. On December 14, 2009, ESPN's College Football Live reported that Locker would return for his senior season. Prior to Locker's announcement declaring his intention to stay for his senior season, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay had projected Locker as the number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. But there was also some disagreement in certain circles with McShay's assessment—it had been reported that Locker was advised by the NFL Collegiate Advisory Committee that he would not have received a "1st round grade". ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. predicted before and after the 2010 NFL Draft that Locker would be the number one overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Locker was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. On July 29, he signed a four-year contract worth a reported $12 million. Locker served as the backup to Matt Hasselbeck his rookie season, not making a single start. Locker saw his first real playing time on November 20 against the Atlanta Falcons, replacing an injured Hasselbeck, in a losing effort. Locker threw for two touchdowns and 140 yards for the game. Locker competed in four other games and finished his rookie season with 592 yards passing with four touchdowns and no interceptions. After competing with Hasselbeck during the 2012 preseason, Locker was named the starter for the regular season on August 20, 2012. On September 30, Locker tore his non-throwing shoulder, and was replaced by Hasselbeck for the next five games. On November 9, Locker was announced as the starter for Week 10 against the Dolphins.
Peyton Manning was selected first overall in the 1998 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. 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. Manning's first win came against fellow rookie quarterback Ryan Leaf, 17-12 over the San Diego Chargers. 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. 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. Manning also holds the record for most wins amongst active starting quarterbacks with 141 wins.
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 and the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round to advance to their first AFC Championship under Manning. The Colts would end up meeting Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and losing the game 24-14. 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. The following week they were limited to five field goals and no touchdowns, but defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 15-6. 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. Manning led the Colts to a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was voted Super Bowl MVP. 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. 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. However, Manning and the Colts came up short in Super Bowl XLIV against the New Orleans Saints, losing 31-17. 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. As a free agent, Manning reached an agreement with the Broncos on a five-year contract worth $96 million on March 20, 2012. 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, where he completed four of seven passes for forty-four yards, and was intercepted once by Bears safety Major Wright.
Brady Quinn was taken with the twenty-second pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Quinn signed a five-year deal with the Browns worth a reported $20.2 million, with $7.5 million guaranteed and up to $30 million in incentives. Quinn was originally placed third on the Browns' depth chart behind Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson. However, after a 34–7 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one, Charlie Frye was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth round draft pick, moving Quinn to second on the Brown's depth chart. On December 30, 2007, when Anderson hurt his pinky and wrist, Quinn made his official NFL debut in the Browns' final game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers. Although going three for eight passing Quinn led the Browns to the redzone, he failed to score. Browns' general manager Phil Savage later stated that he hoped to sign Anderson, and keep both quarterbacks for the 2008 season. In 2008, Quinn remained the backup to Anderson, but after a mediocre 3–5 start by the team, head coach Romeo Crennel named Quinn the starting quarterback for the Browns' game against the Denver Broncos, which ended with Quinn's first NFL start being a loss. He went on to win the next game against the Buffalo Bills, but he broke his finger during this victory, and though he tried to play through it during the next game against the Houston Texans, he announced on November 25 that he would have surgery, sidelining him for the rest of the 2008 season.
In 2009, new Browns' head coach Eric Mangini announced that Quinn would be the starter. Quinn was the Browns' starter until week three against the Baltimore Ravens, when he was benched at halftime in favor of Anderson, after a poor performance. The following week, Mangini named Anderson the starter. Quinn did not play again until week eight, when he was brought in with three minutes to go in a 30–6 loss against the Chicago Bears. After the bye week, it was announced five days before their week ten game against the Baltimore Ravens, that Quinn was once again being awarded the starting quarterback position. In week eleven, Quinn had his best professional outing, throwing for 304 yards with four touchdowns in a loss to the Detroit Lions. The Browns later defeated their rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in what was Quinn's first win of 2009 as the starting quarterback. On December 22, the Browns placed Quinn on the injured reserve list for the last two games of the season with a foot injury. On March 14, 2010, Quinn was traded to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Peyton Hillis, a sixth round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and a conditional late-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Quinn competed against Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow for the 2010 and 2011 season for the second-string quarterback position and didn't play in a single game for either season. Quinn then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on March 17, 2012. Quinn started the 2012 season as the backup to starter Matt Cassel. Quinn made his Kansas City debut against the Baltimore Ravens on October 7, 2012 after Cassel suffered a concussion. On October 11, Cassel was ruled out for their week six game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Quinn was named the starter.
Terrelle Pryor was drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft as a supplementary pick by the Oakland Raiders; Pryor had been suspended from the Ohio State football team for five games in 2010 for receiving improper benefits and selling memorabilia, and was eligible for the Supplementary Draft after being banned from the football program. Pryor was suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season, which was carried over from the Ohio State scandal. Pryor mainly backed up Carson Palmer throughout the season. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. The Chargers ultimately lost to the eventual Super Bowl champions the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Playoffs. 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. 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.
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. He also has the seventh most wins amongst active starting quarterbacks with sixty-three total. Rivers is seventh all-time in NFL history for most consecutive starts. He has had ninety-six consecutive regular season games and seven playoff games, for 103 total consecutive games.
Tony Romo started out undrafted in 2003 out of Eastern Illinois University. He spent the 2003 through 2006 seasons in training camp as the second and third string quarterback behind Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson and Drew Bledsoe. He began the 2006 season as a backup to starter Drew Bledsoe and took his first regular season snap at quarterback in a home game against the Houston Texans on October 15. His first NFL pass was a thirty-three-yard completion to Sam Hurd. His only other pass of the game was a two-yard touchdown pass, his first in the NFL, to Terrell Owens. Bledsoe was eventually benched for the remainder of the season and Romo got his first start on their week eight game against the Carolina Panthers on NBC Sunday Night Football. Romo led the Cowboys to victory in his first game as a starter, 35-14. On January 6, 2007, the Cowboys traveled to Qwest Field to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC wild card playoff round. With the Cowboys down 21-20 and 1:19 left on the clock, Dallas attempted a nineteen-yard field goal. Romo botched the hold for the kicker by dropping the snap as he attempted to set it down. Romo then tried to run into the end zone for an impromptu touchdown, but was tackled at the one-yard line by Seattle defensive back Jordan Babineaux. Seattle took over on their one-yard line and won the game. Romo was selected to play in the 2007 Pro Bowl after injuries to Drew Brees and Marc Bulger. In 2007, Romo brought the Cowboys to the playoffs for a second year in a row after starting all sixteen regular season games for the first time as a starter and winning thirteen games. The Cowboys hosted the New York Giants in their divisional playoff game, but Romo was unable to lead his team to a come-from-behind victory in the game. On fourth down with less than half a minute and no timeouts left, Romo threw the ball into the endzone, but it was intercepted by Giants cornerback R. W. McQuarters, ensuring that the Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs with a 21-17 loss. Romo made the 2008 Pro Bowl, his second consecutive Pro Bowl since he became starter.
In week seventeen of 2008, in what became a de facto playoff game for Romo shortly prior to its start, Romo and the Cowboys failed to compete against the Philadelphia Eagles in a 44-6 loss. Romo committed three turnovers in the game and went twenty-one for thirty-eight for 183 yards and no touchdowns. The loss dropped Romo's combined record in December to 5–8 and Romo missed the playoffs for the first time since being starter, finishing third in the division. The following season, on January 3, 2010, Romo and the Cowbboys again met the Eagles in a week seventeen game to decide the division, this time defeating the Eagles 24-0 and placing first in the NFC East. The Cowboys advanced to the wild card round of the playoffs, only to meet the Eagles for a third game that season. Romo and the Cowboys again defeated the Eagles, 34-14, giving Romo his first playoff win as a starting quarterback. The Cowboys advanced to the Divisional Playoffs, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings 34-3. Romo was voted to the 2010 Pro Bowl at the end of the season, for his third career Pro Bowl. Romo's returned for the 2010 season but it was cut short due to injury. On the Cowboys' October 25, 2010 Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants, Romo suffered a broken left clavicle. The injury occurred during the second quarter, when Romo was driven to the turf by Giants linebacker Michael Boley. He was placed on injured reserve on December 21, 2010 and replaced by veteran John Kitna and third-string quarterback Stephen McGee for the rest of the season. Romo returned from injury for the 2011 season, competing in all sixteen regular season games, but was eliminated from playoff contention week seventeen when they failed to win the NFC East title away from eventual Super Bowl champions that season, the New York Giants.
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 and has started every game for the Giants since then for 119 consecutive starts (the most amongst active NFL quarterback and third in NFL history). In seven starts his rookie season, Manning would only get one win and missed the playoffs. 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. 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 and advanced to the postseason. Manning and the Giants faced the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs, but was shut out 23-0. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. The victory secured Manning and the Giants a trip to Super Bowl XLII. This was the first Super Bowl appearance for the New York Giants since Super Bowl XXXV in 2001. The Giants defeated the then-undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and Manning was named the Super Bowl MVP.
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. 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. 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. 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, 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. 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. The Giants also became the first team ever with fewer than ten wins in a sixteen-game regular season to win the Super Bowl and Manning was voted into the 2012 Pro Bowl, his second Pro Bowl in his career.
Michael Vick was selected in the first round, first overall, in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, making him the first African-American quarterback to do so. Vick started his career as backup to veteran quarterback Chris Chandler, starting only two games his rookie season. Vick made his NFL debut against the San Francisco 49ers on September 9, 2001 and saw limited action. He completed his first NFL pass to wide receiver Tony Martin in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers on September 23 and first NFL touchdown on a two-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter to help the Falcons to a 24-16 victory. Vick made his first career start at the Dallas Cowboys on November 11 and threw his first touchdown pass to tight end Alge Crumpler in a 20-13 victory. In his two starts of the eight games played that season, Vick completed fifty of 113 passes for 785 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Vick was named the starter the following season and led the team to a 9-6-1 record for second place in the NFC South, earning a wild card spot in the playoffs. Vick and the Falcons defeated the Green Bay Packers in their wild card game 27-7. Vick threw thirteen completions for 117 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for sixty-four yards on ten carries. The Falcons advanced to the Divisional Playoffs to meet the Philadelphia Eagles where they lost 20-6. Vick was voted to the 2003 Pro Bowl following the season, his first career Pro Bowl. The following year, during a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on August 16, Vick suffered a fractured right fibula and missed the first twelve regular season starts. He returned to win three of the final four games, but the Falcons finished their 2003 season at 5-11 and last in their division. In 2004, Vick led the Falcons to an 11-5 record and first place in the NFC South. In the divisional round, the Falcons faced the St. Louis Rams. The Falcon’s ran for 327 yards in their 47-17 victory, which was a new franchise record. Vick also ran for 119 yard in the game which was also a new NFL postseason record for a quarterback. However, the Falcons would meet the Philadelphia Eagles again, this in the NFC Championship, and lost 27-10. Vick was elected to the 2005 Pro Bowl after the postseason and to the 2006 Pro Bowl the following year despite the Falcons not making the playoffs and finishing at 8-8. In 2006, Vick became the first quarterback in modern NFL history to rush for over 1000 yards, with 1,039. Vick finished his last year the Falcons though with a record of 7-9.
In August 2007, hours after Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges in the Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting investigation, the NFL suspended him indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL player conduct policy. Subsequently, Vick missed the 2007 and 2008 NFL seasons while dealing with the legal proceedings and while serving time in prison. With Vick's release from prison pending, in February 2009, the Falcons revealed that they were exploring trade scenarios to another NFL club for Vick. Team general manager Thomas Dimitroff pointed out that NFL rules allow teams to trade the contractual rights of suspended players. Ultimately, the Falcons released Vick in early June, making him an unrestricted free agent. On August 13, 2009, Vick signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vick was able to participate in all team practices and meetings as well as the Eagles' last two preseason games. He was eligible to play in the third week of the regular season. Eagles starting quarterback Donovan McNabb told reporters he gave coach Andy Reid the idea to sign Vick. In 2009, Vick would serve as third string quarterback to starter McNabb and to backup Kevin Kolb and didn't make a start that season. On April 4, 2010, the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins, making Kolb the starting quarterback for the 2010 season. However, after the preseason, Reid named Vick the Eagles' starting quarterback on September 21, 2010. In his second game as a starter versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Vick led the Eagles to a 28–3 win, throwing for 291 yards and three touchdowns as well as rushing for a touchdown. He was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for the month of September. Vick started eleven games in 2010, missing some games due to suffering a rib cartilage injury in a week four game against the Redskins, and leading the Eagles to the playoffs. Despite having home-field advantage however, the Eagles would lose to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers 21-16. Vick earned Pro Bowl honors for the fourth time in his career following the season, and was named the starting quarterback for the NFC. He was named the Associated Press and Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year following the season. He was also named the Bert Bell Award winner for 2010 on March 4, 2011. In 2011, Vick would start thirteen games, missing two November and a December game due to another injury, with Vince Young taking his place. Vick would go 7-6 starting after beginning the season 3-6 and missed the playoffs, finishing second in the NFC East. In week ten of 2012, Vick suffered a concussion against the Dallas Cowboys, and will be replaced by Nick Foles the following week against the Redskins.
Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears came into the 2011 college football season not expected to do well, being picked sixth in the Big 12 preseason poll. The Bears opened the season with fifteenth ranked TCU. The Bears took a 47-23 lead into the fourth quarter, and were able to fight off a comeback after TCU gained the lead 48-47 briefly, only for Baylor to kick the game winning field goal and win 50-48. They pulled off the upset in large part to Griffin's performance, who passed for 359 yards, five touchdowns and a 77.8% completion percentage. Following the win, Baylor entered the AP Poll rankings for only the third time in the previous fifteen seasons, at twentieth, and Griffin was considered by many to be a Heisman Trophy candidate. At the conclusion of the season, Griffin won the Heisman, becoming the first player from Baylor to win it. Griffin also led Baylor to a 10-3 record, including a 67-56 win over the Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl. With a combined 123 points, it stands as the highest scoring regulation bowl game in NCAA history. Due to the Alamo Bowl, Griffin became the first player since Tim Tebow in 2007 to win the Heisman, and not appear in the National Championship (#1 LSU faced #2 Alabama).
Griffin was not perceived as a first-round draft pick prior to his junior season, but by mid-season, he had drawn the attention of NFL scouts and analysts, and was projected an early first round selection. Towards the end of his junior season, Griffin had established himself as the number two quarterback prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft, behind the unanimous first pick projection Andrew Luck. Griffin was widely projected to be the number two pick of the draft, but the team originally holding the pick —the St. Louis Rams— had already selected Sam Bradford to be their long-term starting quarterback with the number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Wanting to stick with Bradford, the Rams decided to deal the pick prior to the draft, with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins perceived as the most interested bidders. After a brief bidding process, the Redskins acquired the pick by giving the Rams four high-value draft picks over three years: their number six overall pick in 2012, their second-round pick in 2012, and their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. The Redskins selected Griffin at number two in the draft, making him the second Baylor Bear to be drafted this high in four years (after Jason Smith in 2009), but the first Baylor quarterback to be chosen second overall since Adrian Burk in 1950. Griffin is listed as the starting quarterback for the Redskins to start the 2012 season. As of week sixteen, Griffin threw for 24 touchdowns and four interceptions with a 104.2 passer rating. Griffin missed week fifteen with a knee injury, and was replaced by Kirk Cousins, but Griffin will play in week sixteen. On December 26, Griffin was named to his first career Pro Bowl.
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. 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. 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. In 2009, Shanahan was fired, and was replaced by Josh McDaniels. 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. As a result, Cutler expressed his disappointment, and requested a trade from the team.
Ultimately, Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton and three draft picks in the next two drafts. In his debut game against the Green Bay Packers, Cutler threw four interceptions, as the Packers would go on to win 21-15. 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. 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. 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. In the NFC Championship Game, Cutler left the game with an MCL injury, as the Bears lost to the Packers 21-14. 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. The Bears would eventually defend Cutler, along with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who called the criticism "disrespectful" and "very inappropriate". 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!" Against the San Diego Chargers, Cutler broke his thumb while attempting to tackle Antoine Cason, and was eventually placed on injured reserve, leading to the Bears starting Caleb Hanie as Cutler's replacement. 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. 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. The Bears hired Jeremy Bates, Cutler's former quarterbacks coach in Denver, and also acquired his former teammate Brandon Marshall. As of week five of 2012, Cutler's 81.7 passer rating is the highest in team history. Cutler was undefeated in games when he has a passer rating over 100 until the Bears lost to the Seahawks in week thirteen. 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.
Matthew Stafford was the selected by the Detroit Lions as the number-one overall draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Stafford was immediately named the starter after beating out veteran Daunte Culpepper for the starting job. 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. Stafford was placed on injured reserve on December 24 for the minor knee injury, with backups Culpepper and Drew Stanton getting the remaining starts. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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). 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. He was also named the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year for the 2010 season. 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. 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. 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.
Christian Ponder was selected twelfth overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Ponder started out as the backup to newly-acquired veteran Donovan McNabb. McNabb went 1-5 as a starter, throwing four touchdowns to two interceptions, completing 60.3 percent of his passes and posting a respectable 82.9 quarterback rating. Ponder made his NFL debut against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter on October 16, 2011. On October 18, it was announced that McNabb would no longer be the starting quarterback for the Vikings as the job was given to Ponder for the remainder of the season. On October 23, Ponder would make his first start against the Green Bay Packers. On Ponder's first career pass attempt as a starter he hit Michael Jenkins on a 72-yard play-action pass. Two plays later, he hit Visanthe Shiancoe in the end zone on another play-action pass. He finished the game with thirteen of thirty-two completions for 219 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the 33-27 loss.
Ponder was able to get his first win as an NFL starting quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings the following week against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on October 30, 2011. He threw for 236 yards and a touchdown, and had a passer rating of 102.7. After a bye week, the Vikings faced off against the Packers again, this time on Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field. Ponder didn't perform as well as he did the first time around, and the Vikings were blown out 45-7. The next week against the Oakland Raiders, he threw two touchdowns and three interceptions in a losing effort by the score of 27-21. Ponder began to struggle down the stretch of his rookie year, losing games to the Atlanta Falcons, and the Denver Broncos. In the game against the Broncos, he threw a crucial interception late in the fourth quarter to set up Tim Tebow and the Broncos for a game-winning drive, losing 35-32.
The next week, Ponder got injured in a game against the rival Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Backup quarterback Joe Webb nearly brought Minnesota to a victory, but came up short 34-28. After a loss to the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints, Ponder was injured in each of the final two regular season games, at the Washington Redskins and in the season finale against the Chicago Bears. Ponder finished the season with 158 completions with 1,853 yards, throwing 13 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.
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. 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. 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. 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. Ryan made his first playoff start against the Arizona Cardinals on January 3, 2009 in a losing effort, 30-24. 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. 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). Ryan returned from the injury on December 20, and hasn't missed a single start since then.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Newton's 854 passing yards through the first two games of the season, the most in league history by a rookie, 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. He also became the only player to begin his career with consecutive 400-yard passing games and broke the Carolina Panthers franchise record of 547 yards previously held by Steve Beuerlein. 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.
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. Brees started every game in 2002 but finished the game 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. Through 2005, Brees played out the remainder of his contract with the Chargers with a franchise tag, expecting not to return the next season. 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.
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. 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 and the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Conference Championship, taking the Saints to their franchise-first Super Bowl appearance. 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. Amongst active quarterbacks, Brees has the third most wins as a starter with ninety-two total.
Josh Freeman was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2009 NFL Draft seventeenth overall. He entered the draft with one year of college eligibility left. The Buccaneers later agreed to terms with Freeman on a five-year, $26 million contract, a deal that (if Freeman achieves his incentives) could reach to as much as $36 million. 2009 started with Freeman playing third-string quarterback behind starter Byron Leftwich and backup Josh Johnson. Leftwich would start the first three games of the season, but due to a poor performance and three straight losses, Johnson would take over as starter. After four more games with similar results, Freeman was named the starter after the Buccaneers bye week. Freeman made his first NFL start on November 8, 2009 against the Green Bay Packers. Freeman would lead the Buccaneers to victory by a score of 38-28, getting the Buccaneers their first win of the season and snapping an eleven game losing streak dating back to the previous year. The rest of the season be nearly as successful as Freeman would only get two more wins in December against the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks. He finished the season as the starter with three wins and six losses, missing the playoffs with a record of 3-13. Freeman threw for 158 completions for 1,855 yards with ten touchdowns and eighteen interceptions.
Freeman began the 2010 season as the starting quarterback, beating out Josh Johnson for the position. He started all sixteen games of the season, the first Buccaneers quarterback to do so since Brad Johnson in 2003. On December 26, 2010, Freeman completed twenty-one of twenty-six pass attempts for 227 yards and five touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks, matching a franchise record for touchdowns in a game. On January 1, 2011, Freeman completed twenty-one of twenty-six pass attempts for 255 yards and two touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints. Both performances won him the FedEx Air Player of the Week. He was also awarded NFC Player of the Week on weeks five and seventeen. He led the team to a winning record of 10–6, but still placed third in the NFC South and missing the playoffs. After the season, Freeman was named an alternate for the 2011 Pro Bowl. Freeman finished the season with twenty-five touchdowns and only six interceptions, throwing for 3,451 total yards. Freeman's 2011 season at quarterback proved to be less successful than the previous year. Freeman and the Buccaneers started strong, winning four out of their first six games, including wins over their division rivals the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons. However, after their bye week, the Buccaneers would fail to win another game that season, ending the season with a 4-12 record and finishing last in their division. Freeman started fifteen of sixteen games, only missing a single game (week thirteen against the Carolina Panthers), with Josh Johnson taking his place. Freeman finished the 2011 season with 346 completions for 3,592 yards with sixteen touchdowns and twenty-five interceptions. Freeman is anticipated to be the starter again in 2012.
Brian Hoyer was signed by the New England Patriots after going undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft. He competed for backup duties with Kevin O'Connell, Matt Gutierrez and Andrew Walter. Hoyer was ultimately the second-string quarterback, behind Tom Brady. In the 2010 season finale against the Miami Dolphins, Hoyer threw his first career touchdown pass, a 42-yard pass to Brandon Tate. In the final game of the 2011 season, the Patriots sent Hoyer in, and opted to throw to tight end Rob Gronkowski instead of kneeling down, letting Gronkowski break the NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a season. On August 31, 2012, Hoyer was cut by the Patriots. After injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich, Hoyer was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 20 to back up Charlie Batch. However, he was released on December 8. Hoyer was later picked up by the Arizona Cardinals, and had his first action with the team against the Chicago Bears in week sixteen, replacing Ryan Lindley, and completed eleven of ninteen passes for 105 yards with one interception in a 28-13 loss. On December 26, Hoyer was named the Cardinals starter for week seventeen against the San Francisco 49ers, making him the fourth Cardinals starting quarterback in 2012.
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 third-string quarterback behind starter Alex Smith and backup Troy 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.
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. Kaepernick had been used throughout the 2012 season as a wildcat quarterback. 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.
Russell Wilson started his 2011 college football season with the Wisconsin Badgers in a season opener against UNLV. Wilson passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for sixty-two yards, including a forty-six yard touchdown run. The Badgers won 51–17. At the end of the regular season, Wilson was named first team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media. Wilson also won the Griese-Brees Big Ten Quarterback of the Year award. In the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game on December 3, 2011, Wilson threw for three touchdowns and led the Badgers to a 42-39 win over the Michigan State Spartans. Wilson was named the game's Grange-Griffin MVP. On December 10, 2011, Wilson finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting with fifty-two points. Wilson was joined by teammate Montee Ball who finished fourth in the voting with 348 points with Baylor's Robert Griffin III winning the award. In the 2012 Rose Bowl vs. the Oregon Ducks on January 2, 2012, Wilson had nineteen pass completions for 296 yards, eighteen rushing yards, and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). The Badgers lost the game 38-45. Wilson finished the season with thirty-three passing touchdowns, which set the single season record at Wisconsin and was the second-most in Big Ten history behind Drew Brees during the 1998 season at Purdue (39). Wilson also set the single season FBS record for passing efficiency (191.8).
On January 16, 2012, Wilson began training for the NFL Scouting Combine at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson had been projected by NFL scouts and analysts to be a middle-round pick. On April 27, 2012, Wilson was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round (seventy-fifth pick overall) of the draft. Wilson signed a four-year, $2.99 million contract with the Seahawks on May 7, 2012. 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. 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. On August 26, 2012, Wilson was named the Seahawks starting quarterback for the 2012 season. 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 also has the highest passer rating at home with 122.0.
Sam Bradford was selected by the St. Louis Ram as the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. It was the first time the Rams selected a quarterback in the first round of a draft since the selection of Bill Munson in the 1964 NFL Draft. Bradford was also the first number pick out of Oklahoma since Billy Sims was selected top overall by the Detroit Lions in the 1980 NFL Draft. On July 30, 2010, Bradford signed a six-year, $78 million deal, which has $50 million of guarantees and has a maximum value of $86 million making it the largest contract ever for an NFL rookie. On September 12, 2010, in his first regular season game as the starting quarterback for the Rams, Bradford completed 32/55 passes for 253 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The Arizona Cardinals won 17–13. His first NFL touchdown came on a one-yard pass to Laurent Robinson. Two weeks later, he then achieved his first victory as an NFL starter when the Rams defeated the Washington Redskins in an upset by a score of 30–16, which snapped a thirteen game home losing streak. During October and November, he established a record for most consecutive passes without an interception for a rookie (169), which ended with an interception by William Moore in a home game against the Atlanta Falcons on November 21. On November 28, 2010, against the Denver Broncos, Bradford became the first rookie in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions during a road victory. He capped November by becoming the first rookie quarterback to win two consecutive Offensive Rookie of the Month awards. On December 26, Bradford surpassed Peyton Manning's record for most completed passes by an NFL rookie quarterback (326). Bradford finished the season with 354 completions out of 590 attempts, surpassing Manning's record of 575 for most attempts by an NFL rookie quarterback. Bradford became just the third rookie quarterback to start all sixteen regular season games and pass over 3,000 passing yards, joining Manning and Matt Ryan. Bradford missed the playoffs his rookie season, finishing with 354 completions for 3,512 yards, eighteen touchdowns and fifteen interceptions on the season.
Bradford returned as the starter in 2011 but was injured in the Rams week six game against the Green Bay Packers. A. J. Feeley would start the following week against the Cowboys Bradford returned for five more games that season, but was re-injured in his game against the Seattle Seahawks. After a thumb injury to Feeley, Kellen Clemens started his first game as a St. Louis Ram on December 18 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Clemens played the final three games of the season, not winning a single game he started. Bradford finished the season with only 191 completions for 2,164 yards, with six touchdowns and interceptions a piece and one win as a starter. Bradford is expected to return to the starting position at the beginning of the 2012 season.
|Division:||Team name:||List of quarterbacks:||Starting|
|NFC West||Arizona Cardinals||List of Arizona Cardinals starting quarterbacks||Brian Hoyer||Michigan State||4||December 30, 2012|||
|NFC South||Atlanta Falcons||List of Atlanta Falcons starting quarterbacks||Matt Ryan||Boston College||5||December 20, 2009|||
|AFC North||Baltimore Ravens||List of Baltimore Ravens starting quarterbacks||Joe Flacco||Delaware||5||September 7, 2008|||
|AFC East||Buffalo Bills||List of Buffalo Bills starting quarterbacks||Ryan Fitzpatrick||Harvard||8||September 11, 2011|||
|NFC South||Carolina Panthers||List of Carolina Panthers starting quarterbacks||Cam Newton||Auburn||2||September 11, 2011|||
|NFC North||Chicago Bears||List of Chicago Bears starting quarterbacks||Jay Cutler||Vanderbilt||7||November 25, 2012|||
|AFC North||Cincinnati Bengals||List of Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterbacks||Andy Dalton||TCU||2||September 11, 2011|||
|AFC North||Cleveland Browns||List of Cleveland Browns starting quarterbacks||Thaddeus Lewis||Duke||3||December 30, 2012|||
|NFC East||Dallas Cowboys||List of Dallas Cowboys starting quarterbacks||Tony Romo||Eastern Illinois||10||September 11, 2011|||
|AFC West||Denver Broncos||List of Denver Broncos starting quarterbacks||Peyton Manning||Tennessee||15||September 9, 2012|||
|NFC North||Detroit Lions||List of Detroit Lions starting quarterbacks||Matthew Stafford||Georgia||4||September 11, 2011|||
|NFC North||Green Bay Packers||List of Green Bay Packers starting quarterbacks||Aaron Rodgers||Cal||8||September 9, 2012|||
|AFC South||Houston Texans||List of Houston Texans starting quarterbacks||Matt Schaub||Virginia||9||September 9, 2012|||
|AFC South||Indianapolis Colts||List of Indianapolis Colts starting quarterbacks||Andrew Luck||Stanford||1||September 9, 2012|||
|AFC South||Jacksonville Jaguars||List of Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterbacks||Chad Henne||Michigan||5||November 25, 2012|||
|AFC West||Kansas City Chiefs||List of Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterbacks||Brady Quinn||Notre Dame||6||November 25, 2012|||
|AFC East||Miami Dolphins||List of Miami Dolphins starting quarterbacks||Ryan Tannehill||Texas A&M||1||September 9, 2012|||
|NFC North||Minnesota Vikings||List of Minnesota Vikings starting quarterbacks||Christian Ponder||Florida State||2||October 23, 2011|||
|AFC East||New England Patriots||List of New England Patriots starting quarterbacks||Tom Brady||Michigan||13||September 14, 2009|||
|NFC South||New Orleans Saints||List of New Orleans Saints starting quarterbacks||Drew Brees||Purdue||12||September 9, 2010|||
|NFC East||New York Giants||List of New York Giants starting quarterbacks||Eli Manning||Ole Miss||9||November 21, 2004|||
|AFC East||New York Jets||List of New York Jets starting quarterbacks||Mark Sanchez||USC||4||December 30, 2012|||
|AFC West||Oakland Raiders||List of Oakland Raiders starting quarterbacks||Terrelle Pryor||USC||2||December 30, 2012|||
|NFC East||Philadelphia Eagles||List of Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterbacks||Michael Vick||Virginia Tech||12||December 30, 2012|||
|AFC North||Pittsburgh Steelers||List of Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterbacks||Ben Roethlisberger||Miami (Ohio)||9||December 9, 2012|||
|AFC West||San Diego Chargers||List of San Diego Chargers starting quarterbacks||Philip Rivers||NC State||9||September 11, 2006|||
|NFC West||San Francisco 49ers||List of San Francisco 49ers starting quarterbacks||Colin Kaepernick||Nevada||2||November 19, 2012|||
|NFC West||Seattle Seahawks||List of Seattle Seahawks starting quarterbacks||Russell Wilson||Wisconsin||1||September 9, 2012|||
|NFC West||St. Louis Rams||List of St. Louis Rams starting quarterbacks||Sam Bradford||Oklahoma||3||September 9, 2012|||
|NFC South||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||List of Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterbacks||Josh Freeman||Kansas State||4||December 11, 2011|||
|AFC South||Tennessee Titans||List of Tennessee Titans starting quarterbacks||Jake Locker||Washington||2||November 11, 2012|||
|NFC East||Washington Redskins||List of Washington Redskins starting quarterbacks||Robert Griffin III||Baylor||1||December 23, 2012|||
|National Football League (2012)|
|Buffalo Bills||Baltimore Ravens||Houston Texans||Denver Broncos|
|Miami Dolphins||Cincinnati Bengals||Indianapolis Colts||Kansas City Chiefs|
|New England Patriots||Cleveland Browns||Jacksonville Jaguars||Oakland Raiders|
|New York Jets||Pittsburgh Steelers||Tennessee Titans||San Diego Chargers|
|Dallas Cowboys||Chicago Bears||Atlanta Falcons||Arizona Cardinals|
|New York Giants||Detroit Lions||Carolina Panthers||St. Louis Rams|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers||New Orleans Saints||San Francisco 49ers|
|Washington Redskins||Minnesota Vikings||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Seattle Seahawks|
|Seasons (by team) · Regular season · Playoffs · AFC Championship · NFC Championship · Super Bowl (champions · quarterbacks) · Pro Bowl|
League Championship History: AFL Championship (1960–1969) · NFL Championship (1920–1969) · One-game playoff · Playoff Bowl
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