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Four starting QBs

Posted by Doug on December 24, 2007

I got an email last week from a reader named Ben. Here it is:

The Carolina Panthers have had another year where they didn't live up to expectations. However, they've had four quarterbacks start games for them, and all four have won at least one game. Jake Delhomme beat St. Louis and Atlanta, David Carr beat New Orleans, Vinny Testaverde beat Arizona and San Francisco, and now Matt Moore has beaten Seattle.

How have other teams fared when they've started four quarterbacks in a single season? Has any other team had a season where four or more quarterbacks started and won at least one game apiece?

The new database, which includes a GS column, makes the first question easy to answer. Here's the list of all teams since the merger that had at least four QBs start at least one game apiece.

+-----+------+-----+--------+
| abb | year | QBs | record |
+-----+------+-----+--------+
| CHI | 1984 |   5 | 10-6-0 |
| SFO | 2005 |   4 | 4-12-0 |
| CHI | 2004 |   4 | 5-11-0 |
| DEN | 2003 |   4 | 10-6-0 |
| DAL | 2001 |   4 | 5-11-0 |
| NOR | 1998 |   4 | 6-10-0 |
| NOR | 1997 |   4 | 6-10-0 |
| NWE | 1992 |   4 | 2-14-0 |
| SEA | 1991 |   4 | 7-9-0  |
| NYJ | 1989 |   4 | 4-12-0 |
| NWE | 1989 |   4 | 5-11-0 |
| NWE | 1988 |   4 | 9-7-0  |
| CLE | 1988 |   4 | 10-6-0 |
| CHI | 1986 |   4 | 14-2-0 |
| SFO | 1974 |   4 | 6-8-0  |
+-----+------+-----+--------+

[NOTE: I threw out the eight 1987 teams that technically qualified.]

As you can see, a quarterback carousel does not necessarily doom a team to failure. Last time I talked to him, Ben was working on seeing whether any of those teams have notched wins with each of their QBs, as the 2007 Panthers have. Maybe he'll check in in the comments.

Meanwhile, I'll turn this into a check-it-yourself trivia question. For how many of those teams can you name all the quarterbacks? To see the answers, highlight the invisible text below:

+------+------+--------------------+
| Team | year | QB                 |
+------+------+--------------------+
| CHI  | 1984 | Bob Avellini       |
| CHI  | 1984 | Steve Fuller       |
| CHI  | 1984 | Greg Landry        |
| CHI  | 1984 | Rusty Lisch        |
| CHI  | 1984 | Jim McMahon        |

| SFO  | 2005 | Ken Dorsey         |
| SFO  | 2005 | Cody Pickett       |
| SFO  | 2005 | Tim Rattay         |
| SFO  | 2005 | Alex D. Smith      |

| CHI  | 2004 | Rex Grossman       |
| CHI  | 2004 | Chad Hutchinson    |
| CHI  | 2004 | Craig Krenzel      |
| CHI  | 2004 | Jonathan Quinn     |

| DEN  | 2003 | Steve Beuerlein    |
| DEN  | 2003 | Jarious Jackson    |
| DEN  | 2003 | Danny Kanell       |
| DEN  | 2003 | Jake Plummer       |

| DAL  | 2001 | Quincy Carter      |
| DAL  | 2001 | Ryan Leaf          |
| DAL  | 2001 | Clint Stoerner     |
| DAL  | 2001 | Anthony Wright     |

| NOR  | 1998 | Kerry Collins      |
| NOR  | 1998 | Billy Joe Hobert   |
| NOR  | 1998 | Billy Joe Tolliver |
| NOR  | 1998 | Danny Wuerffel     |

| NOR  | 1997 | Billy Joe Hobert   |
| NOR  | 1997 | Doug Nussmeier     |
| NOR  | 1997 | Heath Shuler       |
| NOR  | 1997 | Danny Wuerffel     |

| NWE  | 1992 | Jeff Carlson       |
| NWE  | 1992 | Tom Hodson         |
| NWE  | 1992 | Hugh Millen        |
| NWE  | 1992 | Scott Zolak        |

| SEA  | 1991 | Jeff Kemp          |
| SEA  | 1991 | Dave Krieg         |
| SEA  | 1991 | Dan McGwire        |
| SEA  | 1991 | Kelly Stouffer     |

| NWE  | 1989 | Tony Eason         |
| NWE  | 1989 | Doug Flutie        |
| NWE  | 1989 | Steve Grogan       |
| NWE  | 1989 | Marc Wilson        |

| NYJ  | 1989 | Tony Eason         |
| NYJ  | 1989 | Kyle Mackey        |
| NYJ  | 1989 | Ken O'Brien        |
| NYJ  | 1989 | Pat Ryan           |

| CLE  | 1988 | Gary Danielson     |
| CLE  | 1988 | Bernie Kosar       |
| CLE  | 1988 | Mike Pagel         |
| CLE  | 1988 | Don Strock         |

| NWE  | 1988 | Tony Eason         |
| NWE  | 1988 | Doug Flutie        |
| NWE  | 1988 | Steve Grogan       |
| NWE  | 1988 | Tom Ramsey         |

| CHI  | 1986 | Doug Flutie        |
| CHI  | 1986 | Steve Fuller       |
| CHI  | 1986 | Jim McMahon        |
| CHI  | 1986 | Mike Tomczak       |

| SFO  | 1974 | Dennis Morrison    |
| SFO  | 1974 | Tom Owen           |
| SFO  | 1974 | Joe Reed           |
| SFO  | 1974 | Norm Snead         |
+------+------+--------------------+

This entry was posted on Monday, December 24th, 2007 at 9:30 am and is filed under General, Trivia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.