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Most quarterbacks to win games for one team

Posted by Chase Stuart on September 24, 2010

The Pittsburgh Steelers are starting their second quarterback of the season this week, and will start their third quarterback no later than week 6 when Ben Roethlisberger returns. Dennis Dixon was the starting quarterback for Pittsburgh's two wins this year, but after tearing the lateral meniscus of his left knee against the Titans, Charlie Batch is expected to start the team's next two games. Ben Roethlisberger will be back starting the team's fifth game, right after the bye week. Because Pittsburgh may have three different starting quarterbacks win games for them in the first five weeks, I started wondering which team had the most quarterbacks start and win games for them in a single season.

Not surprisingly, it's a strike team that tops the last among teams since 1960. Steve Grogan started the opener for the 1987 Patriots, a 28-21 win over Miami. Tony Eason started in week 2, a blowout loss against the Jets. Then the strike hit, and Richmond product Bob Bleier started for the Pats in weeks 3 and 4, the latter a "win" where Bleier went 4/13 for 43 yards and threw an interception. For game 5, the last of the strike games, hometown hero Doug Flutie got the start and guided New England to a 21-7 victory over Houston. After the strike, Eason resumed his role as starter for game 6, a was back for games 6 and 7, 30-16 loss to the Colts. The next week Eason would notch his lone victory of the season, a 26-23 win over the Raiders.

Grogan returned for the next two games, both Patriots losses, before missing another month due to injury. Tom Ramsey replaced him when Grogan went down against the Cowboys, and started the next three weeks against the Colts, Eagles and Broncos, winning once. Grogan returned in time to exact revenge on the Jets, throwing 4 touchdowns on only 18 attempts in a 42-20 victory. Grogan helped the Patriots win their final 3 games of the season, to finish the season at 8-7. The final tally goes like this: Grogan (4-2), Tom Ramsey (1-2), Tony Eason (1-2), Bob Bleier (1-1) and Doug Flutie (1-0).

Five teams since 1960 have seen exactly four different quarterbacks guide their teams to victory: the 2007 Panthers (Jake Delhomme (2), David Carr (1), Vinny Testaverde (2) and Matt Moore (2)), the 1998 Saints (Billy Joe Hobert (1), Danny Wuerffel (2), Billy Joe Tolliver (1) and Kerry Collins (2)), the 1989 Patriots (Tony Eason (1), Doug Flutie (1), Steve Grogan (2) and Marc Wilson (1)), the '88 Pats (Steve Grogan (1), Tom Ramsey (1), Doug Flutie (6) and Tony Eason (1)) and the 1961 Buffalo Bills of the AFL (Richie Lucas (1), M.C. Reynolds (2), Warren Rabb (1) and Johnny Green (2)).

Pittsburgh, if Batch and Roethlisberger can each get at least one victory, would join the list below of all teams in the last 50 years to have three different starting quarterbacks win games:

Team Year QB1 QB2 QB3
OAK 2009 JaMarcus Russell (2) Bruce Gradkowski (2) Charlie Frye (1)
CHI 2007 Rex Grossman (2) Brian Griese (3) Kyle Orton (2)
BAL 2007 Kyle Boller (2) Steve McNair (2) Troy Smith (1)
SFO 2007 Alex Smith (2) Trent Dilfer (1) Shaun Hill (2)
NYJ 2005 Chad Pennington (1) Vinny Testaverde (1) Brooks Bollinger (2)
SFO 2005 Tim Rattay (1) Ken Dorsey (1) Alex Smith (2)
CHI 2004 Rex Grossman (1) Craig Krenzel (3) Chad Hutchinson (1)
ATL 2003 Doug Johnson (1) Kurt Kittner (1) Michael Vick (3)
CHI 2003 Kordell Stewart (2) Chris Chandler (3) Rex Grossman (2)
TEN 2003 Steve McNair (10) Billy Volek (1) Neil O'Donnell (1)
PHI 2002 Donovan McNabb (7) Koy Detmer (1) A.J. Feeley (4)
WAS 2002 Shane Matthews (3) Danny Wuerffel (2) Patrick Ramsey (2)
DAL 2001 Anthony Wright (1) Clint Stoerner (1) Quincy Carter (3)
CHI 2000 Cade McNown (1) Jim Miller (1) Shane Matthews (3)
CHI 1999 Shane Matthews (3) Cade McNown (2) Jim Miller (1)
NOR 1999 Billy Joe Hobert (1) Billy Joe Tolliver (1) Jake Delhomme (1)
PHI 1999 Doug Pederson (2) Donovan McNabb (2) Koy Detmer (1)
PHI 1998 Rodney Peete (1) Bobby Hoying (1) Koy Detmer (1)
OAK 1998 Jeff George (3) Donald Hollas (4) Wade Wilson (1)
SEA 1998 Warren Moon (4) John Friesz (1) Jon Kitna (3)
JAX 1997 Rob Johnson (1) Steve Matthews (1) Mark Brunell (9)
PHI 1997 Ty Detmer (2) Rodney Peete (2) Bobby Hoying (2)
SEA 1996 Rick Mirer (2) John Friesz (4) Stan Gelbaugh (1)
IND 1994 Jim Harbaugh (4) Don Majkowski (3) Browning Nagle (1)
DAL 1994 Troy Aikman (10) Jason Garrett (1) Rodney Peete (1)
WAS 1994 John Friesz (1) Gus Frerotte (1) Heath Shuler (1)
CLE 1993 Bernie Kosar (3) Vinny Testaverde (3) Todd Philcox (1)
DET 1993 Rodney Peete (6) Andre Ware (1) Erik Kramer (3)
MIA 1993 Dan Marino (4) Scott Mitchell (3) Steve DeBerg (2)
ATL 1992 Chris Miller (3) Billy Joe Tolliver (2) Wade Wilson (1)
CLE 1992 Todd Philcox (1) Mike Tomczak (4) Bernie Kosar (2)
IND 1992 Mark Herrmann (1) Jeff George (6) Jack Trudeau (2)
DET 1992 Rodney Peete (2) Erik Kramer (1) Andre Ware (2)
PHI 1991 Randall Cunningham (1) Jim McMahon (8) Jeff Kemp (1)
SEA 1991 Jeff Kemp (2) Dan McGwire (1) Dave Krieg (4)
KAN 1989 Steve DeBerg (6) Ron Jaworski (1) Steve Pelluer (1)
CHI 1988 Jim McMahon (7) Mike Tomczak (4) Jim Harbaugh (1)
CLE 1988 Bernie Kosar (6) Mike Pagel (2) Don Strock (2)
SDG 1988 Babe Laufenberg (2) Mark Vlasic (2) Mark Malone (2)
CHI 1987 Mike Tomczak (4) Mike Hohensee (2) Jim McMahon (5)
CLE 1987 Bernie Kosar (8) Jeff Christensen (1) Gary Danielson (1)
DAL 1987 Danny White (3) Kevin Sweeney (2) Steve Pelluer (2)
GNB 1987 Alan Risher (2) Don Majkowski (2) Randy Wright (1)
RAI 1987 Rusty Hilger (2) Vince Evans (1) Marc Wilson (2)
SDG 1987 Dan Fouts (5) Rick Neuheisel (2) Mike Kelley (1)
SEA 1987 Dave Krieg (7) Bruce Mathison (1) Jeff Kemp (1)
SFO 1987 Joe Montana (10) Bob Gagliano (1) Steve Young (2)
TAM 1987 Steve DeBerg (2) John Reaves (1) Jim Zorn (1)
CHI 1986 Jim McMahon (6) Mike Tomczak (7) Doug Flutie (1)
PHI 1986 Ron Jaworski (3) Randall Cunningham (1) Matt Cavanaugh (1)
RAM 1986 Steve Bartkowski (4) Steve Dils (3) Jim Everett (3)
SFO 1986 Joe Montana (6) Jeff Kemp (3) Mike Moroski (1)
CHI 1984 Jim McMahon (7) Steve Fuller (2) Greg Landry (1)
CIN 1984 Boomer Esiason (3) Ken Anderson (3) Turk Schonert (2)
DEN 1983 John Elway (4) Steve DeBerg (4) Gary Kubiak (1)
MIA 1983 David Woodley (3) Dan Marino (7) Don Strock (2)
MIN 1983 Tommy Kramer (2) Steve Dils (5) Wade Wilson (1)
HOU 1981 Ken Stabler (5) John Reaves (1) Gifford Nielsen (1)
MIA 1980 Bob Griese (1) Don Strock (1) David Woodley (6)
DEN 1978 Craig Morton (8) Norris Weese (1) Craig Penrose (1)
NYG 1978 Jerry Golsteyn (1) Joe Pisarcik (4) Randy Dean (1)
DET 1977 Greg Landry (4) Joe Reed (1) Gary Danielson (1)
NOR 1977 Archie Manning (1) Bobby Scott (1) Bobby Douglass (1)
SDG 1977 James Harris (4) Cliff Olander (1) Dan Fouts (2)
ATL 1976 Steve Bartkowski (1) Kim McQuilken (1) Scott Hunter (2)
RAM 1976 Ron Jaworski (2) James Harris (3) Pat Haden (5)
DET 1975 Greg Landry (2) Bill Munson (1) Joe Reed (4)
MIA 1975 Bob Griese (7) Earl Morrall (1) Don Strock (2)
NOR 1974 Archie Manning (3) Bobby Scott (1) Larry Cipa (1)
PIT 1974 Joe Gilliam (4) Terry Bradshaw (5) Terry Hanratty (1)
GNB 1973 Scott Hunter (1) Jim Del Gaizo (1) Jerry Tagge (3)
NYJ 1973 Joe Namath (2) Bill Demory (1) Al Woodall (1)
SFO 1973 John Brodie (2) Steve Spurrier (2) Joe Reed (1)
STL 1972 Tim Van Galder (1) Gary Cuozzo (1) Jim Hart (2)
CHI 1971 Jack Concannon (2) Kent Nix (1) Bobby Douglass (3)
MIN 1971 Gary Cuozzo (6) Norm Snead (2) Bob Lee (3)
NYJ 1971 Al Woodall (1) Bob Davis (3) Joe Namath (2)
HOU 1968 Pete Beathard (3) Bob Davis (1) Don Trull (3)
HOU 1967 Jacky Lee (1) Pete Beathard (7) Bob Davis (1)
PHI 1966 Norm Snead (5) King Hill (2) Jack Concannon (2)
BAL 1965 Johnny Unitas (8) Gary Cuozzo (1) Tom Matte (1)
PHI 1964 Norm Snead (4) King Hill (1) Jack Concannon (1)
NYT 1962 Butch Songin (1) Lee Grosscup (1) Johnny Green (3)
SDG 1962 Jack Kemp (1) Dick Wood (2) John Hadl (1)
BUF 1960 Bob Brodhead (1) Johnny Green (3) Tommy O'Connell (1)
STL 1960 King Hill (1) George Izo (1) John Roach (4)

This entry was posted on Friday, September 24th, 2010 at 3:35 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.