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: