NFL Power Rankings: Ranking The Best Backup Quarterbacks For All 32 Teams
With the relevance of the Brett Favre injury situation, the Minnesota Vikings' Tarvaris Jackson has been brought up in the biggest spotlight of his young NFL career. Add in the fact that Tony Romo is out for six-to-eight weeks and Jon Kitna will be leading the Dallas Cowboys, and there are several backups having to get ready for key teams.
This has led us to do our rankings on the best backup quarterback groups in the NFL by team.
It was a tough decision, but we think we've compiled a pretty good list. Also, we felt like making the list because this is probably one of the worst years for backup quarterbacks in NFL history: there aren't that many that actually have NFL experience and have shown promise as a starting quarterback.
With that being said, here's our list:
32. Brian Brohm/Levi Brown, Buffalo Bills
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SP's Take: The Buffalo Bills have one of the worst quarterback situations in the league, and have for a long time now. They entered the season with Trent Edwards supposedly as their best quarterback, but he was only with the team one week into the season before being released and later signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
If current starter Ryan Fitzpatrick goes down, I'd be willing to bet the Bills couldn't win a game without an unbelievable performance on defense or in the running game. Brohm has never started a game in his short NFL career, and couldn't register a touchdown in his two career appearances last season.
TW's Take: It's fitting that the worst team in the NFL will be in last place on our rankings. I rank them last because Brown has never played a down in a regular season game and while Brohm has played, he has only participated in two games with a lowly 43.2 quarterback rating.
I can't see either quarterback getting thrown into a game and doing well. If starter Ryan Fitzpatrick got injured, Buffalo would be even worse off because I doubt either of them will be able to win a single game, so they take last place in my book.
31. A.J. Feeley/Thaddeus Lewis, St. Louis Rams
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TW's Take: Feeley hasn't played in an NFL game since 2007, when he was playing with the Philadelphia Eagles. Since being drafted in 2001, Feeley has only played in 23 total games and his stats aren't overwhelming.
For his career, he has completed nearly 56% of his passes for 4,070 yards and 27 touchdowns, along with 29 interceptions.
Feeley has shown that when he gets listed as the starter, he doesn't do that well. His best season came with the Dolphins in 2004, when he played in 11 games and threw for 1,893 yards and 11 touchdowns. however, he did throw 15 interceptions, which diminishes his average season a little bit.
And if Bradford got hurt, I don't think Feeley could go out there and win games for them. It's just not happening.
SP's Take: As a fan of the Miami Dolphins, I have very vivid memories of how bad Feeley was in his time there. The worst part about that? That was basically the peak of his career.
The good news for the Rams for if Feeley ever had to play any significant time? There are almost no expectations for them this season anyways, although they have been playing fairly well in recent weeks.
Without Sam Bradford, however, I'm pretty sure the Rams would have a few more losses on their record.
30. Jordan Palmer/Dan LeFevour, Cincinnati Bengals
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SP's Take: The Bengals have lost Carson Palmer several times to injury during his time with the team, but until this season, they have always had a relatively decent quarterback to step in during his absence.
If the elder Palmer brother were to go down with an injury this season, well, needless to say T.O. and Ochocinco would probably lose their minds as the team went winless without him.
Jordan Palmer has only attempted seven passes in the NFL. He has completed as many to opposing teams as he has to his own receivers.
LeFevour was a pretty good quarterback in college, but I'm not sure he would fair much better than the younger Palmer.
TW's Take: They are ranked this low because they really have no NFL experience whatsoever. LeFevour, a rookie, was drafted by the Chicago Bears, but was later cut and signed by the Bengals. He was a good player in college and some people compared him to Tim Tebow, just at a smaller school.
If LeFevour actually had a chance to play, I think he could be a good backup for the Bengals. Jordan Palmer, on the other hand, not so much. The brother of Bengals starter, Carson, the younger one has seen limited action since being drafted in 2008.
He competed in two games that season, only to throw 12 passes and two of those passes were intercepted. Like numerous other teams, if the starter was injured, the Bengals would be lost and it would be very hard for them to win a game.
#29: Curtis Painter, Indianapolis Colts
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TW's Take: Frankly, Painter got lucky that I didn't have him last in my rankings. Why? He is simply not a good quarterback. He is one of the worst quarterbacks I have ever seen; he's like the NFL's Hasheem Thabeet, just not as hyped.
He completely embarrassed Colts fans last season in the final two games. If you didn't know, the Colts were 14-0 heading into the last two games of the season. Coach Jim Caldwell wanted to rest Peyton Manning for those games, so Painter took the majority of the snaps in the final two games.
The Colts lost the final two games, mainly due to Painter. In games against the Jets and Bills, Painter managed to only complete 8 of 28 passes for 83 yards and two interceptions (9.8 quarterback rating).
In the Jets game, Painter also lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. He is just not a good NFL quarterback, and that's about all I can say about him.
SP's Take: Painter should be thankful he has just enough experience to keep him from being the lowest-ranked quarterback in the NFL. There are several third-string quarterbacks I would rather have on my team than Painter, and I can't count how many free agents are better.
He was given a chance last season to take the Colts to a perfect regular season record and responded by blowing a lead and getting thrashed by the New York Jets.
Every time I have seen him on the field, one of the following has occurred: a sack, an interception, an errant pass out of bounds, a horribly placed incompletion, a fumbled snap, another sack or an extremely short completion for almost no gain. The latter is the best he can hope for.
*On a side note, Colts fans apparently dislike Painter as much or more than we ever could. At a recent press conference, an angry fan hurled a shoe at Curtis Painter. I can only say we both envy said fan.
#28: Brian Hoyer, New England Patriots
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SP's Take: Hoyer has only appeared in six games during his NFL career, and his stats aren't exactly impressive. Luckily for the Patriots, Tom Brady usually stays healthy and on the field.
However, if Brady takes another unlucky hit like he did a few seasons ago against the Chiefs, Hoyer might find himself starting for one of the marquee franchise in the NFL.
If New England had to depend on him as their starter, I'm not sure they would better than a .500 team at best. They don't exactly have a stout running game to save an inexperienced quarterback.
TW's Take: Hoyer, an undrafted rookie out of Michigan State last season, is the only other quarterback on the roster besides Tom Brady. Although he didn't play much last season, he still showed that he could be a serviceable backup.
He appeared in five games last season, completing 19 of 27 passes for 142 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
The Patriots are better off than teams such as the Colts, Bengals, Rams and Bills. And they should be thankful for that.
#27: Chase Daniel, New Orleans Saints
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TW's Take: While at Missouri, Daniel showed that he was one of the most prolific passers in NCAA history. He racked up good numbers while in college, but hasn't gotten the chance to show that in the NFL just yet.
With the players that surround him in New Orleans, I think that Daniel could play well if he was given the opportunity. He still has a lot of potential and like Hoyer, I think he could be a good backup someday; it may not be right now, but down the road.
SP's Take: Chase Daniel has never seen any meaningful playing time in the NFL, and it's probably best for the Saints if that trend continues. While he was a pretty solid quarterback in college at Missouri, Daniel hasn't exactly blown people away with his skills in the NFL.
Daniel is a quarterback that I could potentially see being semi-successful if he was given a chance in the spotlight. There is also no way he could lead the Saints the way Drew Brees can.
#26: Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers
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SP's Take: Matt Flynn is another quarterback who hasn't seen much meaningful playing time, and considering he backs up one of the most durable quarterbacks in the league, it's unlikely he will be seen anytime soon starting in Green Bay.
Flynn almost got his first NFL start against the Miami Dolphins a few weeks ago, as it was uncertain if Rodgers would play after suffering a concussion the previous week. However, Rodgers was able to make the start and Flynn has continued to ride the pine for the Packers.
TW's Take: Flynn is currently Aaron Rodgers' backup in Green Bay and it doesn't look like he'll be taking the reins anytime soon. Flynn, a rookie in 2008, has barely seen the field in regular season play, but has done well in each preseason.
For his career, Flynn has completed 9 of 18 passes for 64 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception.
Like Daniel, Flynn could prosper with the weapons that surround him (Jennings, Driver, Finley), if given the chance to take the majority of the snaps for the Packers.
#25: Caleb Hanie/Todd Collins, Chicago Bears
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TW's Take: At the rate Cutler is playing this season, the Bears may be better off starting Hanie or Collins. Even though Hanie is very young and Collins hasn't played much throughout his career, one could possibly do better than Cutler.
Collins took over for Cutler against the Panthers when Cutler suffered a concussion in their loss to the Giants. Even though the Bears beat the Panthers, it was no thanks to Collins, who threw four interceptions in the loss.
It was also Collins' first win since 1997. It's hard to depend on Collins, because he is getting older and his skills are diminishing; that's why he and Hanie are ranked so low.
Hanie has not had much playing time in his three years in the NFL, only attempting 14 passes and throwing one interception. So, it's hard to evaluate him because he has played a limited amount of time.
SP's Take: Personally, I don't think any of Chicago's quarterbacks are very good, including starter Jay Cutler. Hanie and Collins both got playing time against the New York Giants earlier this season, and both were completely ineffective.
Collins played again the next week against the Carolina Panthers, and the Bears witnessed one of the worst quarterback performances in their franchise history.
Collins stats for the game: 6 of 16 for 32 yards with four interceptions, for a passer rating of 6.3.
#24: Tim Tebow/Brady Quinn, Denver Broncos
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SP's Take: The Denver Broncos gambled a first-round draft pick to snatch Tim Tebow, and while Josh McDaniels is clearly a mile high on the former Florida quarterback, I'm not such a believer in his abilities.
While Tebow clearly is great on his feet and extremely mobile, I'm not sure retooling his throwing motion after college is going to make that dramatic of a difference in his game. In fact, I think the Broncos would be much better off throwing Quinn on the field if starter Kyle Orton were to go out for any amount of time.
It is likely that Tebow will start a few games late in the season if the Broncos are no longer in playoff contention.
TW's Take: Kyle Orton is playing great this season, so we will probably not see Tebow or Quinn have a significant amount of playing time on the field this year. The Broncos drafted Tebow this year to groom him and eventually have him as the starter for Josh McDaniels' Broncos.
The highly-decorated quarterback has played a little bit this season and rushed for his first touchdown in Week 6 against the Jets, but he has yet to throw a pass and has rushed eight times.
He is a work in progress and will eventually be placed as the starter. For now, Tebow is still a rookie and has to learn a lot.
Quinn, a former first-round pick, finally got out of Cleveland earlier this year and has found a home as the third-string quarterback in Denver. I never thought that Quinn would be that great of a quarterback and he has shown that, although he did play with one of the most consistently bad teams.
Since being drafted in 2007, Quinn has struggled to say the least. He's only completed 52.1% of his passes for 1,902 yards and 10 touchdowns with 9 interceptions (66.8 QB rating).
#23: Trent Edwards/Todd Bouman, Jacksonville Jaguars
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TW's Take: David Garrard, the most inconsistent starter in the NFL, has quite a few players behind him on the roster. The Jaguars claimed Trent Edwards off waivers this season and he is listed as the second quarterback.
Edwards wore out his welcome in Buffalo and was thought to be the franchise's next great quarterback when they selected him out of Stanford in 2007. However, that was not the case, as Edwards played poorly and was forced out. Maybe he just needs a change of scenery.
Bouman, an 11-year veteran, hasn't played that much over his career. He has been a career backup and only has 13 touchdowns to his name, along with 1,905 yards. But, his veteran leadership is a good quality to have, and he is ready to play whenever his team needs him.
SP's Take: The Jaguars have had the misfortune of seeing both of their backups in action this season, and neither one has had much success. Edwards replaced an injured David Garrard against the Tennessee Titans a few weeks ago, but was ineffective and knocked out with an injury.
Bouman replaced Edwards and finished that game, which ended up being a loss, and then led the Jags to another loss the following week against the Kansas City Chiefs after throwing a late pick six. Bouman was definitely the better of the two backups, but likely will remain behind Edwards on the depth chart for now.
#22: Brodie Croyle, Kansas City Chiefs
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SP's Take: Brodie Croyle has never been very successful at the NFL level, and the Chiefs better hope Matt Cassel stays healthy if they want to continue their upward climb in the AFC West.
Croyle has been a sore sight for Chiefs fans during his tenure there, as the team has been 0-9 in his nine appearances with them during the regular season.
Cassel is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, but he is actually pretty valuable to his team when you look at their other option.
TW's Take: The Chiefs have played pretty well behind Matt Cassel this season, but they just couldn't do that with Croyle behind center.
Croyle, a rookie in 2006, hasn't played spectacular during his career, but is a quality backup to Cassel.
Croyle came to the Chiefs when they were in the midst of their post-Trent Green era, so I have to give some credit to Croyle: he played mildly decent, albeit with a bad team around him.
For his career, the former Alabama quarterback completed 173 of 300 passes for 1,631 yards and 8 touchdowns with 8 interceptions.
#21: Josh Johnson/Rudy Carpenter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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TW's Take: Tampa Bay has named Josh Freeman as their quarterback of the future, so Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter are the backups. Johnson, a great collegiate quarterback, hasn't played well in his short career, but he hasn't gotten the opportunity to flourish.
Last season, Johnson participated in six games, throwing for 685 yards with four touchdowns and eight interceptions. This season, he has completed 10 of 12 passes for 88 yards, so he has been accurate - but, he just hasn't been able to turn those completions into touchdowns and wins.
Like a few other quarterbacks, Carpenter hasn't played an official down in the NFL, so it's hard to evaluate how much he means to his team.
SP's Take: Josh Johnson is a pretty decent quarterback, and could probably do about as well Josh Freeman. The Bucs are doing fairly well this season, and Freeman has been a large reason for their success.
Johnson has only started four games for Tampa Bay, and all four have resulted in losses. But he is also pretty young, and his options at receiver aren't exactly the best in the league. With the right pieces around him or in the right situation, Johnson could be pretty successful.
Carpenter is a last resort for the franchise, and likely won't see meaningful action unless both of the teams other quarterbacks go down with injury.
#20: Charlie Whitehurst, Seattle Seahawks
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SP's Take: Charlie Whitehurst is regarded very highly by the Seahawks organization, although he has never played a down in the NFL. I'm personally not very high on him, and I think Seattle could draft or acquire a much better quarterback to run their franchise.
If Matt Hasselbeck were to go down with an injury, I'm not convinced Whitehurst be able to even remotely resemble a leader on the field.
The Seahawks need to give him more playing time in games that are out of hand or in situations where they have the game well in hand. In either situation, the team wouldn't really be hurt by playing him, and he would gain valuable playing time if they really want him as their franchise quarterback in the future.
TW's Take: The Seahawks traded for Whitehurst this offseason after he spent a few years with the Chargers. Whitehurst apparently has shown promise, albeit never throwing a pass in the NFL.
He is thought to supplant Matt Hasselbeck as the starter for Pete Carroll's newly-revamped Seahawks. Whitehurst will have to learn from Hasselbeck if he hopes to take over for him in the near future.
But, if Hasselbeck went down with an injury right now, I think Whitehurst could come in and play decently for Seattle.
#19: Jimmy Clausen/Tony Pike, Carolina Panthers
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TW's Take: The Panthers are in a tough position. With Matt Moore about to start his second reign as the Panthers starter, rookies Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike are listed as the backups.
Clausen, a projected first-round selection this season, has played poorly so far this season after being selected with the 48th overall pick.
He almost led an upset of the New Orleans Saints, but outside of that, his NFL career so far has been poor.
For the season, Clausen has completed 47.3% of his passes for 454 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Not a good start for the rookie, but it takes time for players to get used to the NFL level.
Pike has yet to play a down in his NFL career, so it's hard to say what he could do for the Panthers any time soon.
SP's Take: Clausen had a chance to take over Carolina's offense, and he completely and utterly failed in his attempt. In his five games, Clausen had one touchdown and three interceptions. He also failed to complete more than 50 percent of his passes.
Tony Pike hasn't had a chance to play yet in the regular season, but quite frankly he would probably do as well if not better than Carolina's other two options. After ending last season on a solid note, the Panthers' starting quarterback Matt Moore has been pretty bad this season.
Armanti Edwards may get a start at quarterback before the end of the season if no one else on the roster can get a win.
#18: Billy Volek/J.T. O'Sullivan, San Diego Chargers
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SP's Take: Billy Volek was somewhat successful when he played with the Tennessee Titans, but he hasn't really had many snaps in the regular season since he arrived in San Diego.
The Chargers have largely placed their future in the hands of Philip Rivers, so they haven't really invested in a solid backup considering his durability.
O'Sullivan has been a career journeyman, and has had varying success at each stop. However, he has never been a solid, reliable quarterback that you would ever willing put into the game.
TW's Take: With Philip Rivers as the main quarterback in San Diego, it is not likely that Volek or O'Sullivan will ever see the field while they're there. Volek, however, did surprise a lot of people in a playoff upset of the Colts a few years ago and has shown that he is a decent backup. But, as he gets older, it gets more and more suspect of his playing abilities.
O'Sullivan, a career backup, has been well-traveled in his NFL career with teams such as the Saints, Packers, Lions, 49ers, Bengals, and now, the Chargers.
Not to mention, he's been the third-string quarterback on most of those teams. He will more than likely be nothing but a third-stringer for the rest of his time in the NFL.
#17: Chris Redman/John Parker Wilson, Atlanta Falcons
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TW's Take: I had this duo higher on my list because Redman has played exceedingly well when his team has needed him. A high-profile quarterback coming out of college, Redman really couldn't find his own in Baltimore.
Since arriving in Atlanta in 2007, Redman played well for them, even though they went through the Bobby Petrino fiasco. His best season came in 2007 when he played in 7 games and threw for 1,079 yards with 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions (90.4 quarterback rating).
If Matt Ryan came down with an injury, I think that Redman could do well and lead the Falcons in the NFC South.
SP's Take: Redman has had some moderate success during his time with the Falcons, and has shown he can play well in place of Matt Ryan when he isn't available to play. However, he hasn't been able to win many of those games.
If Atlanta ever lost Ryan for a long period of time, as in more than half a season, they would be in serious trouble with Redman in his place.
However, in one or two game spots when he is needed, he can be valuable and give the Falcons a decent chance at winning as long as the rest of the team has a solid effort.
John Parker Wilson hasn't really played much, nor has he shown he can really play any meaningful time at the professional level. I wouldn't ever expect him to start multiple games in a row for Atlanta.
#16: Dan Orlovsky/Matt Leinart, Houston Texans
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SP's Take: Neither of the Texans' backup quarterbacks have had much playing time with the Texans, but I would imagine Leinart would get the nod of something happened to Matt Schaub.
He has played in the regular season with the Arizona Cardinals, and while they dumped him in the preseason, he did show some positive signs in his time there.
The Texans have a solid receiving corps and a pretty solid running game this season, so I think he could be moderately successful with them.
Orlovsky is 0-7 in his seven career starts, all of which came during the Detroit Lions 0-16 season. I can't really picture Gary Kubiak putting him in ahead of Leinart.
TW's Take: I'll be the first to tell you that the Texans would be in a bad place if Matt Schaub got injured. Leinart, a first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2006, has been a bust. When he didn't get elected as the starter in the preseason for the Cardinals, he immediately wanted out and signed with the Texans.
He has been anything but the hopeful he was when he won the Heisman Trophy. His career just hasn't turned out that great and now he is listed as the third-string quarterback in Houston. He has been shaky at best over his career, throwing for 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Not good.
Orlovsky, a former Detroit Lion, has showed some consistency when he has been playing, but he is not a prototypical weekly starter. He's played in only 12 games in his career, throwing for 1,679 yards and 8 touchdowns with 8 interceptions.
#15: Derek Anderson/John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals
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TW's Take: Somehow, rookie Max Hall got the starting nod over Derek Anderson, which speaks poorly of Anderson. With the Cardinals cutting ties with Matt Leinart, Anderson was thought to be the Cardinals' starting quarterback.
That was not the case, as Hall took over for Anderson a few weeks ago. Anderson, a 2007 Pro Bowler, has not been the same since that season. He has been shaky at best and he has compiled a record below .500.
In Cleveland, he was thought to be their next franchise quarterback, but it didn't work out. In Arizona, he was thought to be their starter also and it didn't work out there, either.
Skelton, a rookie, hasn't played a down in the NFL so far, so it's hard to gauge his abilities.
SP's Take: Derek Anderson was a pretty solid quarterback at certain points during his tenure with the Cleveland Browns, but there were also periods where he struggled mightily. His tenure with the Cardinals has just been one downhill plunge.
After struggling early in the season, Anderson was benched in favor of Max Hall, a rookie out of BYU. Hall has been somewhat successful during his time as the starter.
While neither quarterback is likely to be extremely successful in the near future, I think Hall is clearly their best option.
Skelton is in his first season in the NFL, and as of now hasn't played in the regular season.
#14: Shaun Hill/Drew Stanton, Detroit Lions
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SP's Take: The Lions have had a horrendous season when it comes to the quarterback position, and as of right now, they are having to start Drew Stanton due to injuries to Hill and starter Matthew Stafford.
Hill was clearly the best backup of the two, but after suffering a fractured forearm Oct. 17 against the New York Giants, has been unable to play and it is unlikely he will again this season. Stafford has been out since taking a massive hit by Julius Peppers in a season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears.
Stanton hopefully won't have to lead the team for long, as Stafford should be ready to return in the near future.
TW's Take: The Lions starter, Matt Stafford, got injured in Week 1 against the Bears, so Shaun Hill was named the starter for the next few weeks. Including the Bears game, Hill threw for 1,309 yards with 9 touchdowns and 7 interceptions before being knocked out for the season against the Giants.
In two games, Hill threw for over 300 yards with a combined four touchdowns. Hill is one of the only few quarterbacks that can be thrown in at any time and put up great numbers.
So, it will be hard for anyone to supplant Stafford since he was the first overall pick last year. Hill would have to take the Lions deep into the playoffs to take over for Stafford and yeah, that won't happen.
Stanton has not had that much playing experience during his NFL career. In his four-season career, Stanton has thrown for just 611 yards with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. It looks like that he'll be staying as the third-string quarterback, barring an injury to one of the top two quarterbacks.
#13: Rex Grossman/John Beck, Washington Redskins
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TW's Take: Grossman is only this high because he took a team to the Super Bowl. Other than that, there is really no clear-cut reason for him to be ranked this high. His stats are not overwhelming by any means and he has been as inconsistent as they come.
But, like I said, he did take the Bears to the Super Bowl, but lost to the Colts 29-17. Although he has a 19-12 overall regular season record, he has thrown more interceptions (36) than touchdowns (33).
His best came in the Super Bowl season, when he threw for 3,193 yards with 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. But, it is clear that Grossman's starting days are over.
Beck was drafted as a developmental quarterback, but really hasn't gotten the chance to shine at the NFL level. He started four games for the Dolphins in 2007, compiling an 0-4 record - he also threw for 559 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
SP's Take: Rex Grossman proved he can win games during his tenure with the Chicago Bears, and he could likely win several games if he ever had to play any stretch of time for the Washington Redskins.
With Donovan McNabb leading the way for the Redskins, the team likely won't have to rely on Grossman much, if any, this season. With team not having many quality targets downfield, however, Grossman could have some struggles with the Redskins offense.
Beck hasn't played much in the NFL, and likely won't ever start for Washington.
#12: Jon Kitna/Stephen McGee, Dallas Cowboys
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SP's Take: With the recent injury to Tony Romo, Kitna has been thrust into the starting role for the Dallas Cowboys. Luckily for him, the team has little to no postseason expectations after starting the season with a 1-5 record and losing their starting quarterback for at least six to eight weeks.
Kitna has enjoyed some success during his 14-year NFL career, but I'm not sure he will have much with a team that is struggling in virtually every aspect.
Stephen McGee has never taken a snap in the NFL during the regular season, and would almost qualify as a white-flag being waved if sent into the game by Wade Phillips.
TW's Take: It is time for Jon Kitna to gain ground on the 11 players in front of him. With Tony Romo going down last week, Kitna is now the starter, possibly for the rest of the season. Romo is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, but the recovery could take more time.
Kitna hasn't played since 2008 and hasn't won a game since 2007, but he has shown that he is starting material.
A former starter with the Seahawks, Bengals, and Lions, Kitna has 27,480 career passing yards. He has also passed for 154 touchdowns over his 14-year career. That's why he's ranked this highly on my list.
McGee hasn't played yet in the NFL, but he is thought by some to have a little potential. He was taken in the fourth round by the Cowboys last year and could be a No. 2 quarterback a few years down the road.
#11: Marc Bulger, Baltimore Ravens
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TW's Take: Like Kitna, Bulger has experience in the NFL and was a starter for the Rams since 2003. He is a 2-time Pro Bowler and has 22,814 career passing yards. If Joe Flacco got injured, Bulger could immediately step in and hold his own on the field.
Released by the Rams earlier this offseason, Bulger was signed by the Ravens to be the backup. Like Grossman, his starting days are over and he will more than likely be a backup for the rest of his career. His best season came in 2006 when he threw for 4,301 yards with 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
SP's Take: Bulger used to be a quality quarterback with the St. Louis Rams, however, he has consistently gone downhill over the past few seasons due to injuries and a general decline in his playing.
If Baltimore needed Bulger to come in for a few series, or possibly a game, in place of starter Joe Flacco, I think there's a decent chance he could lead a fairly stacked team to victory.
On the other hand, if Baltimore had to rely on him for more than one week, I'm not sure the situation would have a very positive ending for the Ravens.
#10: Sage Rosenfels/Jim Sorgi, New York Giants
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SP's Take: The Giants have to rely on Sage Rosenfels for the remainder of this season as Sorgi is out for the year on IR. Rosenfels hasn't had any meaningful playing time with the Giants since arriving from the Minnesota Vikings.
If anything happened to Eli Manning, I don't think there is anyway this team could really recover from it. However, I think Rosenfels gives the team a decent shot at winning if he ever did have to come into a game.
TW's Take: Rosenfels, a rookie in 2001, has been a career backup, only starting 12 games over his career. However, he is still a good backup and has shown that he could win games if he's around a good team. Now on his fifth team, Rosenfels has passed for 4,156 yards in his career.
In his three-year stint with the Texans, he played decent, but the team around him just wasn't up to par. He compiled a 6-4 record with them, however, and threw for 3,380 yards with 24 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
Sorgi, also a career backup, has spent the majority of his career as Peyton Manning's backup before the Colts cut ties with him earlier this year. He suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason and will not return to the field for the rest of the season.
#9: Bruce Gradkowski/Kyle Boller, Oakland Raiders
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TW's Take: The Raiders are flip-flopping between Gradkowski and Jason Campbell, but with Gradkowski missing his third straight game, Campbell has been tabbed as the starter....for now. Gradkowski has led his team to stunning wins over his career and for that, he's ranked this high on my list.
His stats may not be incredible, but his leadership and energy has made the team better. He is a good player and can contribute when needed and he may see time as the starter at some point this season.
Boller entered the season as the Raiders backup after being the Ravens starter a few years ago. Boller was the Ravens' career leader in passing yards before Joe Flacco broke the record earlier this season. But, Boller hasn't received that much time as the starter, so he will be a No. 2 quarterback at best for the rest of his career.
SP's Take: Both of the Raiders' backups have seen playing time this season, and both have shown varying levels of success.
Al Davis once again thought he landed the future face of the franchise with his acquisition of Jason Campbell, but both backups have been as successful, if not a little more, than Campbell to this point in the season.
The Raiders used Gradkowski at points last season, and they also saw some success with his playing capabilities then as well. If Campbell continues to struggle this season, I would be surprised if the team doesn't give him a shot at the starting spot.
Boller used to be moderately successful during his tenure with the Baltimore Ravens, and even he could probably fare pretty well for the Raiders if they needed him to start multiple games for them.
#8. Mark Brunell/Kellen Clemens, New York Jets
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SP's Take: The Jets have a fairly decent backup in Mark Brunell, who could definitely fill in adequately in short periods for Mark Sanchez. While he probably couldn't win very many games over a long stretch, he is a veteran who knows how to squeeze out a victory when surrounded by enough quality players.
Clemens has had little NFL experience in the regular season, but luckily for the Jets, it's highly unlikely they will need to call upon him this season. Sanchez has shown he is very durable player during his time in the league, so he makes it very difficult to imagine a third quarterback ever being needed.
TW's Take: Brunell, a veteran, was brought in to be the safety cushion behind Mark Sanchez. A Jaguar for the majority of his career, Brunell has racked up many passing yards throughout his career and for that, he is No. 8 on my list.
Since being drafted in 1994, Brunell is a three-time Pro Bowler and has thrown for 31,935 yards. Even though he is getting older, he is a quality backup quarterback.
Kellen Clemens was given time as the starter before the Mark Sanchez era, but proved that he was not going to be a week-to-week starter.
7. Colt McCoy/Seneca Wallace/Brett Ratliff, Cleveland Browns
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TW's Take: Jake Delhomme was the starter for the Browns for Week 1, but Colt McCoy is now the starter until Delhomme comes back from injury. McCoy, the "future" of the Browns, has played well in his place and did exceedingly well in the preseason.
Even though he's a rookie, he could end up starting more games this season than people think. He wasn't expected to play at all in his rookie campaign, but due to injuries, he has ended up taking snaps for the Browns.
Wallace played his entire career for the Seahawks before being acquired by the Browns this offseason. He played the majority of his time as the backup and only saw the field a few times during each season.
He is still a great backup and most teams in the NFL could use him as their No. 2 QB. That's a good deal to have him as the third-stringer.
SP's Take: McCoy has shown varying levels of success in his two regular season starts thus far in his career, but signs are pointing towards him being a pretty decent quarterback on the professional level.
After struggling in his season debut and first NFL start against the Pittsburgh Steelers, McCoy helped his team upset the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints this past weekend.
He has already played against two of the best defenses in the league in his first two starts, so it will be interesting to see how successful he is against an average one.
Wallace has been fairly decent when called upon during his time in Cleveland and when he was a member of the Seattle Seahawks, but he will likely remain on the bench as long as McCoy or Jake Delhomme are healthy.
#6: Tavaris Jackson/Joe Webb, Minnesota Vikings
SP's Take: The Vikings will likely turn to Jackson this Sunday to start against the New England Patriots, a move that will likely end Brett Favre's streak of consecutive starts at 291.
If the Vikings do go with Jackson on Sunday, I think it may actually yield the team better results than Favre has this season.
Even before having his ankle injured, Favre has struggled mightily this season in almost every aspect of his game.
Jackson is at least an experienced backup that was the teams' starting quarterback prior to Favre's arrival.
TW's Take: Jackson may not be the backup for long. With Brett Favre's 291-game streak possibly coming to an end this weekend, Jackson may be the starter once again for the Vikings...at least for one game.
The spotlight couldn't get any brighter for Jackson as he is expected to play against the tough New England Patriots at their stadium. So, all eyes will be watching him.
For his career, Jackson has started 19 games, compiling a 10-9 record. They also reached the playoffs in 2007, behind Jackson. He has 3,643 career passing yards, including 21 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
Webb has not accumulated any stats thus far, so I can't say anything about him.
5. Byron Leftwich/Dennis Dixon/Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers
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TW's Take: With Ben Roethlisberger missing the first four games, Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch filled in admirably and led the Steelers to a 3-1 record in that span. The backup quarterback by committee is a very talented group, consisting of veteran leadership, energy, and great abilities.
Leftwich, a once-upon-a-time starter in Jacksonville, hasn't played at all this season, but has shown glimpses of hope since being drafted in 2003.
Dennis Dixon started the first two games of the year before suffering a season-ending injury. He completed 22 of 32 passes, throwing for zero touchdowns and one interception. Even though they're not amazing statistics, he provided energy for the team.
Batch, a veteran, is also a great player and many teams need him as their backup. But, for now, he's on the Steelers and it looks like he'll be there until he retires. For his career, Batch has thrown for 10,402 yards with 60 touchdowns and 47 interceptions.
SP's Take: The Steelers clearly have the most depth at the quarterback position. Leftwich has been a starter for a majority of his career, but has also seen moderate success as a backup as well. If the Steelers needed him to step into a game, I'm pretty confident he would give them a solid shot at a win.
Dennis Dixon is young and didn't have much experience prior to this season, but he has the potential to be a very dangerous quarterback in the NFL. If placed in the right situation, I think Dixon has the intangibles to be a starter one day for another team.
Batch is a quality veteran, and while the team really doesn't need a fourth quarterback after Ben Roethlisberger's suspension recently ended, he does give them yet another solid option should he be needed.
#4: David Carr/Troy Smith, San Francisco 49ers
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SP's Take: The 49ers have three quarterbacks on their roster who have never been anywhere near close to living up to their potential, and there is no guarantee which player will be starting week-to-week for the rest of the season.
Alex Smith was pulled last week, and all indications point to Troy Smith leapfrogging Carr on the depth chart to earn the starting position for this upcoming weekend.
If Carr is needed, however, he is a pretty decent quarterback and can lead the team to a win if everyone else is playing well around him.
TW's Take: A former No. 1 overall pick, Carr is now with the 49ers, serving as Alex Smith's backup. Carr had played the majority of his career with the Texans before stopping in Carolina, New York, and now, San Francisco.
He is considered a journeyman and some may see him as a bust, but he still has starting experience in the NFL, thus leading to the No. 4 ranking for the 49ers. He may not have blown people away with his stats, but the 49ers will know they can stick him on the field and he will keep them in the game.
Troy Smith, a former Heisman Trophy winner, had spent his career with the Ravens and compiled a 1-1 record with the team in two starts. He may not be one of the best backups in the league, but like Dennis Dixon, he can provide energy when needed.
3. Chad Pennington/Tyler Thigpen, Miami Dolphins
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TW's Take: Chad Pennington is now in South Beach and being a mentor to the young Chad Henne. One of the most accurate passers in NFL history, Pennington still has the ability to be a starter in the NFL and that's hard to say about many quarterbacks on this list.
Pennington has started 80 games in his career, accumulating a 43-37 record. He led the NFL in accuracy twice and has thrown for 17,804 yards with 102 touchdowns and 64 interceptions. He is definitely a great mentor to Henne and can give the Dolphins great leadership qualities.
Tyler Thigpen was once the starter in Kansas City, but is now the No. 3 quarterback in Miami. He hasn't received that much time as a starter, but he is definitely a serviceable backup.
SP's Take: Pennington is one of the most talented backups in the league by far, and spent a majority of his career as a starter before suffering a third major shoulder injury last season.
Chad Henne has done fairly well since taking over the team from Pennington, but if the team ever decided to go back to Pennington, I'm pretty sure he would give them an equal, if not better, chance of winning. Many fans think Pennington might actually be a better option at quarterback for the Dolphins.
Thigpen has also shown he is a pretty decent quarterback on the NFL level, and he would also give the team a fair chance at winning if he was forced to go in.
2. Kerry Collins/Rusty Smith, Tennessee Titans
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SP's Take: Collins has shown over the past several seasons that he is definitely capable of winning when the Titans call upon him. He has led them to victories this season in play of Vince Young while he has been out injured, and has been fairly consistent during his tenure with Tennessee.
While he may not be mobile as Young, and that hurts Chris Johnson's game a little, he is clearly better with his arm than the Titans' starter.
There is a decent chance that Young might not get the starting job back when he gets healthy, although I think that is an unlikely scenario. It is pretty much now or never for Vince Young to be the leader of the Titans.
TW's Take: Collins is a great backup with the Titans, even though he struggled last season and led the Titans to an 0-6 record. It may not be a great win-loss record, but the numbers he puts up are very good and he can still be used as a starter.
The Titans should be thankful to have Collins, just in case Vince Young doesn't play up to their expectations. They can always throw Collins in there and expect decent results.
For his career, Collins has thrown for 39,153 yards with 197 touchdowns and 190 interceptions. He ranks 12th in NFL history in terms of passing yards and could very well improve on those numbers before he retires.
Smith has not competed in any games so far.
1. Michael Vick/Kevin Kolb/Mike Kafka, Philadelphia Eagles
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TW's Take: Yes, I know, these rankings have both players listed first. But, with the starter being tossed up in the air every weekend, it's hard to put just one player on the list. So, we decided to go with both of them.
Vick, perhaps the greatest scrambling quarterback in NFL history, was brought back to the NFL by the Eagles after being in prison for dogfighting. Now, he has made a remarkable return and looks like he will be the starter when he returns.from injury.
Although he isn't as accurate as most people had hoped, no one can deny how great he is on the ground. And the thing is, he is still good running the football. Vick is the only quarterback in history to run for over 1,000 yards in a season.
For his career, Vick has thrown for 12,390 yards with 78 touchdowns and 52 interceptions. He also has 4,141 yards and 24 touchdowns on the ground.
Kolb, currently the starter, was the No. 1 quarterback entering the season before suffering a concussion in their Week 1 loss to the Packers. With Vick being sidelined now, Kolb is looking to hopefully stay as their starter.
However, Kolb has been up-and-down in his appearances, so he will have to become more consistent if he wants to be a continual starter in the league. So far this season, Kolb has thrown for 1,035 yards with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
NOTE: Vick is expected to be the starter against the Colts next weekend. They have a bye this week.
SP's Take: Michael Vick has clearly been the best backup in the NFL this season, and he stole the show when he took over the job for an injured Kevin Kolb early in the season. Vick has made a remarkable turnaround from where he was viewed when he first started his attempt to regain a starting job in the NFL.
Although Kevin Kolb took the job back from Vick when he suffered an injury against the Washington Redskins, Andy Reid has already stated that Vick will be the team's starting quarterback once he returns.
Kolb is also a quality quarterback and apparently still the future of the franchise. While he is considered the future, the team, and more specifically Reid, believe Vick is a better option at this time because of his mobility and down-field passing abilities.