Top 10 Worst Quarterbacks to Start a Game in the NFL

Cody Swartz@cbswartz5Senior Writer INovember 3, 2008

For every Tom Brady in this league, there's a Dan Orlovsky. For every Peyton Manning, there's a Bobby Hoying. Here is a list of the top 10 worst quarterbacks to start a game in the NFL over the last 10 seasons.



10. Joey Harrington


It has to be tough when you're the No. 2 overall draft pick and expected to be the savior of the team. Harrington never quite fulfilled his potential, becoming one of a series of first round busts by the Lions in the recent decade.


How he was able to start 76 games in this league is a mystery, but his 69.4 passer rating and his .342 winning percentage are some of the worst in history for quarterbacks with at least 75 starts.




9. Rick Mirer


Like Harrington before him, Mirer was the No. 2 overall pick in the '93 draft. Pro Football Reference, the league's official football statistics Web site, ranked Mirer as the worst quarterback in NFL history.



8. Andrew Walter


What a joke at quarterback. Let's hope for the sake of Raiders fans that JaMarcus Russell makes them forget the days of Walter behind center. He lost six of eight starts in 2006 and threw three touchdowns to 13 interceptions.


7. Doug Pederson/Bobby Hoying


It's difficult to separate Pederson and Hoying, as both were career backup quarterbacks for the Eagles in the late '90s who were forced to start. Hoying set an NFL record in '98 by completing 114 passes without throwing a single touchdown pass. Pederson merely served as a tackling dummy for McNabb, the face of the franchise who would be drafted in '99.


6. Akili Smith


Formerly the No. 3 overall pick in the '99 draft, Akili Smith was last seen as a third string quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. In his less-than-spectacular NFL career, Smith (like Pederson) won just three of 17 starts and posted a dreadful 52.8 passer rating.



5. Cade McNown


He was drafted 12th overall in the 2000 NFL draft, yet lasted just two seasons with the Bears, compiling just a .200 winning percentage and a 67.7 passer rating.


He tried to make it as a backup with the Dolphins the following year but didn't last, and he was never able to resurrect his NFL career.



4. Chris Weinke


He holds the NFL record for most consecutive losses by a quarterback in both a season (14) and overall (17). Weinke finally won again in 2006, his first win in five seasons, improving his career winning percentage to .100.


In this 10-3 win, Weinke threw just seven passes for 32 yards, while benefiting from the 52 carries by the Panthers' running game.



3. Mike McMahon


I had to watch this guy take snaps for the Eagles in 2005 when McNabb was hurt. What a painful sight. He didn't know how to lead an offense or read a defense.


I still remember that 42-0 loss to the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, when McMahon threw two picks, both returned for touchdowns, and lost two fumbles.



2. Spergon Wynn


He was an absolute disaster behind center. Wynn lost all three games he started in his two-year career and retired with a career passer rating of 39.5. I can't confirm this for sure, but I imagine this is the lowest passer rating for any quarterback in history with a minimum of three starts.


1. Ryan Leaf


Maybe the worst football player in NFL history.


Definitely the worst draft pick ever.


His third career start was definitely a sign of things to come, as he completed one of 15 passes with two interceptions and three lost fumbles. It was all downhill from there.


Leaf retired with a career 4-17 record as a starter, and a passer rating of just 50.0.


    Eagles OTAs Day 1 Observations

    Philadelphia Eagles logo
    Philadelphia Eagles

    Eagles OTAs Day 1 Observations

    NBC 10 Philadelphia
    via NBC 10 Philadelphia

    What Salary Caps Tell Us About NFL’s Most Extreme Teams

    NFL logo

    What Salary Caps Tell Us About NFL’s Most Extreme Teams

    The Ringer
    via The Ringer

    NFL Backfield Rankings for 2018

    Los Angeles Chargers logo
    Los Angeles Chargers

    NFL Backfield Rankings for 2018

    Kristopher Knox
    via Bleacher Report

    No Controversy: Big Ben Willing to Help Rookie

    NFL logo

    No Controversy: Big Ben Willing to Help Rookie

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report