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The Worst Starting QBs in Each NFL Franchise's History

Brian WrightCorrespondent IIAugust 24, 2011

The Worst Starting QBs in Each NFL Franchise's History

1 of 33

    It’s a well-known fact that Joe Montana is the best starting quarterback in the history of the San Francisco 49ers.

    The worst starting signal-caller? Ah, now there’s a debate.

    Each franchise at one point or another has had a consistent head man behind center.

    But, there are times, due to injury or bad coaching judgment, it has been saddled with a dog of a QB that can’t pass muster at his position.

    Here is a look at the worst starting quarterback in each team’s history.

    All statistics gathered courtesy of www.profootball-reference.com and www.nfl.com

Arizona Cardinals: Buddy Humphrey

2 of 33

    Years on team: 1963-65

    Games started: 3

    Record: 0-3

    Completion percentage: 53%

    Passing yards: 832

    TDs: 2

    INTs: 9

    All nine of Humphrey’s picks came in his three starts with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1965. He played for three other teams, but never won in any game he started.

Atlanta Falcons: Randy Johnson

3 of 33

    Years on team: 1966-70

    Games started: 39

    Record: 8-28-1

    Completion percentage: 48.1%

    Passing yards: 5538

    TDs: 34

    INTs: 65

    This Randy Johnson didn’t fare nearly as well as the future Hall of Fame pitcher, thanks to a terrible touchdown-to-interception ratio. In fairness, he was the product of an expansion franchise in Atlanta.

Baltimore Ravens: Scott Mitchell

4 of 33

    Years on team: 1999

    Games started: 2

    Record: 0-2

    Completion percentage: 42.9%

    Passing yards: 236

    TDs: 1

    INTs: 4

    His fine 1995 season was a mere memory when he stepped on the field for the Ravens in ’99.

    It took only two games to figure out that they had better luck with Tony Banks and Stoney Case.

Buffalo Bills: Dan Darragh

5 of 33

    Years on team: 1968-70

    Games started: 11

    Record: 1-10

    Completion percentage: 42.9%

    Passing yards: 1353

    TDs: 4

    INTs: 22

    A boatload of interceptions mixed with a paucity of touchdown tosses and a below-average throwing percentage…no wonder he won just one time with the Bills.

Carolina Panthers: Chris Weinke

6 of 33

    Years on team: 2001-06

    Games started: 19

    Record: 2-17

    Completion percentage: 54.3%

    Passing yards: 3800

    TDs: 14

    INTs: 26

    Weinke holds the dubious distinction of having the most consecutive losses by a quarterback (17). Most of those came in the 1-15 season of 2001.

    He started just one other time. That came with the San Francisco 49ers…and he lost.

Chicago Bears: Cade McNown

7 of 33

    Years on team: 1999-00

    Games started: 15

    Record: 3-12

    Completion percentage: 54.6%

    Passing yards: 3111

    TDs: 16

    INTs: 19

    The 12th overall pick by the Bears in the 2000 NFL Draft, the UCLA standout stumbled in the Windy City. McNown had a 67.7 passer rating in his two season with Chicago.

Cincinnati Bengals: Akili Smith

8 of 33

    Years on team: 1999-02

    Games started: 17

    Record: 3-14

    Completion percentage: 46.6

    Passing yards: 2212

    TDs: 5

    INTs: 13

    Smith was the No. 3 overall pick in 1999 draft out of Oregon.

    His passer rating was a despicable 52.8.

Cleveland Browns: Spergon Wynn

9 of 33

    Years on team: 2000

    Games started: 1

    Record: 0-1

    Completion percentage: 40.7%

    Passing yards: 167

    TDs: 0

    INTs: 1

    It’s hard to believe he was drafted ahead of Tom Brady.

Dallas Cowboys: Ryan Leaf

10 of 33

    Years on team: 2001

    Games started: 3

    Record: 0-3

    Completion percentage: 51.1%

    Passing yards: 494

    TDs: 1

    INTs: 3

    Known by all as the biggest draft bust of all-time, Leaf’s second NFL stop went just as poorly as his first. Leaf retired after his sub-par efforts in Big D.

Denver Broncos: Mickey Slaughter

11 of 33

    Years on team: 1963-66

    Games started: 19

    Record: 2-15-2

    Completion percentage: 49.8%

    Passing yards: 3607

    TDs: 22

    INTs: 38

    His most productive season came in ’63, when he threw 12 touchdown passes and compiled nearly 1,700 yards through the air.

    The next two years combined, he had just nine TD tosses to go along with 23 interceptions.

Detroit Lions: Jeff Komlo

12 of 33

    Years on team: 1979-81

    Games started: 16

    Record: 2-14

    Completion percentage: 49.9%

    Passing yards: 2554

    TDs: 12

    INTs: 27

    Komlo started in both of the Lions’ victories during the 1979 season. However, his poor play resulted in having Gary Danielson start the 1980 campaign, one in which Detroit went 9-7.

Green Bay Packers: Randy Wright

13 of 33

    Years on team: 1984-88

    Games started: 32

    Record: 7-25

    Completion percentage: 53.8%

    Passing yards: 7106

    TDs: 31

    INTs: 57

    Wright went all the way through the rigors of a 4-12 year in 1986 and never won more than a single game in any other season.

Houston Texans: Dave Ragone

14 of 33

    Years on team: 2003

    Games started: 2

    Record: 0-2

    Completion percentage: 50%

    Passing yards: 135

    TDs: 0

    INTs: 1

    The lefty from Louisville played in just two games during his NFL career, and didn’t make the most of his opportunity.

Indianapolis Colts: Art Schlichter

15 of 33

    Years on team: 1982-85

    Games started: 6

    Record: 0-6

    Completion percentage: 45%

    Passing yards: 1006

    TDs: 3

    INTs: 11

    Off-the-field troubles aside, Schlichter was a bust coming out of Ohio State. After 1985, he never played in the NFL again.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Steve Beuerlein

16 of 33

    Years on team: 1995

    Games started: 6

    Record: 1-5

    Completion percentage: 50%

    Passing yards: 952

    TDs: 4

    INTs: 7

    Like Randy Johnson, Beuerlein was on a new team that didn’t have all the pieces in place. The Jags soon replaced Beuerlein with Mark Brunell, who went on to lead Jacksonville to the AFC title game in 1996.

Kansas City Chiefs: Brodie Croyle

17 of 33

    Years on team: 2006-present

    Games started: 10

    Record: 0-10

    Completion percentage: 56.7%

    Passing yards: 1669

    TDs: 8

    INTs: 9

    The former Alabama signal caller lost in all six of his tries in 2007, a year in which the Chiefs suffered through a 4-12 campaign. If Kansas City loses Matt Cassel, it’s in serious trouble.

Miami Dolphins: Rick Norton

18 of 33

    Years on team: 1966-69

    Games started: 11

    Record: 1-10

    Completion percentage: 41.4%

    Passing yards: 1751

    TDs: 6

    INTs: 30

    He has the honor of being the first quarterback in Miami Dolphins history. Now he has this “honor.”

    The Dolphins didn’t have talent yet, and Norton was one of those lacking in that category.

Minnesota Vikings: Ron Vander Kelen

19 of 33

    Years on team: 1963-67

    Games started: 5

    Record: 1-4

    Completion percentage: 42.5%

    Passing yards: 1375

    TDs: 6

    INTs: 11

    Vander Kelen won in his first attempt…and it all went downhill from there. He completed just 39 percent of his passes in three games during the 1967 season.

New England Patriots: Don Trull

20 of 33

    Years on team: 1967

    Games started: 3

    Record: 0-3

    Completion percentage: 33.3%

    Passing yards: 442

    TDs: 1

    INTs: 7

    Trull went to Patriots from the Houston Oilers in the middle of the ’67 season.

    After a 5-of-20 passing effort against Buffalo on Dec. 19, he was eventually sent back to his original team.

New Orleans Saints: Karl Sweetan

21 of 33

    Years on team: 1968

    Games started: 5

    Record: 0-2-1

    Completion percentage: 34.6%

    Passing yards: 318

    TDs: 1

    INTs: 9

    He never through for better than 37 percent in any of his starts with the Saints. Fortunately, they found Archie Manning three years later.

New York Giants: Joe Pisarcik

22 of 33

    Years on team: 1977-79

    Games started: 27

    Record: 8-19

    Completion percentage: 44.5%

    Passing yards: 3979

    TDs: 18

    INTs: 43

    It’s bad enough that he was a part of one of the great blunders in NFL history. Now he’s on this list.

    After 1979, Pisarcik went to the Philadelphia Eagles, the same team that was the benefactor of “The Miracle at the Meadowlands.”

New York Jets: Browning Nagle

23 of 33

    Years on team: 1991-93

    Games started: 13

    Record: 3-10

    Completion percentage: 49.4%

    Passing yards: 2361

    TDs: 7

    INTs: 17

    Nagle was tabbed the starting QB on Opening Day 1992. He had arguably his best passing game in his debut, but suffered mightily throughout the rest of that year. 

Oakland Raiders: Andrew Walter

24 of 33

    Years on team: 2006-08

    Games started: 9

    Record: 2-7

    Completion percentage: 52.3%

    Passing yards: 1919

    TDs: 3

    INTs: 16

    It was a toss-up between Walter and JaMarcus Russell.

    Walter lost six of his eight starts in 2006, throwing 13 interceptions and three touchdowns in that season.

Philadelphia Ealges: Mike McMahon

25 of 33

    Years on team: 2005

    Games started: 7

    Record: 2-5

    Completion percentage: 45.4%

    Passing yards: 1158

    TDs: 5

    INTs: 8

    When Donovan McNabb got hurt in the middle of the 2005 season, Eagles fans soon realized how much trouble they were in.

    McMahon’s worst effort came when he turned it over four times in a 42-0 Monday Night drubbing to the Seattle Seahawks.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Terry Hanratty

26 of 33

    Years on team: 1969-74

    Games started: 17

    Record: 6-11

    Completion percentage: 38.1%

    Passing yards: 2478

    TDs: 24

    INTs: 34

    Before being Terry Bradshaw’s long-time back-up, Hanratty struggled as the lead man behind center. However, in 1973, Hanratty came in relief of the legendary No. 12 to win two games in November.

San Diego Chargers: Ryan Leaf

27 of 33

    Years on team: 1998-00

    Games started: 18

    Record: 4-14

    Completion percentage: 48%

    Passing yards: 3172

    TDs: 13

    INTs: 33

    It’s only fitting that one of the worst QBs ever is the only one to be the worst starting QB for two different franchises. The funny thing is, he actually won his first two starts.

San Francisco 49ers: Steve DeBerg

28 of 33

    Years on team: 1978-80

    Games started: 35

    Record: 7-28

    Completion percentage: 55.8%

    Passing yards: 7220

    TDs: 37

    INTs: 60

    A veteran of 18 years and six different franchises, it was DeBerg’s initial team that gave him the most problems.

    His first season with the Niners was his most painful, as he went 1-10 with eight TDs and 22 INTs.

Seattle Seahawks: Rick Mirer

29 of 33

    Years on team: 1993-96

    Games started: 51

    Record: 20-31

    Completion percentage: 53.4%

    Passing yards: 9094

    TDs: 41

    INTs: 56

    Mirer’s highly-anticipated first season wasn’t bad, but his next three were far worse than anyone expected. After Seattle, he went on to play for four other teams.

St. Louis Rams: Keith Null

30 of 33

    Years on team: 2009

    Games started: 4

    Record: 0-4

    Completion percentage: 61.3%

    Passing yards: 566

    TDs: 3

    INTs: 9

    The Rams were really bad in ’09 and Null didn’t help them get any better.

    With Sam Bradford in place, St. Louis shouldn’t have this problem for a while.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Randy Hedberg

31 of 33

    Years on team: 1977

    Games started: 4

    Record: 0-4

    Completion percentage: 27.8%

    Passing yards: 244

    TDs: 0

    INTs: 10

    Hedberg has a goose egg in the win column for his entire NFL career.

    That’s because he never played any other games after the four he started with the Bucs in 1977.

    His completion percentage probably didn’t attract any other suitors.

Tennesee Titans: Billy Joe Tolliver

32 of 33

    Years on team: 1994

    Games started: 7

    Record: 0-7

    Completion percentage: 50.4%

    Passing yards: 1287

    TDs: 6

    INTs: 7

    Tolliver lost half of the Oilers’ contests in 1994, the first year since the franchise lost Warren Moon. Four of his interceptions came in a defeat to the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 11.

Washington Redskins: Ralph Guglielmi

33 of 33

    Years on team: 1955-60

    Games started: 20

    Record: 4-13-3

    Completion percentage: 47.3%

    Passing yards: 2864

    TDs: 17

    INTs: 40

    Gugliemli went 3-0 as a starter in 1955. If you can do the math, you can tell that wins were hard to come by after that.

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