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Checkdowns: Most Game Winning Drives in First 12 games

Scott Kacsmar, friend of Football Perspective and the leading writer on quarterback comebacks, noted that Andrew Luck has 5 game-winning drives in his first 12 games. Where does that rank historically?

To be clear, game-winning drives are not an official statistic, and while Kacsmar has gone through thousands of games to record data on the subject, we can’t confirm that the below list in 100% complete. With that disclaimer out of the way, the table below displays all quarterbacks with at least 3 game-winning drives in their first 12 NFL games:

Tim Tebow led a game-winning drive in half of his first twelve starts.

If we look just at quarterbacks in their first 12 starts, well, a different name vaults to the top of the list. Tim Tebow launched a phenomenon known as Tebow-mania last year, thanks to his dramatic comebacks seemingly every week last November and December.

Luck’s career trajectory looks to be on a much better path than Tebow, Jay Schroeder or John Skelton, but hey, I don’t make the trivia, I just present it.

The table below shows how many game-winning drives were led by quarterbacks in their first 12 starts. Thanks to Scott Kacsmar and Pro-Football-Reference.com for the data.

  • randyextry

    What? How are the tables different? It looks like both are supposed to show QB game winning drives in their first twelve starts, but they are clearly different. Editing error, or am I just totally missing something?

    • Chase Stuart

      The first table is for the player’s first 12 games; the second is for his first 12 starts.

  • Ben

    Yeah I found that confusing as well

    • Chase Stuart

      I’ve tried to make it a little more clear. Thanks.

  • Luck up to 6 GWD in 13 starts now.

    Tim Tebow had his 6th GWD in his 11th start, and his 7th GWD was in his 15th start (Wild Card game over Pittsburgh).

    John Skelton is a pain, because he had his 4th GWD off the bench against SF last year. So technically Skelton’s 6th GWD in a start came in his 12th start. He has 7 GWDs overall, and the 7th came in his 14th game.

  • Richie

    Here comes Kirk Cousins! One 4th quarter comeback, One game-winning drive already.