On the other hand, the Cardinals will be trotting out their fifth different week 1 starter in as many seasons. Arizona fans hope Carson Palmer will be the right man to finally replace Kurt Warner, after Derek Anderson (2010), Kevin Kolb (2011), and John Skelton (2012) failed. If Chad Henne starts the opener for Jacksonville, that will make it four different quarterbacks in four straight years for the Jaguars (following Blaine Gabbert, Luke McCown, and David Garrard). Palmer’s old team, the Raiders, is the only other team with three different starters the last three years (Matt Flynn, Palmer, and Jason Campbell).
The longest streak of consecutive week one starters is a tie between a pair of Class of ’83 teammates. John Elway started in week 1 every season of his sixteen year career, while Dan Marino started every week 1 from 1984 until 1999. Our games started data only goes back to 1960, but I doubt we would find a sorrier pre-1960 streak than the Chicago Bears from 1998 to 2006. Over a nine-year period, Chicago never had the same quarterback start in week 1 in consecutive years. The full list, beginning in ’98: Erik Kramer, Shane Matthews, Cade McNown, Matthews again, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, and Grossman again. The Ravens, from ’97 to ’03, had seven different week-one starters: Vinny Testaverde, Jim Harbaugh, Scott Mitchell, Tony Banks, Elvis Grbac, Chris Redman, and Kyle Boller, and that doesn’t include Trent Dilfer.
Brandon Weeden is bringing some stability to the Browns quarterback position: if by some chance Jason Campbell steals the job in preseason, he would be Cleveland’s seventh week one starting quarterback in seven years (Charlie Frye in 2007, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Jake Delhomme, Colt McCoy, Weeden, and Campbell). The table below shows each team’s week 1 starters in each of the last ten seasons, along with the projected starter in 2013 according to Footballguys.com (with EJ Manuel (Buffalo), Chad Henne (Jacksonville), Nick Foles (Philadelphia) and Mark Sanchez (New York, for the fifth straight year) projected to win the four open camp jobs.)