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Quarterback Alumni



In week four, Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, and Brian Hoyer started at quarterback, and all three exited Sunday with a victory.  Cassel and Hoyer are former Patriots quarterbacks, which got me to thinking about quarterback alumni. It isn’t that unusual for there to be three starting quarterbacks who all have ties to one team: over the past few years, Matt Ryan has been joined by former Falcons Matt Schaub and Michael Vick as starting quarterbacks in many weeks.  And at various times over the past few seasons (and in week five), Bengals fans have seen Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick as starters.

Which made me wonder: what is the record for most starting quarterbacks in a single week who all once played for the same franchise? As it turns out, the answer is six. In week 6 of the 2007 season, the following men who once donned a Dolphins jersey started at quarterback: Brian Griese in Chicago, Damon Huard for the Chiefs, Gus Frerotte for the Rams, Daunte Culpepper for the Raiders, Joey Harrington for the Falcons, and yes, Cleo Lemon for the Dolphins. Think about that: of the thirteen games played that week, nearly half involved a starting quarterback who had previously played for the Dolphins! The group went 1-5, with Huard’s Chiefs providing the sole win.

In the first two weeks of the ’02 season, six different quarterbacks with Washington ties were starters: Shane Matthews in Washington, Frerotte in Cincinnati, Trent Green in Kansas City, Rodney Peete in Carolina, Rich Gannon in Oakland, and Brad Johnson in Tampa Bay.

In the last few years, the closest any team has come to matching that record was in week 8 of the 2011 season, when A.J. Feeley (St. Louis), Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, and Charlie Whitehurst (Seattle) — all men who had worn Chargers jerseys — were starters. That week, Feeley’s Rams pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent history, defeating Brees’ Saints. Don’t feel bad if you don’t recall Feeley’s days with San Diego: Nick Saban traded him in the middle of the ’05 season, but Feeley simply sat on the bench behind Brees and Rivers.