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Brees and Wilson scheming to get on an amusement park ride

Brees and Wilson scheming to get on an amusement park ride.

New Orlean’s Drew Brees is officially listed as six feet tall. Seattle’s Russell Wilson is officially listed as 5’11. That means the average height of the starting quarterbacks in tonight’s game is 71.5 inches, tied for the shortest average in any game since 1964. In fact, it’s been twelve years since a game has featured two quarterbacks of such short stature, when in week two of the 2001 season, Doug Flutie (5’10) and the Chargers beat Anthony Wright (6’1) and the Cowboys.

The other two games since 1990 where the average height of the starting quarterbacks was below six feet also involved Flutie facing a 73-inch quarterback: a 24-21 win in 1999 against Pittsburgh and Kordell Stewart and a 17-16 win year earlier against Mark Brunell and the Jags.

Twenty-five years ago, two other Flutie vs. 6’1 Quarterback games make the list: this game against Jim McMahon and this one against Dave Krieg.

You have to go back to 1978 to find a game before tonight where (1) the average height of the starting quarterbacks was under six feet and (2) Doug Flutie was not involved. Fran Tarkenton (6’0) and Pat Haden (5’11) met five times in the mid-to-late ’70s, and Billy Kilmer (6’0) also faced Haden in the final game of the 1977 season.

Kilmer and 5’11 Bob Berry met three times in the early ’70s, and Sonny Jurgensen (5’11) faced Gary Cuozzo (6’0) and Tarkenton twice each. The only other games of the post-merger era were Len Dawson (6’0) vs. Berry in 1972 and Bill Nelsen and Edd Hargett in 1971.

In the pre-merger era players were shorter and smaller. Eddie LeBaron (5’9), Frankie Albert and Ted Marchibroda (5’10), Jurgensen, Sam Etcheverry, and Tommy O’Connell (5’11), and Y.A. Tittle, Don Heinrich, George Ratterman, and Johnny Lujack (6’0) were involved in many matchups where the average height was below six feet. The shortest matchup since 1950 was this game between LeBaron and Marchibroda in 1956.

Just missing the cut? Four games between Brees and fellow (listed) six footer Michael Vick, and games between Vick and Tim Rattay and Vick and Rodney Peete (both listed at six feet). The tallest matchup in NFL history occurred in the 1994 regular season finale. In that game, Vinny Testaverde (6’5) proved he was up to the challenge, leading Cleveland to a 35-9 victory over Dan McGwire (6’8) and the Seattle Seahawks.

  • Ben Stuplisberger

    They must of measured Flutie while he was standing on a skateboard.

  • Kibbles

    Just a nit, but every Chargers game from 2001 to 2004 featured two quarterbacks of such short stature. It’s just that they played for the same team.

  • Richie

    Such a big deal was always made of Flutie’s height, that I thought he was shorter than 5’10”. 5’10” is the average height of a white male in the USA.

    • Chase Stuart

      I’m pretty sure he’s closer to 5’8 than 5’10.

  • RHammond

    Flutie was hands down the greatest CFL’er of all-time. Wish you could have seen him play in his prime; 3 down football creates an exciting passing game (that it seems like the NFL is emulating increasingly). It was great for Canada but would have loved to see Flutie get a chance (before he was 36) to play in the NFL.

  • bob

    Every time Flutie got a chance In the NFL, it seemed like he did well, only to be soon replaced by a taller QB w more potential who performed worse.
    Too bad he never had a coach who could tbink a bit out of the box who could see beyond the prototypical mold, like Russell Wilson has.

  • frank zuccarelli

    who is responsible for thtv announcers for the nfl games they are not enterainining to the viewers but try to entertain there partners. some needs to be done to curtail all that unless chatter.they think they know everything how to coach, how to officate and playthe game . some [lease help with this mrss frank zuccarelli faithful nfl fan since 1940