When former University of Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien started at QB for the Packers last Sunday against the New York Giants, he became the 25th different QB to make his debut as starting QB for the Packers since 1960. Tolzien was only the fifth QB to make his debut as the Pack’s starting signal-caller since 1992 (Seneca Wallace, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn and Brett Favre). From 1960 to 1991, 20 different QBs made their debut as the starting QB for the Packers. This was the first year since 1990 that two or more players made their debut as a starting QB for the Packers. In 1990, Anthony Dilweg and Blair Kiel both made their first starts at QB for Green Bay.
Here’s a look at six stats from Tolzien’s debut and how it matches up against the other 24 starters.
1. Since 1960, when the Pack has started a new QB, the team has won 12, lost 12 and tied one. Tolzien and Wallace both lost their starts this season; Rodgers won his first Packers start in 2008, making his the last Packers QB to make his debut as a starter in a winning contest. The starting QBs who won their Packers debut: Rodgers (2008), Favre (1992), Dilweg (1990), Alan Risher (1987), Randy Wright (1984), Randy Johnson (1976), John Hadl (1974), Jerry Tagge (1973), Scott Hunter (1971), Don Horn (1969), Zeke Bratkowski (1964), John Roach (1963). Those players who lost their first start as the Packers’ QB: Tolzien (2013), Wallace (2013), Matt Flynn (2010), Mike Tomczak (1991), Kiel (1990), Jim Zorn (1985), David Whitehurst (1977), Lynn Dickey (1976), Carlos Brown (1976), Don Milan (1975), Jack Concannon (1974), Jim Del Gaizo (1973). Don Majkowski started his first Packers game in 1987; that game ended in a tie.
2. Tolzien’s 24 completions against the Giants is tied for the most completions by a Packers QB making his starting debut. Flynn had 24 completions in his first start in 2010 against New England. The most pass attempts by a player making his debut as Packers starting QB was Tomczak in 1991 when he threw 40 passes in his first starting assignment for the Pack.
3. Tolzien became the fourth QB to have a completion rate over 70% in his Packers starting debut. The others were Wallace (100%… he was 5-for-5 before he was injured in his first start for the Packers), Rodgers (81.8%; he was 18-for-22 in his debut as a starter) and Favre (he completed 73.7% of his passes in his first start for Green Bay).
4. Tolzien became the first QB for the Packers to throw for over 300 passing yards in his first start for the team. He had 339 yards passing in his starting debut against the Giants. Tomczak with 271 yards and Flynn with 251 yards are the only other Packers QBs to have over 250 yards passing in their first start with the team.
5. Tolzien became the fourth Packers QB to throw three interceptions in his starting debut. The others: Whitehurst, Brown and Horn. Flynn and Dilweg are the only Packers QBs to have three TD passes in their debut as a starting QB with the Pack.
6. Tolzien had a Passer Rating of 65.7 in his starting debut. Only four Packers QBs had a Passer Rating over 100 in their first start at QB for the team: Favre (144.6), Dilweg (117.7), Rodgers (115.5) and Flynn (100.2). Three QBs had a Passer Rating under 20 in their starting debut for the Packers: Hunter (11.9), Brown (12.8) and Horn (18.5).
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With the injury to Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will look to Seneca Wallace to start behind center in their game this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Wallace will become only the fifth player to start at QB for the Packers since 1992. It was that year that Brett Favre replaced Don Majkowski at QB and then went on to start 253 games for the Pack. In addition to Majkowski, Favre, Rodgers and Wallace (this week), the only other player to start a game at QB for the Packers since 1992 was Matt Flynn.
Since 1992, Packers quarterbacks have thrown 12,103 passes. Favre and Rodgers threw 11,670 of those passes, an amazing 96.4 percentage of the Packers pass attempts.
Speaking of pass attempts by Green Bay quarterbacks, here’s a little quiz. Since 1992, 11 quarterbacks have attempted 10 or more passes for the Packers. Can you name the 11? (Answer at the end of the column.)
While the Pack has started only four different QBs since 1992 (soon to become five), 10 NFL teams have started 20 or more different QBs in that same timeframe. Heading the list are the Bears and Browns, each with 26.
Here’s another trivia question: Since 1992, only two teams have had two players start at quarterback for their team in 100 or more games. Can you name those two teams?
Number of different quarterbacks started by each NFL team since 1992 (through Week #9 of the 2013 season)
26: Chicago, Cleveland
24: Arizona, Oakland
21: New York Jets, St. Louis
20: Detroit, Minnesota
18: Tampa Bay
17: Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, New Orleans, Philadelphia
16 Baltimore (joined league in 1996), Buffalo, San Francisco, Seattle, Tennessee
15: Jacksonville, Kansas City
14: Carolina (joined league in 1995), Cincinnati, Indianapolis, San Diego
9: New York Giants
8: Houston (joined league in 2002), New England
4: Green Bay
Quiz answer: The 11 quarterbacks who attempted 10 or more passes for the Packers since 1992 are: Favre (8754), Rodgers (2916), Flynn (132), Doug Pederson (77), Majkowski (55), Craig Noll (48), Matt Hasselbeck (29), Mark Brunell (27), Ty Detmer (21), Seneca Wallace (19) and Steve Bono (10).
Quiz answer #2: The only two teams to have two different players start at QB for 100 or more of their games since 1992 are Dallas (Troy Aikman, 127 and Tony Romo, 102) and the New England Patriots (Tom Brady, 170 and Drew Bledsoe, 123).
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