The losing side of the NFL’s top QBs
When you think of Hall of Fame NFL quarterbacks, you usually think of those QBs who won big games, threw a lot of TD passes, or led their teams to championships.
What doesn’t come into play is how many games those HOF signal-callers lost. With that in mind, did you know that there are three QBs in the NFL Hall of Fame who lost more than 100 games in their careers?
Brett Favre tops the list of most losses by a Hall of Fame quarterback with 112. He is followed by Fran Tarkenton (109) and Warren Moon (101). It’s possible, however, that there might be a handful of QBs who might surpass Favre on this list.
First, here’s a look at the QBs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who lost 80 or more career games.
Recently-retired Eli Manning could replace Favre on the above list. Manning won a pair of Super Bowls and although he probably takes a back seat to older brother Peyton when it comes to NFL careers, Eli has certainly put a career together that deserves HOF consideration. Eli lost 117 games in his 16-year NFL career with the New York Giants. He retired after the 2019 campaign.
There is also a pair of active QBs who could add to their loss totals before they hang up their cleats. Drew Brees looks like he will play another season in New Orleans; he has amassed 111 losses in his career. Philip Rivers has moved on from the Chargers to the play QB for the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year contract. He has 101 career losses.
According to research on pro-football.com, Vinny Testaverde has the top spot with the most losses for a QB with 123. He is one of nine QBs who have lost 100 or more games as a starting QB in the league.
Following are the quarterbacks not in the Hall of Fame who have lost 80 of more NFL games.
Think you can list the five Green Bay Packers quarterbacks who have lost the most games in the team’s history? If you answered Favre (93), Aaron Rodgers (60), Bart Starr (57), Lynn Dickey (56) and Tobin Rote (46), go to the head of the class.
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If you have been paying attention to the news and notes around the NFL, you probably read or heard that New England Patriots QB Tom Brady reached a significant milestone last weekend: With the Pats 26-10 win over the Rams, Brady won his 201st game (regular season and playoffs) giving him the most wins by a QB. He surpassed Peyton Manning who had won 200 games (186 regular season and 14 post-season).
(For the record, Manning and Brett Favre each won 186 regular season games. Brady has 179 regular season wins and could pass both Manning and Favre in that category next season.)
At the other end of the spectrum, there are six QBs who lost 100 of more games in their career. Topping the list is Vinny Testaverde who lost 123 regular season games. Here are the six QBs who have 100 or more regular season losses.
123: Vinny Testaverde
112: Brett Favre
109: Fran Tarkenton
101: Archie Manning, Warren Moon
100: Norm Snead
There’s a chance that another QB will be joining the above list this season. New Orleans Saints signal-caller Drew Brees has 99 career losses and would wander into the 100-loss club if the Saints lose one of their four remaining contests (that’s, of course, if Brees is the starting QB in those games, which he will probably be unless there is an injury).
There are five active QBs who have 70 or more career losses. They are: Brees (99), Eli Manning (90), Carson Palmer (82), Philip Rivers (75) and Jay Cutler (71).
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
What would an NFL season be without a good Brett Favre rumor?
Sports media is having a great time with recent comments made by Favre’s agent, Bus Cook. Speaking at an event earlier this week in Mobile, Ala., Cook told the audience that Favre, who will turn 44 in October, is coaching football at the local high school and is in “great shape.” He added:
“He could play (in the NFL) today, better than a lot of them out there today.”
Was this an innocent comment? Was it one meant to plant the seed in the minds of NFL fans across the country? Or, was it a calculated statement by Cook to generate some buzz and see what interest there might be from NFL teams looking to upgrade their quarterback play. I’ll let you decide which of these questions makes the most sense to you.
But for the record, how have 44-year-old (or older) quarterbacks done in the NFL? A quick scan of the files and we see that four different players have tossed a pass or two at age 44 or older.
Here’s a brief look at this quartet.
George Blanda: The poster child for aging quarterbacks in the NFL. Blanda, who also doubled as a Hall of Fame placekicker, played in the NFL from 1949-75, scoring 2,002. From age 44 until his retirement in January, 1976 at age 48, Blanda threw 80 passes for the Raiders, completing 39 of them. He threw six TD passes after the age of 44. He is the oldest player to make a pass attempt and have a pass completion in NFL history. He completed one pass in three attempts in a game on December 21, 1975 at age 48.
Warren Moon: Eight days after his 44th birthday, the Hall of Famer started at QB for the Kansas Chiefs versus the San Diego Chargers. The result was not a good one. The Chiefs lost 17-16. Moon completed only 12 of 31 passes for 130 yards and had one interception. It was his last career game.
Vinny Testaverde: Barely a month after turning 44, Testaverde got the start in three games for the Carolina Panthers in 2007. In those three games he completed 49 or 91 passes with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He played his last NFL game on December 30, 2007.
Will Favre join the above list?
From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)
Did you know that of the 1,369 touchdowns scored in the NFL in 2012 that almost 87 percent of those TDs were scored by players in their 20s?
Last season there were 1,369 touchdowns, 1,190 scored by players in their 20s and 179 scored by players in their 30s. The youngest player to score a TD last season was Denver’s Ronnie Hillman who scored a TD on November 11 at the age of 20. The oldest to score a TD in 2012? The recently-retired Donald Driver scored a touchdown for the Packers on October 28 at the age of 37 years, 269 days.
Following is a look at the number of TDs scored by each age group last season.
Going back in the history of the league, we find that there were four players who scored touchdowns at age 40 and above. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice scored 10 TDs while in his 40s. He is followed by Doug Flutie who scored four TDs in his 40s; Vinny Testaverde who scored three; and Warren Moon, who scored one.
Testaverde is the last player in his 40s to score a TD in the NFL. He did it on October 24, 2005 as a member of the New York Jets on a one-yard run. He was 41 years and 345 days.
The oldest player to score a TD in NFL history? Doug Flutie scored a TD on January 2, 2005 at the age of 42 years and 71 days. He beat out Jerry Rice, who scored his last TD in the NFL when he was 42 years and 67 days.
Rice does hold the record for oldest player to score a TD in the playoffs. Rice scored a TD on January 26, 2003 in the Super Bowl as a member of the Oakland Raiders. He was 40 years and 105 days old at the time.
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