Throughout the past few years, most NFL teams have had an issue at the same position: the quarterback. Quarterbacks are arguably the most important position in all of sports, and one of the hardest to excel at. That’s why many times you see quarterbacks get paid a ridiculous amount of money, due to the amount of work and talent it takes to be great at the position. But over the course of the past few years, we have seen many quarterbacks suffer injuries, decline in talent, or get suspended. With all those possibilities, the backup quarterback position has become a huge part of building a winning team.
You would think that losing your starting quarterback means your season is over, but many starting quarterbacks have actually succeeded, and helped take their team to the playoffs. A prime example of this is Case Keenum, who is currently tearing apart the football field, pushing for a playoff opportunity this season with the Minnesota Vikings. Then, there are some teams who are giving quarterbacks a chance, who just may not deserve a chance. As some quarterbacks we can look back and definitely say they're a backup, other quarterbacks have high expectations and cannot live up to them. Will one of your starting quarterbacks be one of the worst in the past three years?
15 C.J. Beathard
You can definitely make an argument that there are worse quarterbacks than C.J. Beathard, but he hasn’t been that great, even though Kyle Shanahan has let him continue to start. Out of the five games he’s played, he’s had one good game, two mediocre ones, and two pretty bad ones. And even in the good one, he managed to make a bad decision which caused a pick six. So far through seven games, he has thrown for four touchdown passes and six interceptions for 1,430 yards. He has a 54.9 completion percentage, and a 69.2 passer rating. Beathard’s inability to make plays down the field and stay consistent are signs that he could continue to only get worse.
He has thrown an interception in four out of his last five games, and the one game he didn’t throw one, came against a weak Dallas Cowboys secondary that he failed to exploit. Kyle Shanahan needs to get his act together and start Jimmy Garoppolo.
14 Brandon Weeden
Oh, just prepare, this is the first of quite a few ex-Dallas Cowboys on this list. But, let’s start with the man who started the trouble. Many may have different opinions on Brandon Weeden due to his short success in Houston at the end of the 2015 season. But Weeden’s time in Dallas was terrible, which actually led to him getting shipped off to Houston. After Tony Romo went down in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, it was Weeden’s turn to try and bring this Cowboys team back to the playoffs. Well, after playing four games and starting three of them, he went 0-3 in his starts. He threw for only 738 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Weeden truly struggled to move the ball down the field, as watching him it always seemed that he was very stiff and nervous. He was far from a play maker, and seemed to only make about one big play a game. Eventually the Cowboys were over Weeden’s bad performances, and his time with the Cowboys was complete.
13 Mark Sanchez
The whole story of Mark Sanchez is actually pretty sad. Sanchez started his career on top, making it to the AFC Championship game in back to back years with the New York Jets. But Sanchez always had a problem with turnovers. The last team he started with was the Philadelphia Eagles, in 2015. That season he went 0-2, throwing for 616 yards, with four touchdowns and four interceptions. His career stats are pretty sad, as he's thrown 86 touchdowns with 86 interceptions to date.
Sanchez was an absolute beast at USC before his NFL days began, but he has been unable to keep the ball away from opposing teams. He’s been known for making poor decisions with the football, not only in the air. Sanchez is most known for running into his own teammate when he played for the Jets, causing a turnover we now know as the "butt fumble."
12 Jimmy Clausen
Jimmy Clausen’s final chance in 2015 proved why he never got another chance in the NFL as a starter. He played for both the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens, and was unable to win a game in his three starts. He got to play in five games that season, and through those games, he had two touchdown passes and four interceptions. Through his career he has only thrown for seven touchdown passes and 14 interceptions, a terrible stat to have for your resume. Clausen hasn’t been able to play some football without throwing to the opposing team.
Unfortunately for Clausen, it looks like his career is done as even with so many injured quarterbacks, he remains jobless through the 2017 season. Turnovers will change your whole career in the NFL.
11 Scott Tolzien
We thought we would be seeing a lot more of Scott Tolzien than we actually have. While Andrew Luck hasn’t been able to remain healthy and play, Tolzien was the backup quarterback for Luck, until he got hurt. But during his time as a starter in the NFL, he has a record of 0-3-1. He has thrown for two touchdown passes and nine interceptions, being a high risk for the Colts to leave out there.
Even though the Colts aren’t completely succeeding the way that they would want to, Jacoby Brissett is playing a lot better than Tolzien would have ever played. When Tolzien is starting at quarterback, he becomes the worst quarterback in the division. Even with Blake Bortles and Tom Savage as a couple of the other starting quarterbacks.
10 Matt Cassel
What are the odds that Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden both reunite in Tennessee, to play on the Titans? You would think that the Titans would have learned from the Cowboys' mistakes in 2015, but they didn’t. Cassel was better than Weeden during his time with the Cowboys, but not by much. He struggled to keep the ball away from opposing defenders, throwing seven interceptions in nine games. Cassel still struggled to make plays through the air, but with that said, the only thing that made Cowboys fans happy was that Cassel at least attempted to throw the football around. The only noticeable play he really made was a huge touchdown throw across the field that sent Dez Bryant soaring over Eagles defenders. Even with some of Cassel’s flashes, he still goes down as one of the worst starters in the past three years.
9 Nick Foles
The last time we really saw Nick Foles start was in 2015 when he took over as the St. Louis Rams starting quarterback. Now in 2013 and 2014, Foles looked like he could be a star quarterback, going 14-4 with the Eagles. Foles received a two-year deal worth $24.5 million, which turned out to be a waste of money. Things kind of just felt apart with Foles. Who knows if it was the lack of talent in St. Louis at the time, or things just going downhill after an injury setback.
In the 2015 season, Foles went 4-7, failing to help bring the Rams to the playoffs. That season, he threw for seven touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. His completion percentage was knocked down to 56.4, as he averaged about 90 less yards per game than the season before.
8 Blaine Gabbert
Maybe Blaine Gabbert just hasn’t gotten lucky, or maybe he just isn’t good. Gabbert just recently took over as the Cardinals' starting quarterback. Gabbert doesn’t have a history of being terribly inaccurate, but he also doesn’t have a career full of memorable plays. He’s a mediocre quarterback at best, one who simply cannot win in the NFL. His career record sits at 10-32 through Week 12, as he may be one of the worst starters in recent history. Gabbert simply cannot make the plays in order to win ballgames. His track record shows that he has played on some pretty bad teams, but, he also doesn’t have the talent to give him any excuses. We will continue to see Gabbert struggle as he takes over the Cardinals.
7 Kellen Moore
And here is our last quarterback on the list from the 2015 Dallas Cowboys team. It’s surprising because you would think you would see more Cleveland Browns quarterbacks on this list. But Cowboys quarterbacks shouldn’t struggle with the amount of talent they have on their team, which proves their true talent. The Cowboys honestly could be rolling with Kellen Moore right now if he didn’t get hurt during the same offseason that Tony Romo got hurt, which led to Dak Prescott becoming the starting quarterback.
It’s never easy for a left-handed quarterback, and it definitely wasn’t easy for Moore to lead this team to success. Moore didn’t have the ability to throw the long ball, which basically takes away the threat of Dez Bryant to make a big play in the pass game. Moore was way too conservative, and simply did not have the talent to remain a starter in the NFL.
6 Tom Savage - Houston Texans
For Texans fans, it’s pretty scary to think that Tom Savage was supposed to be the leader of the Texans moving forward. With Brock Osweiler struggling in 2016, it was expected that Savage would take over and become the new starting quarterback of that team. Savage dealt with some injuries, which eventually led the Texans to drafting Deshaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft. Watson took over and became a star, but then got hurt, and it was back to square one with Tom Savage.
Savage is another one of the more conservative quarterbacks in the NFL. Throughout eight games in the past two years, he has thrown for 1,193 yards, with four touchdown passes and three interceptions. Needless to say, Savage is as conservative as you can be.
5 Brett Hundley - Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers ran into some big trouble at the beginning of the 2017 season, when they lost Aaron Rodgers for the rest of the season to a broken collarbone. Now, many reporters believed that Hundley would play well enough for the Packers to at least make a fight for the playoffs. But with the way Hundley has been playing, it will be very hard. Since taking over as the starter, the Packers' season has slipped away. It’s clear that the Packers need Rodgers to succeed, but no one thought that Hundley would be this bad.
While Hundley recently delivered a brilliant performance on Sunday Night Football against the Steelers, it's clear he's not ready to be a full-fledged starter in the NFL. The Packers may want to invest into a real backup quarterback in the future.
4 Mike Glennon
The Chicago Bears' move to bring Mike Glennon to be their starting quarterback this season may go down as one of the worst free agency signings of all time. With no record of being able to succeed in the NFL, the Bears signed Glennon to a three-year deal worth $45 million. Then after they signed Glennon to a big contract, they gave up a few draft picks to draft quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Something is going on with the front office of the Bears, and it’s not good.
Mike Glennon was the starter to start the season, and what a bust he was. Through four games, he finished with an overall record of 1-3, throwing four touchdown passes and five interceptions. Glennon was an average quarterback getting paid superstar money. Maybe the Bears will learn from their mistakes.
3 Nathan Peterman
You have to really feel for this guy. Nathan Peterman started one game in his NFL career, and he may never start another after how bad of a performance he had. Sean McDermott, the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, made a risky decision benching Tyrod Taylor for Peterman. Taylor was playing pretty well, but the Bills felt they had plateaued at QB. With playoff aspirations, McDermott thought it would be a good decision to make a mid-season change, and it was a disaster.
Peterman couldn’t even make it through a full game before he got pulled. He threw five interceptions and 66 passing yards, which led to him being sat back down onto the bench. The performance was the worst performance by any quarterback in the 2017 NFL season, and will definitely hurt his ability to find another job throughout the rest of his NFL career.
2 DeShone Kizer
When the Browns managed to draft Myles Garrett, David Njoku and DeShone Kizer, we all thought they may have drafted better than anyone. Kizer was supposed to be their guy to help them turn this franchise around, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening. Through his rookie year, he has yet to win a game, throwing for five touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. Now, this could definitely be the lack of talent around him as Kizer definitely has a lot of pressure on him. But sometimes it’s hard to place blame on others, when you’re turning the ball over so much. Time will be the only thing that can help fans tell, but Kizer has been far from good. He definitely shows that he has potential, but we have seen nothing but a disaster. If Kizer wasn’t a rookie 2nd round pick, there’s a very good chance that the Browns would have already released him.
1 Brock Osweiler
One decent (half) season. That’s all it took for Brock Osweiler to get a paycheck that would set him up for life. In 2015, Osweiler threw 10 touchdown passes for 1,967 yards. He helped his team reach the playoffs as he went 5-2 as a starter. The following season, the Texans decided to break the bank to pay Osweiler. Osweiler and the Texans agreed to a four-year deal worth $72 million, and this deal may go down as the absolute worst move in free agency history.
In 2016, Osweiler threw for 15 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions, going down as a joke of the 2016 NFL season. Osweiler was expected to take this Texans team to the next level, but instead, he just turned the ball over. He was really bad with being able to move the football by making plays down the field with his arm. And when he did try and make plays, he oftentimes ended up turning the football over. Over the past three seasons, Brock Osweiler wins the trophy for worst starting quarterback.