Athlete's have all kinds of different superstitions. Whether it be something simple, like when Mike Bibby would cut his fingernails during a game while on the bench instead of biting them the whole time, or something that's just plain gross, like when Moises Alou would urinate on his hands throughout the season to help his hands avoid calluses because he did not wear gloves.
The most common superstition among athletes seems to always be the coveted jersey number. Not all players really care about what number they end up getting when they reach the big show but there are quite a few that consider it to be a deal-breaker. When Darrelle Revis got to Tampa Bay in 2013, he wanted the No.24 so badly that he paid the then rookie safety Mark Barron, $50,000 to give up the number. To Revis, it was that important.
That wasn't the first time and it will not be the last time a jersey number was purchased from a teammate.
But does the jersey number truly make the measure of a man in the NFL? Can you honestly believe that Dan Marino would have been any less of an athlete if he had worn a different number? Did JaMarcus Russell simply fail because he had on the wrong jersey?
Let's take a look at the NFL's best and worst QBs from every jersey number between No.1 and No.19.
38 Best QB to Wear #1: Warren Moon
As of 2016, the greatest NFL player, not just QB, to ever wear the jersey with the No.1 was the Canadian Football League Hall of Famer and legendary Houston Oilers QB, Warren Moon. There are a few other players that might one day move past Moon on the list. Cam Newton, for example, is the top candidate if he can only continue being a dual-threat QB. He has already reached the Super Bowl, something Warren Moon never had the chance to enjoy.
Even without playing in a Super Bowl, Moon is still considered one of the greatest QB's to ever play in the NFL and most people, besides his biggest diehard fans, probably forgot that his professional career started off in Canada where he played for the Edmonton Eskimos and ended up leading them to an unprecedented five consecutive Grey Cups, one of the many records held by the iconic CFL team that won their 14th overall Grey Cup in 2015.
Warren Moon's performance in the CFL turned him into one of the hottest tickets in town when he headed for the NFL at the age of 28. He retired with the Kansas City Chiefs at the age of 44.
37 Worst QB to Wear #1: Jim Hardy
To find the worst QB to ever wear a No.1 jersey, we had to go all the way back to 1948 when the Los Angeles Rams let Jim Hardy start his first career game, in his third season. He played in 12 games that season while only starting three of them and actually had a pretty good year. He threw for 1,390 yards, 14 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a passer rating of 82.1, the highest of his entire career.
But it was all downhill from there. He ended up playing for the Chicago Cardinals the next three years and that was when he got his name in the NFL records book. The season opener of the 1950 season had Jim Hardy facing off against the defending NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles who easily defeated the Cardinals, 45-7. During that game, however, Jim tossed eight interceptions, becoming the only player ever to do so in NFL history. It has never been touched and it might remain one of the toughest records anyone can break, ever.
36 Best QB to Wear #2: Matt Ryan
As one of the few active QB's on this list, Matt Ryan is also one of the best throwers in the NFL, and has been for a few years now. Unfortunately, it has not turned into any Super Bowls just yet because when it comes to the postseason, Atlanta has a reputation for struggling.
But, as for the best man to rock the No.2 jersey, Matt Ryan is as consistent as it comes. Over the past five seasons, he has thrown for more than 4,500 yards, 21 or more touchdowns (26 or more between 2010 and 2014), and under 17 interceptions. The one thing he needs to improve upon is wins, otherwise, nothing else matters to the fans, the franchise, or the league. At 31 years of age, he still has plenty of time to get there and the offense continues to grow around him, giving them a solid chance in 2016.
35 Worst QB to Wear #2: JaMarcus Russell
After being selected first overall in the 2007 NFL Draft, the greatest QB to ever suit up for the LSU Tigers began his downfall from grace and by 2010, would be out of the NFL, forever.
The problem began a long time before draft day when JaMarcus Russell started to become the hottest ticket heading into the draft. With the top overall pick in the draft that year, the Oakland Raiders made it very clear that they wanted to the strong-armed QB from the bayou to be their savior. However, after the excitement of the draft wore off, a contract dispute began that turned into a holdout which lasted throughout training camp and even into the season causing the rookie to miss out on things that he would later regret missing. He did not sign until September 12th and that's when the struggle began.
He was playing from behind since day one and it was all because he couldn't sign a contract before ever having taken a snap. If you wonder why the NFL changed the rules of the rookie signings by listing out what each selection will earn, it is because of the JaMarcus Russell debacle.
34 Best QB to Wear #3: Russell Wilson
The NFL has seen a few QB's wearing the No.3 jersey but Russell Wilson has become the best in just five years in the league. That's because, in just five years, he has already won a Super Bowl, and nearly a second in a row if the Seahawks would have scored instead of throwing an interception in the final play of the Super Bowl XLIX.
Before Wilson, the Seahawks, from 2006 to 2011, had only one 10 win or more season. From 2012 to 2015, they have finished each season, in order, with records of 11-5, 13-3, 12-4, and 10-6. Not to mention, they have made the postseason in each season, making it to the Super Bowl twice, winning it once. The dual-threat of Russell Wilson has turned the Seahawks into a legitimate contender, every single season.
Last season, Wilson threw for 4,024 yards, 34 touchdowns, and only eight interceptions in a year that the Seahawks struggled defensively throughout the beginning of the season.
33 Worst QB to Wear #3: Rick Mirer
With the second pick of the 1993 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected QB from Notre Dame, Rick Mirer.
During his first season, he broke all kinds of rookie records including the most attempts, completions, and yards in a season. Even with all of those stats, the most impressive remains the fact that he started 16 games become one of the only rookie QB's in history to accomplish such a feat.
It is rare that a rookie QB will do more in his first season in the NFL then in the rest of his career but Rick Mirer did that as he dropped off the map following his impressive rookie season. He would eventually leave the Seahawks and head to Chicago, Green Bay, New York Jets, San Francisco, Oakland, and Detroit, before he finally gave up and retired in 2004.
After being so highly touted out of college, it was sad to watch him fall so far from the potential he was perceived to posses. It could have something to do with his inability to read a defense correctly or maybe even throw to his left but either way, it caused him to become nothing more than a bust.
32 Best QB to Wear #4: Brett Favre
The moment the Atlanta Falcons drafted Brett Favre, things began to get a little edgy in the ATL. Ken Herock, the Falcons general manager at the time, and Jerry Glanville, the Falcons head coach at the time, seemed to have completely different stories when it comes down to who is to blame for the trade. Obviously neither man wants to face the ridicule of having traded away a future Hall of Famer from a team that could have used a QB during the '90s but regardless of who is to blame, they unloaded him to Green Bay and the rest is history.
As a Packer, Brett was born again. His partying days ended and his NFL career began during the fourth game of the 1992 season. That would be the moment he became the starter in Green Bay and he would start the next 297 consecutive games, up until week 13 of his final season in Minnesota (253 consecutive for the Packers). It is a ridiculous streak that many fans probably did not even notice because if it was Sunday, he was suiting up. He consistently put up big numbers throughout his career including averaging 3,781 yards and 27 touchdowns a year. He also has that coveted Super Bowl ring from the time he went down to New Orleans and knocked off the Patriots.
31 Worst QB to Wear #4: Trent Dilfer
It is interesting to see a man that has a Super Bowl ring, as a starting QB for the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, on a list as the worst QB to ever wear the No.4 jersey. But the Super Bowl was an anomaly. Just go look at his career and compare. He played one season in Baltimore and only landed the starting role for eight games that year in which he put up 1,502 yards, threw 12 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
He did exactly what he needed to do to help the Ravens win that year which was not screwing up that badly because his defense was so amazing, all he literally had to do that year was not fall down and maybe even move the ball a few yards up the field just to help his defense get a little rest between stops.
He did manage to start 113 games, mostly for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his biggest accomplishment still remains the moment he won the Super Bowl in 2001.
30 Best QB to Wear #5: Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb will forever be remembered as the QB in Philadelphia that sucked in the postseason. That's because he played in four consecutive NFC Championship games between 2001 and 2004 and yet he only got to the Super Bowl once in which they lost to the New England Patriots 24-21. In fact, he is tied with Troy Aikman as the only two QB's in NFC Championship game history with four consecutive appearances. With a regular season record of 98-62-1, he was one of the better QB's in the NFL for many years that just could not finish out the year.
In the playoffs, he was 9-7 with 3,752 passing yards, 422 rushing yards, 28 total touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. His ability to be a dual-threat turned him into one of the most dangerous QB's in the NFL. Defense's had trouble stopping him because of his ability to scramble and make plays on the run. Cam Newton is a recent example of who McNabb was in his prime.
29 Worst QB to Wear #5: Heath Shuler
Before Heath Shuler became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's 11th district, he was slinging the pigskin in Washington and New Orleans for four years. In his first few years, he managed to get some playing time for the Redskins and even started 13 games in three years before being traded to New Orleans in 1996, for a couple of draft picks.
After he was drafted 3rd overall in the 1994 NFL Draft, he did the one thing that has caused many of future NFL QB's to suffer from, he sat out of his first ever training camp. Once they figured things out, he settled on a 7-year, $19.25 million contract. That didn't sit well with the fans and after consecutive losses and then a five pick performance against the Cardinals during his rookie year, Gus Frerotte became the fan favorite. Before long, the fans, team, and front office of the Washington Redskins all turned on him and that's when he was sent down south to the Saints and their sinking ship, which he got to be a part of for one year before heading to Oakland and then retiring.
28 Best QB to Wear #6: Jay Cutler
When the Denver Broncos drafted Jay Cutler in the first round of the 2006 draft, 11th overall, they had big plans for him and the future of the offense. However, the Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan did not start him until week 12 of his rookie season because he felt that he would be a solid replacement for Jake Plummer because, in his words, "I think he gives us the best chance to win now."
In the final five games, he finished with a 2-3 record and threw for 1,001 yards with nine touchdowns, and five interceptions. He would go on to start the next 32 games with a 15-17 record while throwing for 4,012 yards, 45 touchdowns and 32 interceptions. After his third season, Shanahan was fired and replaced by Josh McDaniels and that was when the real Jay Cutler showed up.
Trade rumors surfaced but they were coming from other teams and not being initiated by the Broncos, however, Jay did not seem to think it was right and requested a trade. He even sold his home in Colorado in preparation for the move.
That tantrum should have been a sign for the Chicago Bears of what the future would be like for life with Cutler. He has been with them ever since and has struggled with injuries recently which have led to his remaining sidelined, even after getting healthy.
27 Worst QB to Wear #6: Matt Cavanaugh
After being drafted in 1978, the former second round draft pick became a backup very quickly with the New England Patriots. He would get a few starts in 1980, where he finished with a 3-1 record, but never turned that into anything more than what it was, just a few games filling in for the starter. He did get eight starts in 1981 but that was when the Patriots realized he was nothing more than a backup. By 1983, he was in San Francisco where he continued to be a backup, only starting two games in three seasons.
He went on to spend time in both Philadelphia and the Giants in New York where he would only start two more games over the next six years before finally retiring in 1991. He did manage to win one Super Bowl ring during his time with the 49ers but he was always best suited to be an assistant coach rather than a player.
As a coach, he has worked on the offensive side of the ball for Arizona, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, New York Jets, and he is now the QB's coach for the Washington Redskins.
26 Best QB to Wear #7: John Elway
For a man who once threatened the Baltimore Colts , who were going to draft him with the top pick of the 1983 NFL draft, by saying he wanted to play in the West Coast or else he would be giving up football for a baseball career, he ended up spending 16 years in the Rocky Mountains of Denver. So much for that West Coast dream, huh?
Although his first season was a typical NFL rookie year where he started 10 games and finished with a 4-6 record, his second season was quite the encore performance. He turned things around quickly in the Mile High city and helped the Broncos to a 12-2 record (13-3 overall) and AFC Divisional berth. They lost to Pittsburgh that year but the experience turned him into a man on a mission to get to the Super Bowl.
By 1987, he had led the Broncos to the Super Bowl and unfortunately, they lost but returned in 1988 to give it another shot before facing a disgustingly good Washington Redskins offense that easily handled them before making one more trip, in 1990, where they faced off against the San Francisco 49ers who ripped them apart, 55-10.
He did not give up and he finally got his shot in 1998, against the Green Bay Packers, and won his first Super Bowl which they did again in 1999 to become back-to-back champions before he retired the following off-season.
25 Worst QB to Wear #7: Bob Avellini
The Chicago Bears fans remember Bob Avellini better than anyone when he played for them between 1975 and 1984. When he was drafted in 1975 in the sixth round, he was not considered a future MVP, by any means. He ended up getting 50 starts in his nine years with the Bears but every time he would be handed the reigns to the franchise, he just could not find a way to take over the offense.
He started 40 of the 50 games during the 1976 to 1978 years. That was his chance to make something of himself and to become that next level QB. However, he wound up throwing for 5,302 yards, 24 touchdowns, and an amazingly horrible 49 interceptions. He was averaging one interception per game during those three years and eventually would become the backup, for a very long time. It all added up to a career passer rating of 54.8.
24 Best QB to Wear #8: Troy Aikman
The Dallas Cowboys solidified their stance as America's Team during their '90s dominance and Troy Aikman was the captain of the ship as it sailed to three Super Bowl wins in four years. For a man that never won the most prized award of the NFL, the MVP award, he still ended up finishing as one of the greatest of all time.
During his many years in Dallas, he started in 165 games, winning 94 of them while throwing for 32,942 yards, 165 touchdowns, and 141 interceptions. As exciting as those stats are to hear, his Hall of Fame numbers came in the postseason when he helped run the league's best offense during the '90s.
He ended up retiring at the age of 34, with so many years left to play, due to concussions and a nagging back issue that caused him to have surgery after Super Bowl XXVII. It is rare nowadays to hear about one of the league's best QB's having to hang up his cleats before he turned 35 but after accomplishing everything he did in just 12 seasons in Dallas, he decided to make a very important health decision that could have saved his life.
23 Worst QB to Wear #8: Lamar McHan
The Chicago Cardinals risked it all and took Lamar McHan with the second overall pick of the 1954 draft. The hard-slinging country boy from the University of Arkansas had a lot of skills to become a star but when he got to the pro's, he ended up never really turning things around as he spent five years in Chicago and started 50 games, winning only 15 of them along the way.
He apparently had a problem dealing with authority and during the 1956 season as he was fined for insubordination by the Cardinals. By 1959, he was sent to the Green Bay Packers where he became known as the guy who started before Bart Starr. He started the first six games of the 1959 season for Green Bay before a leg injury changed the history of the franchise and the league, forever. He would go on to Baltimore and backup Johnny Unitas too.
He turned into an assistant coach in both college and the pro's where he ended up coaching under several head coaches in New Orleans between 1974 to 1984.
22 Best QB to Wear #9: Drew Brees
The New Orleans Saints are going to have a tough time replacing Drew Brees in a few years when he retires.
He has completely changed the culture in the Big Easy by turning around a franchise that was so terrible, their fans wore paper bags on their heads at the Superdome while referring to themselves as the 'Aints. They spent several seasons going 3-13 or worse and the moment he arrived, that ended.
Drew Brees even helped the Saints claim their first ever Super Bowl trophy in 2010. The win solidified his career as one of the NFL's greatest passers ever and he continues to climb the career leaders charts every week. He is currently third all-time in career completions, attempts, passing yards, and passing touchdowns while being sixth in passer rating and first in completion percentage and average yards passing per game.
21 Worst QB to Wear #9: Ralph Guglielmi
The idea of an NFL bust is nothing new in the NFL, especially at QB. Draft busts have been happening since a long time ago when Ralph Guglielmi was taken in the first round, fourth overall, of the 1955 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. The former Notre Dame star QB ended up never grasping the concept of playing in the NFL and struggled from day one.
In his first career start, Ralph went 2-9 for 17 passing yards, one rushing touchdown, and one interception. He did get the victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, 34-21, however, even without doing much in the passing game. After his first season, he barely put up a moment worth remembering and that would continue for another seven seasons before retiring, although he did not play all seven seasons consecutively.
After just one year in the NFL, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served for three years before returning to the NFL for another six years. He enlisted after he entered the NFL, after. After! The world needs more men like him fighting for this country.
20 Best QB to Wear #10: Fran Tarkenton
For being such an amazing QB in the NFL, can you tell us how many seasons it took before he won more than 10 games? 12 seasons. It took Fran Tarkenton from 1961 until 1973 before he finally helped the Minnesota Vikings to a 12-2 record. As the Vikings first ever starting QB, Fran Tarkenton spent most of his career in Minnesota, 13 of his 18 NFL seasons were in the icy cold of Minnesota with a short stint with the Giants in New York from 1967 to 1971.
When he returned to the Vikings, in 1972, he returned to a team that had recently played in their first ever championship, Super Bowl IV, in which they lost 23-7. Over his final seven seasons, Fran Tarkenton led the Vikings to three Super Bowls, all losses.
Even with his elite passing ability and incredible stats, Fran Tarkenton failed to win a Super Bowl, in all three of his chances due to his postseason failures. He was simply not the greatest postseason performer that he could have been finishing his career with a 58.6 postseason passer rating, among
19 Worst QB to Wear #10: Jack Trudeau
Great QB's do not just win games or Super Bowl rings, they change a team's entire culture. They turn empty stadiums into sellout crowds and they change the future for the franchise even after leaving. That is exactly why Peyton Manning is such an amazing QB. Many people forget that the Indianapolis Colts were horrible after moving from Baltimore in 1984. They never won more then 9 games prior to Peyton Manning and had a 88-135 record between 1984 and 1997 and only three postseason appearances. After he got there, the Colts had a 141-67 record and 11 playoff appearances between 1998 and 2010.
Jack Trudeau is the man that came before Peyton Manning, when the Colts were that terrible team we were just talking about. He was there in 1986 when he got to start 11 games and finished with a 0-11 record in his first year. They finished 3-13 that year overall. He would go on to start 47 games from 1986 until 1993 and only had a record of 18-29 with 41 touchdowns and 62 interceptions while with the Colts. He just could not make anything of his chances. He just kept feeding into the losing that Colts fans had started to become use to.
18 Best QB to Wear #11: Drew Bledsoe
A lot of the younger fans that know very little about the NFL before Tom Brady, only remember Drew Bledsoe as the man who nearly died after taking a hit during a game and that injury opened the door for the future four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to take over the Patriots and lead them into a dynasty.
But Drew Bledsoe was not just a guy that had some bad luck, he was a very talented QB and, in fact, was traded to Buffalo following that unlucky 2001 season and he put up his best season of his career in 2002 throwing for 4,359 yards, 24 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and a passer rating of 86, the second highest in a single season during his 14-year career.
He was never a "MVP"caliber QB but he was one of the better signal caller's in the league and he did take the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1996 but lost to the Packers 35-21. He received a Super Bowl ring as Tom Brady's backup in 2001 though, so it is nice to have a ring, he might have wished to win one in 1996 as the starter and not just a backup to some young fresh-faced kid from California that was about to take over the NFL.
17 Worst QB to Wear #11: Akili Smith
Akili Smith fooled everyone. He fooled the scouts, the coaches, and the fans all around the league into thinking that he would be the future of the Cincinnati Bengals franchise because he only played in 11 D-1 college games and he was very impressive throwing 32 touchdowns as he lead the Oregon Ducks during his senior year.
That was all the game film anyone needed to think they had a future MVP. Little did they know, they were about to regret everything about the 1999 NFL Draft. Cincinnati actually turned down an offer from the New Orleans Saints when their head coach, Mike Ditka, offered them nine draft picks, including first rounders, in the 1999 and 2000 drafts so they could move up and draft Ricky Williams. They refused and went ahead to draft Akili Smith who ended up starting off his NFL career with a contract dispute in training camp.
After signing a contract, he could not figure out the Bengals playbook and that led him to even more disappointment as he would only start 17 games in four years, going 3-14 in the process with only 2,212 yards passing, five touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. It would have been better if he just sat out his entire career instead of playing anything at all.
16 Best QB to Wear #12: Tom Brady
When it comes to being the greatest QB of all-time, what more does Tom Brady need to do to prove he is the best?
In the six Super Bowls that he has led the New England Patriots to, Tom Brady holds a 4-2 record which includes three Super Bowl MVP awards.He also has a ton of regular season honors including finishing the 2007 with a perfect 16-0 record, only the second time in NFL history that a team has accomplished this feat. He has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls, two All-Pro First-teams, two All-Pro Second-teams, and he has been named the NFL's Most Valuable Player, twice, in 2007 and 2010.
Or maybe you can look at his team's overall production since he was named the starting QB in 2001. Since then, they have only finished with less than 10 wins, once, in 2002. In fact, they have won 12 or more games in each of the past six seasons which includes a 14-2 record in 2010.
15 Worst QB to Wear #12: Todd Marinovich
What is it about the Raiders that turns a potential NFL MVP into a bust? Todd Marinovich isn't even the first, or the last, bust from the long list of draft picks from the Raiders. It was especially shocking when Todd Marinovich, who was literally bred to become a superstar QB, failed after being raised, from birth, to become a perfect athlete.
Everything about his life growing up was to help develop him into a champion one day. His father, was a former lineman for the 1962 USC National Champion football team, he was also the captain, and his mother was originally a high school swimmer that enrolled at USC before dropping out to marry Marv, his father. Todd was given nothign but raw milk, fresh fruit and vegetables as a baby while being banned from watching cartoons because they were too violent. This is just the surface of how he was raised and how he ended up earning the nickname of "Robo Quarterback."
However, all of the pressure and constant stress eventually turned him into a substance abuser that had serious issues controlling his alcohol and drug intake. He got to the point where he was using his teammates urine to cheat on his NFL drug tests but even that did not work as he ended up using the urine of a player that drank very heavily the night before. He eventually left the NFL, just three years after he got there.
14 Best QB to Wear #13: Dan Marino
It is hard to argue about who are some of the greatest QB's in NFL history. The debate comes when trying to name the best overall. If you ask someone to name the five best QB's, in no particular order, we promise you that they will all name Dan Marino among the five, even without a single Super Bowl ring.
Dan Marino was a special type of QB that was so talented that he could turn above-average players like Mark Duper and Mark Clayton to two of the best wide receivers in Miami Dolphins history. Mark Clayton ended his career with 8,974 yards and 84 touchdowns while Mark Duper chalked up 8,869 yards and 59 touchdowns. Both players would never have reached those heights without Dan Marino behind center.
Dan did the best he could with the talent he had around him and for many years, he was the glue that held that offense together. Imagine where he would have gone if he landed a Michael Irvin or Jerry Rice to throw to on Sundays.
13 Worst QB to Wear #13: Don Horn
Back before the days of Tony Romo and social media tweets post-injuries by active players, there were players like Don Horn who was an active member of the U.S. Army while also playing in the NFL. During his tenure in Green Bay, in 1969, he almost missed the entire 1968 season because he was in the Army until just hours before the final game of the season in which he was activated and ended up playing in finishing with 10-16, 187 yards, and two touchdowns. It was one of those "proud to be an American" moments.
But aside from the fact that Don Horn is one of America's most amazing soldiers that split time between the NFL and fighting for our country, he was never really the strongest of players and he did not last very long in the league. He would only start 15 games in his eight years in the league with a 6-8-1 record, 3,369 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions.
12 Best QB to Wear #14: Dan Fouts
Although his completion percentage is a little lower, Dan Fouts is a good comparison to Drew Brees. Before the NFL became a pass first, run later type of league, Dan Fouts was cutting up defensive secondary's regularly. What he lacked in completion percentage, he more than made up for it with his ability to score touchdowns, when healthy.
One of the Hall of Famer's biggest downfalls was how many games he missed from 1973 to 1987. He only played a full season three seasons, from 1979 to 1981. During those three seasons, he started all 48 games, had a record of 33-15 while throwing for 13,599 yards, 87 touchdowns, and 65 interceptions which included his only three seasons of 4,000 or more yards passing in his career.
Without missing all the games he missed during his career, and including the extra two games in the regular season from 1973 to 1976, he could have ended up with another 13,000 yards passing, just based on his career averages.
11 Worst QB to Wear #14: Karl Sweetan
Thanks to a 99-yard pass he completed to Pat Studstill on October 16th of 1966, Karl Sweetan got his name in the NFL record book for something positive rather than for being an NFL bust. Outside of that, his career lasted only a few more years and he barely made as much as a dent in the Detroit Lions win column. He ended up playing for New Orleans and Los Angeles before ending his NFL career.
As a starting QB, Karl Sweetan was thought to be more of a project than anything else but once he got to Detroit, he was thrusted into the starter role, based solely on positional need and his impressive training camp. He started 16 games in two years for Detroit finishing with a 6-8-2 record while throwing 25 interceptions, 34 picks for his entire career.
He had a chance to become a true starter but just never fully grasped the concept of reading an NFL defense which caused him to make several mistakes and that is how he turned out 34 career interceptions in just three years.
10 Best QB to Wear #15: Bart Starr
Until Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, the only star QB that the Green Bay Packers had known about was Bart Starr. Bart was the starter in Green Bay from 1956 until 1971. During that time period, he lead the Packers to five NFL Championships (1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967) and winning the first two Super Bowls ever, including winning the Super Bowl MVP award in both.
He was smart and knew how to scramble but it never hurt that he had one of the strongest defenses in the league for many of those seasons. But he was also one of the best postseason QB's in the NFL with a 9-1 record, 15 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. But what is the most impressive stat of his playoff numbers is his passer rating of 104.8, which is an NFL record.
9 Worst QB to Wear #15: Mike Phipps
The Cleveland Browns have had the worst of luck when it comes to the NFL Draft. One of their worst draft moments happened during the 1970 draft when they became so desperate for a future franchise QB that they traded away future Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for the third overall pick in the first round of the draft to select the red hot and highly touted QB from Purdue, Mike Phipps.
He turned into a the NFL equivalent of a closer, coming in and bringing the Browns, and also the Bears, back or leading them to a game-winning drive 12 times in his career. It would be the only thing he became known for during his time in the NFL because of a nagging shoulder injury in 1976 which caused a shoulder separation so severe that he would never be the same.
Even without the injury, however, he was never the best decision-maker as he wound up with 55 touchdowns and 108 interceptions, which is one of the worst TD:INT ratio's in NFL history.
8 Best QB to Wear #16: Joe Montana
The only reason Joe Montana was so good with the 49ers, is because Joe Montana had Jerry Rice but that statement is all wrong. Jerry Rice had Joe Montana is the correct way to say it because without Joe Montana calling the plays and passing to the league's greatest WR ever, Jerry Rice would have never turned into a legend or even possibly a Hall of Famer.
Don't take that the wrong way, Rice is an unbelievable talent but many people forget that Joe Montana was one of the greatest clutch QB's to ever walk the face of the earth. This man had ice running through his veins, especially when it came down to the fourth quarter or overtime. He has 31 fourth quarter comebacks and 33 game-winning drives during the regular season, which is among the top five in NFL history. But he is even better in the playoffs having five 4th quarter comebacks, second all-time, and five game-winning drives, third all-time.
7 Worst QB to Wear #16: Ryan Leaf
The talent was there the whole time, Ryan Leaf just had issues with his attitude and his terrible behavior during his rookie season that really caused him to become a villain instead of the face of the San Diego Chargers. He even had trouble managing his alcoholic intake as he started his NFL career with a trip to Las Vegas the night after the draft, to party it up of course.
The rookie signed $31.25 million over four years which also included a signing bonus of $11.25 million, which was more than Peyton Manning and was actually the largest rookie contract in NFL history at the time, before he even took a single snap.
Ryan Leaf was that guy that everyone would avoid in the locker room because no one actually liked him. He would blame his teammates when they lost or he performed poorly instead of owning up to his mistakes which quickly turned him into a cancer in the locker room and that would eventually lead to his departure from San Diego. And eventually, the NFL.
6 Best QB to Wear #17: Jake Delhomme
From 1991 to 2007, the NFL had a minor league type of league called NFL Europe. This league was created so that players could develop their skills in real game situations as opposed to practice and watching from the sidelines. Jake Delhomme was sent there by the New Orleans Saints where he would backup Kurt Warner as a member of the Amsterdam Admirals. He bounced back and forth between the bayou and Europe until 1999 when he was finally moved from the Saints practice squad and onto their roster as the third string QB.
He only started two games in 1999 and then hardly got onto the field after that until eventually he found a home in Carolina, in 2003. In his first season in Carolina, Jake led the Panthers to a 10-5 record and a Super Bowl. He almost went from the bottom of the New Orleans Saints QB barrel to a Super Bowl winning QB, in just one year. But Adam Vinatieri did the unthinkable and he nailed a 41 yard field goal with just four seconds on the clock to break a 29-29 tie and give the Patriots the win.
It wasn't over for Jake either as he spent the next seven seasons as Carolina's starting QB while going 53-37 and throwing for 19,258 yards, 120 touchdowns, and 89 interceptions. He battled a few injuries along the way that slowed him down but his overall career should be considered one of the greatest in NFL history. He went from near obscurity to having a Super Bowl patch sewn into his jersey.
5 Worst QB to Wear #17: Dave Brown
After he was selected as the number one selection in the 1992 NFL Supplemental Draft, Dave Brown spent the majority of his rookie season as a fourth stringer, backing up Phil Simms, Jeff Hostetler, and Kent Graham. He was so far down the depth chart, that it seemed as if the Giants were going to take their time to develop him into their franchise guy. But after everyone got hurt, the emergency rookie ended up getting his big chance against Phoenix in Week 14 but fell short as they lost 19-0.
By 1994, it was time to hand over the offense to the young QB from Duke and he started 15 games in his first year as a starter with decent success going 9-6. But then he went 5-11 in 1995 and 6-10 in 1996 before things started to get really ugly in New York so by the end of 1997, he ended up leaving for Arizona where he would, once again, not do too much besides playing a few games, here and there.
Although he tossed 44 touchdowns, he also threw 58 picks and that is a very uneven balance for any struggling QB in the NFL.
4 Best QB to Wear #18: Peyton Manning
When it comes to the regular season, there has never been a better QB in NFL history that could breakdown a defense better than Peyton Manning. He was beyond elite at reading coverages and breaking down the defense. It was almost like he knew their play sometimes. Before his neck injury, he would line up behind the center, see the coverage, break it down with audibles and signals, and turn a simple five-yard pass into a 55-yard score. He did that weekly, for almost 15 seasons.
He got over the hump and finally beat the New England Patriots to reach the Super Bowl and get his first win in 2006.
3 Worst QB to Wear #18: Frank Tripucka
Back in 1949, Frank Tripucka was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles as the ninth overall pick of the NFL draft. He never took a snap as an Eagle and ended up being traded in the off-season, just before the season began, to the Detroit Lions.
After a few seasons of bad performances, he left for Canada where he joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders and he stayed there until 1960 when he ended up returning to the NFL to play for the Denver Broncos in their inaugural season. Did you know he was their first ever starting QB? Now you do.
He played another four seasons and put up some solid passing numbers, throwing for 7,676 yards and 51 touchdowns. But his biggest downfall was his inability to read a defense and that turned him into a interception machine, throwing 124 of them in his career.
2 Best QB to Wear #19: Johnny Unitas
At the age of 23, Johnny Unitas got his first career start with the Baltimore Colts and ended up going 3-4 in his rookie season with 1,498 yards, nine touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He quickly turned things around and from 1957 to 1972, he was the starter in Baltimore, winning 114 games while throwing for another 38,270 yards, 278 touchdowns, and 236 interceptions.
Because he started his career in the NFL long before the first Super Bowl, he only has one Super Bowl ring after he led the Colts over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V. He won the NFL Championship in 1958, 1959, and 1968 too. He was a passer long before passing was something the NFL was used to. Today, passing is something almost every team can do easily but during Johnny Unitas's years, it wasn't. The running game dominated the game and yet he still continued to pass the Colts to several championships.
1 Worst QB to Wear #19: Tom Tupa
How else do you prolong your NFL career if you realize early on that you are not going to last very long as a starting QB? You do what Tom Tupa did and you become the team's punter. He actually became a Pro Bowl punter and averaged 43.4 yards per punt, net yards per punt after he tried to do the whole QB thing in Arizona.
From 1988 until 1991, he did start in 13 games going 4-9 with 3,430 yards passing, 12 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. It was very obvious to him that if he wanted to stay in the NFL, he would have to get back to the one thing he was great at, punting. He ended up playing for a total of seven teams until he retired after the 2004 season. During that time he punted for the Colts, Browns, Patriots, Jets, Buccaneers, and Redskins.
He is the only QB on this list to change direction mid-career and go back to the one thing he was always good at growing up, punting.
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