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Seahawks have enjoyed a level of QB stability most teams haven’t had

Most NFL teams cycle through quarterbacks like toddlers through clothes, but not Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

Pop Quiz: Name all of the Seattle Seahawks’ starting quarterbacks from 2012 to 2023.

That’s a short list, right?

Only two names.

In Pete Carroll’s first season in Seattle, two QBs got starts: Matt Hasselbeck (14) and Charlie Whitehurst (2). The next season (2011), Whitehurst got two more starts, and T-Jack (Tarvaris Jackson) got the other 14.

Then the Seahawks drafted a quarterback in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft and that quarterback started every game for the next nine seasons (2012-2020).

In 2021, Geno Smith started 3 games after Russell Wilson got hurt (slash before Wilson rushed back too early).

The Seahawks jettisoned Wilson after the 2021 season and Geno has been the starter ever since.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, it’s NOT because the 12s are clamoring for a change at quarterback.

Nope, it’s definitely not because of that.

In actuality, it’s because the commentators on the Thursday Night Football broadcast compared Seattle’s quarterback situation since 2012 to that of the Cleveland Browns who have started 21 different quarterbacks over that same period of time.

With Joe Flacco having started for Cleveland on Sunday versus the Los Angeles Rams, the Browns are now at 22.

That is eleven times as many starting quarterbacks as Seattle has had over the last 12 seasons.

Crazy, huh?

That little statistical nugget made me curious, so here are the numbers for our NFC West rivals (since 2012, courtesy of Wikipedia):

  • San Francisco: 9
  • Los Angeles: 13
  • Arizona: 15

Seattle = stable; rivals, not so much.

GAME TIME: If you want to have fun, pick a team, write down all of the quarterbacks you think started a game for them since 2012, then click the link to see who you missed.

How about the other teams in the NFC; how many quarterbacks have they had in the last 12 years?

NFC East:

  • Philadelphia: 7
  • New York: 9
  • Dallas: 10
  • Washington: 14

__________

NFC North:

  • Detroit: 5
  • Green Bay: 5
  • Minnesota: 11
  • Chicago: 15

__________

NFC South:

  • Atlanta: 5
  • Tampa Bay: 7
  • New Orleans: 9
  • Carolina: 11

__________

Wow! Right? No NFC team has had less than 5 quarterbacks start games for them over the past 12 seasons, except for the Seahawks. And, as a bonus, two of Seattle’s NFC West rivals are among the three NFC teams with the most starting QBs over that time period.

How about the other conference?

Which AFC teams have had the least and the most starting QBs over the past 12 years?

Most: Cleveland, with 21 (soon to be 22)

Second-Most: Houston (16)

Least: San Diego / Los Angeles (3)

The Chargers, of course, had the indestructible Phillip Rivers for a big chunk of that time. He started 224 consecutive games for them from 2006-2019.

In 2020, Tyrod Taylor got the Week 1 start, only to have a team doctor accidentally puncture his lung before the Week 2 game. Justin Herbert started instead and will make his 61st consecutive start on Sunday.

__________

Since I did the research, and some of you will undoubtedly be curious, here’s the rest of the AFC’s numbers:

  • Baltimore: 9
  • Buffalo: 11
  • Cincinnati: 7
  • Denver: 13
  • Indianapolis: 13
  • Jacksonville: 9
  • Kansas City: 8
  • Las Vegas: 10
  • Miami: 10
  • New England: 7
  • New York: 15
  • Pittsburgh: 9
  • Tennessee: 12

Summary

The Seahawks have had the least number of starting quarterbacks over the past 12 seasons with two. Seattle is followed by the Chargers (3) and three teams who have each had 5: the Falcons, Lions, and Packers.

Meanwhile, HALF of the league’s teams (16 of 32) have had at least 10 starting quarterbacks over the past 12 years, and another six teams are sitting on the cusp of double digits, having started 9 different quarterbacks since 2012.

And, yes, I was serious when I said this started with the TNF comparison between Seattle and Cleveland.

I’m like a cat with a ball of yarn.

Go Hawks!