Quiz: Can You Identify the NFL Team If We Give You 3 of Its Greatest Quarterbacks?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Identify the NFL Team If We Give You 3 of Its Greatest Quarterbacks?
By: Raj Chander
7 Min Quiz
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Jim Zorn started as QB for this team's first eight seasons. Matt Hasselback took over in the 2000s and made it to the Super Bowl in 2005, but Russell Wilson led them to their first championship. For which team did these three play?
Russell Wilson has produced in spectacular fashion for the Seahawks since entering the league in 2012. He is the only QB to win 10 or more games in his first five seasons and has the highest passer rating in history through a QB's first five seasons.
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Donovan McNabb started for this team for several years, reaching a Super Bowl in 2005. Carson Wentz is their current young star, but Nick Foles won the team a Super Bowl title. For which squad did these three play?
Not only was Foles' run to a title stunning, but it was also record-setting. The mild-mannered backup QB holds the record for highest playoff passer rating, highest completion percentage in a playoff game, and he is tied for most touchdowns thrown in a single game (7).
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Ryan Leaf was supposed to be the team's answer, but the second overall pick flamed out after three short seasons. Drew Brees and Philip Rivers have also started here. For which team did these three play?
After spending 56 years in San Diego, the Chargers moved to Los Angeles after the 2016 season. Since the move to L.A., the team has struggled with attendance. An average home crowd for the Chargers contains just 32,768 fans, putting them far and away in last place in the NFL. The second-to-last Cincinnati Bengals bring in more than 50,000 fans per game.
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Terry Bradshaw guided this team to championship-level success in the 1970s. Two other quarterbacks for this team include Kordell Stewart and Ben Roethlisberger.
At age 37 and with 15 professional football seasons under his belt, Ben Roethlisberger is one of the longest-tenured quarterbacks in the league. Recently, however, his outspoken style has drawn criticism from former teammates Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell, who both forced their way off the team.
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In 2006, Rex Grossman started all 16 games for this team. The next player to do that would become the team's next franchise guy: Jay Cutler. As of 2019, Mitchell Trubisky (shown here) is the starter. Which team does the player in this image represent?
The Bears are another franchise that has struggled to achieve playoff relevance in the modern era. In the 12 seasons since losing to the Colts in the 2006 Super Bowl, the Bears have won only one playoff game.
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Joe Namath won back-to-back AFL MVP awards on this team before the NFL merger. Mark Sanchez and Sam Darnold have also played the position. Which NFL franchise has had these three players as starting quarterback?
Since 1999, the Jets have started 15 different quarterbacks, a record of inconsistency that is especially glaring when compared to their hometown rival Giants, who have started only six different QBs in that same period.
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This team hasn't had a long-term answer at QB since Joe Theismann in the '80s. Robert Griffin III was the 2012 rookie phenom who flamed out. Kirk Cousins also played here. Which team is it?
Injuries made the 2018 season was particularly rough for the Washington Redskins. Both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy suffered broken legs, and the team ended up starting four different players at quarterback in the regular season for the first time since the Redskins were formed in 1932.
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Jim Plunkett and Drew Brady were also starters, but Tom Brady is the QB face of this franchise. TB12, as he is sometimes called, led the team to six Super Bowl titles in the last 17 years. Can you name this team?
How much of a fixture is Tom Brady in the postseason? After beating the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 to claim his record sixth title, Brady now has nine Super Bowl appearances, more than the Steelers, Cowboys, Broncos or 49ers. His nickname, TB12, is a combination of his initials and his jersey number.
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Florida Gator legend Tim Tebow and John Elway both started for this team. The recent bright spot is a Super Bowl title in 2016 under legendary QB Peyton Manning. For which club did they play?
After winning two Super Bowls with the team as a player, John Elway took over as the Broncos' Executive VP of Football Operations in 2012. While he is credited for the Peyton Manning acquisition that eventually led to a Super Bowl title, in the three seasons since the Broncos' 2016 championship, the team has posted a subpar 20-28 overall record.
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Kerry Collins and Jake Delhomme were also quarterbacks for this team, but Cam Newton is easily the best QB in franchise history, winning Rookie of the Year in 2011 and MVP in 2015. Name the team.
Cam Newton's rookie year was truly remarkable. Besides winning Rookie of the Year easily, he also became the first rookie to pass for more than 400 yards in his opening game and more than 4,000 yards in his first season.
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These boys in white and blue are hoping for a return to the success of the 1990s under their new young leader, Dak Prescott. Before him, starters included Danny White and Don Meredith. Can you name this team?
Dak Prescott's rookie year in 2016 was particularly significant. He set the record for highest rookie QB rating in a single season with 104.9 and broke Tom Brady's record of 162 passes without an interception to begin a career, throwing 176 before getting picked off.
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Archie Manning, the father of future NFL QBs Eli and Peyton, held the job in the early '70s. Aaron Brooks led the team to its first postseason win, and Drew Brees grabbed the role in 2006. For what team did these guys play?
Besides helping the Saints win their first Super Bowl, Drew Brees set several records as a QB. He has thrown for the most passing yards in NFL history and also holds the record for most career completions and most completions in a single season.
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The quarterback position has been a challenge for this squad. Josh Freeman was considered a potential savior, but his tenure lasted only a few seasons. Brad Johnson and Jameis Winston have also had ups and downs as starters for which NFL franchise?
Despite taking home a championship in the early 2000s, the Bucs have struggled mightily of late. They haven't won a single playoff game since their Super Bowl title season in 2002. In the last five seasons, the team has a 27-53 regular-season record.
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Frank Tarkenton put up solid numbers in the '70s for this team. Daunte Culpepper threw to one of the greatest wide receivers of all time. In 2018, Kirk Cousins became the guy. For which franchise did these three play?
While Minnesota has had some big stars over the years – Randy Moss and Adrian Peterson among them – the team has been mostly futile in the playoffs. In the last 18 seasons, the Vikings have won just three playoff games, and the team hasn't appeared in a Super Bowl since 1976.
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Phil Simms held this team's QB spot throughout the '80s, winning the Super Bowl in 1987. After a few short-lived bridge quarterbacks like Dave Brown, Eli Manning helped win two Super Bowls for this team. Which team is it?
Eli Manning achieved record-setting levels of consistency playing for the Giants in the 2000s. Between November 21, 2004, and November 23, 2017, Manning started every game for the Giants, a total of 210 regular-season appearances, the second-most in league history behind Brett Favre.
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In 2000, Kurt Warner helped lead his team to a Super Bowl championship. Marc Bulger also started for them. The current QB is Jared Goff, who helped this team reach a Super Bowl in 2019. Which squad is it?
Believe it or not, the Rams have played in three different cities. The franchise started out in Cleveland between 1935 and 1945, then moved to Los Angeles for the 1946 season. In 1995, they left Los Angeles for St. Louis, returning to settle back in L.A. in 2016.
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Dan Marino set the standard at QB for this team and still holds many passing records. Jay Cutler and Ryan Tannehill also held the starting job, with results not nearly as impressive. For which team did they play?
Dan Marino set many milestones during his career. He was the first quarterback to ever pass for 5,000 yards in a season, the first to reach 400 career touchdown passes and the first to throw 40 touchdown passes in a single season. However, he retired without ever having won a Super Bowl.
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Warren Moon, who took over the starting job in 1984, made waves as one of the earliest African-American quarterbacks. Ken Stabler and Chris Chandler also ran the offense on this team. For which squad did these three start?
Warren Moon faced an uphill battle to make it as a black quarterback. After college, he played six years in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos, until finally getting his shot with the Oilers. Playing for a team in the south as one of the first quarterbacks of color, Moon's path wasn't easy. Fans were so abusive during games that his son was often in tears at his father's locker after play had ended.
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Bart Starr helped this team win five league championships and two Super Bowls. In 1996, Brett Favre took the team to its third Super Bowl win, and Aaron Rodgers won the fourth in 2011. For which team did they all play?
Before two futile back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018, the Packers had a remarkable run of success, making the playoffs eight straight seasons, including a Super Bowl win and two Conference championship appearances.
Wiki Commons by Keith Allison
This team has had some top QBs, but three of the most prominent are Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Tony Romo. For what team did these three play?
Tony Romo was often criticized during his time as a Cowboy for not being a clutch player, but his performance on the field was solid. He holds several Cowboys franchise records for passing and touchdowns. Romo is currently a noted commentator and golfer.
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Jim Kelly is the franchise hero at this position, leading the team to four Super Bowls in a row. Tyrod Taylor took over for a few years, but Josh Allen is expected to start going forward. Which team is it?
Like some other unfortunate teams, the Bills have struggled at QB, particularly in 2018 when Josh Allen was injured and missed playing time. The Bills turned to Nathan Peterman, who threw 11 interceptions in fewer than 100 passing attempts. By comparison, Packers star Aaron Rodgers threw only 11 interceptions in his last 993 attempts.
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In 1989, Rodney Peete was the team's first African American quarterback. Joey Harrington and Matthew Stafford have also played starting QB here. For which team did all three of these NFL players start?
The Lions have been one of the worst franchises in recent years. In 2016, they became only the fourth team to win zero games in a season since the NFL merged with the AFL in 1966. The last time they won a playoff game was in 1991. Before that, you have to go back to 1957, when they won the NFL Championship (before it was the Super Bowl).
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Michael Vick lit the town on fire with his rushing skills in the early 2000s. Other prominent QB names on this team's roster include Chris Chandler and Matt Ryan, who won league MVP in 2016. For what team did these three QBs start?
Despite Matt Ryan becoming the first QB to sign a $30-million annual contract, the Falcons have had only moderate playoff success in his 11 seasons as a starter. Outside the Super Bowl season in 2017, the Falcons have only won two other playoff games.
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Picking three for this team is easy. In fact, they have had 29 different starting QBs since 1999. A few of them are Colt McCoy, Tim Couch and Baker Mayfield. Which franchise are we talking about?
Just how bad were the Browns before Mayfield? Their 19-game losing streak was the fourth-worst in the modern era. Between Christmas Day 2016 and September 20, 2018, the Browns didn't win a single game, including the entire 2017 season.
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Boomer Esiason started for them in the late 1980s. In the early 2000s, Carson Palmer led an explosive air attack. Andy Dalton, nicknamed "Red Rifle," is now the star. For which team have these three guys played?
While Andy Dalton has put up great numbers on the field for the Bengals (he's the only QB besides Peyton Manning to throw for 3,000 yards in his first five seasons) he lost four playoff games in a row from 2011 - 2014, leading to questions about his leadership.
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Peyton Manning was the man for this team from the late-'90s through 2010, winning a Super Bowl in 2006. In 2017, Jacoby Brissett started, but Andrew Luck is the team's guy now. What is the team's name?
With a record five selections, former Colts QB Peyton Manning holds the record for most NFL MVP awards. He also holds the record for most career touchdowns with 539.
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The now-retired USC legend Carson Palmer helped this squad reach an NFC championship as their quarterback in 2015. Kurt Warner and Josh Rosen have also held the job. For which team did these three play QB for?
Since moving to Arizona, the Cardinals haven't had much postseason success. A 1998 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round was the team's first playoff win since 1948, when they played as the Chicago Cardinals.
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The late Steve McNair was the starting QB the first few seasons after this team moved from Houston, helping the squad reach a Super Bowl in 2000. Other starters have included Vince Young and Marcus Mariota.
For decades, the Titans were the Houston Oilers. But in 1997, owner Bud Adams got into a dispute with the city of Houston about a new stadium and moved the team to Nashville, Tennessee. A few seasons later, they officially changed their name to the Tennessee Titans. In 2002, Houston got a new team: the Texans.
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This expansion franchise's first QB of note was Mark Brunell, who led the team to three playoff births in four years, from 1996 to 1999. Byron Leftwich (shown in the image) and Blake Bortles have also started here. Which team are we talking about?
Despite some decent seasons and six playoff berths, the Jaguars have never made it to the game's biggest stage. They are one of four NFL franchises that have never played in a Super Bowl.
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Kyle Boller was thought to be the future of this team, but he never lived up to expectations. Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl with them in 2012. Lamar Jackson is the current guy. For which squad have these players started?
While there have been questions about Jackson's ability with the Ravens, no one has questioned his speed. Despite not starting until Week 11, Jackson set the single-season record for most runs by a QB with 147. He also became the youngest player to ever start a playoff game when he started for the Ravens in the 2018 Wild Card game the day before his 22nd birthday.
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Joe Montana ended his career as QB for this team in the early 1990s. Trent Green started and had some decent years, but Patrick Mahomes II, who won MVP in 2018, may be this team's high best QB ever. Which team is it?
Patrick Mahomes' MVP year in 2018 was one for the books. He became only the second player in league history to throw for more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in one season. After winning the award, he became the youngest league MVP since Dan Marino won the award in 1984.
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This team had two of the best QBs in history start consecutively for them: Joe Montana and Steve Young. Controversial activist/QB Colin Kaepernick rose to prominence on this squad.
For most of the '80s and '90s, the 49ers were the model of QB consistency. With the exception of the strike-shortened, nine-game season in 1982 and Joe Montana's back injury in 1986, from 1981 through 1998 either Montana or Young started at least 10 games for the 49ers every year.
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The late Ken Stabler led the team to five straight AFC Championship games with John Madden. JaMarcus Russell was a bust, but the future of the franchise is thought to be with Derek Carr. For which team did all three play?
In summer 2019, Oakland was the subject of a wild offseason that saw controversial star wide receiver Antonio Brown get cut after spending just six months with the team. During his brief tenure as a Raider he threatened to retire over helmet restrictions and got frostbite from cryotherapy in France.
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This squad has had issues for years at QB, starting guys like Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Josh McCown (shown here). All three are currently either backups or out of the league. Do you know which team this is?
It's particularly ironic that the Jets have struggled so much at QB when you consider how many of them the team has taken in the draft. From 2009 through 2018, the Jets have drafted seven quarterbacks from college teams. Many fans hope Sam Darnold will be the last one for a while.
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Johnny Unitas turned himself into a legend in this role in the 1960s, winning MVP in 1959, 1964 and 1967. Earl Morrall and Bert Jones also started for this historic team. Can you name the squad?
Earl Morrall had a great year replacing Johnny Unitas as the starter in 1968. But it must have been immensely frustrating to fall just short of the ultimate goal and lose to the New York Jet in Super Bowl III. The Colts made it back to the title game two years later in Super Bowl V when Morrall again replaced Unitas after a second-quarter injury. This time, Morrall led the Colts to a 16-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys, earning redemption.
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Randall Cunningham was a phenom in the 1980s who split plays with Ron Jaworski. Later starters for this team were relatively unremarkable, including Sam Bradford (shown here) and Kevin Kolb. For which squad did these men play?
Before the dawn of the Carson Wentz era, the Eagles were another team with more questions than answers at QB. From 2009 through 2015, the year before Wentz was drafted, the Eagles started six different quarterbacks.
They are one of the league's first teams, named after the town baseball team's biggest rival. In the 1940s, Bob Davis, George Cafego (shown here) and Paul Governali played QB for this squad. What team is it?
The reason behind the merger in 1945? The league had trouble fielding enough players for games due to WWII. Ironically, the Yanks played home games at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, which are heated rivals with the MLB's New York Yankees who are often nicknamed, "the Yanks."
Atlanta Falcons via YouTube
In 1968, Bob Berry was one of this franchise's first quarterbacks. He was followed by Steve Bartkowski (shown here). Chris Miller also started at QB on this team. Which team is it?
Since the Super Bowl became the championship game of the NFL, the Falcons are one of eight teams who have appeared in a Super Bowl but have never won. Falcons fans have especially painful memories of Super Bowl LI, where their team lost despite being up 28-3 in the third quarter.
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Before this famous franchise moved to Tinseltown, they had some marquee seasons under QB Bob Waterfield (shown here). Other starters include Parker Hall and Bob Snyder. Do you know for which team they played?
Poor attendance and high costs from the city of Cleveland had owner Dan Reeves looking around for a new home. In 1946, the Rams became the first-ever major professional sports team located on the west coast. Reeves also became the first post-war owner to sign an African American player.
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In 1932, the starter was Hawaiian Hank Hughes. Jim Musick, who would go on to become the sheriff of Orange County, took on the starting role next. In 1934, Steve Hokuf got the job. For which team did these three start at the QB position?
Entrepreneur George Preston Marshall founded the Boston Redskins in 1932, but the team was plagued by poor attendance in early 1930s Boston, which was a town still dominated by baseball. The final straw was in 1936 when the Redskins won a division title and few people in Beantown cared. The team moved to Washington, D.C., in 1937 and has been there ever since. Shown here is the coin toss starting the 1936 NFL Championship between the Boston Redskins (left) and Green Bay Packers.
Image: Wiki Commons by Veronica Davison / Keith Allison / Ted Van Pelt
About This Quiz
NFL quarterbacks have to handle a delicate balancing act on the field. On the one hand, they have to encourage their players with vocal leadership and encouragement. But they also have to back up their talk with skilled play, processing what is happening on the field and making decisions about what to do with the ball in just a handful of seconds. All this happens while huge men from the opposing team rush towards them as fast as possible.
The challenge of playing QB is part of why we have so much respect for the great ones. Tom Brady, with six victories in nine Super Bowl appearances to go with three NFL MVP Awards, is widely considered to be the greatest ever to play the position. But he has steep competition even in his generation from Peyton Manning, who is nowhere close to Brady in championships but was named MVP a record five times.
Quarterbacks are so important that they define teams. If teams don't have a good QB, they search the draft, free agency and the trading block endlessly, looking for someone with the right blend of leadership and athleticism. If you think you know the NFL, take this quarterback quiz and see how many teams you can name correctly!
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