Oakland-Houston Could Be Least Experienced QB Playoff Game Ever


We may be witnessing history on Saturday, if you dare tune in. With Derek Carr’s injury and Brock Osweiler getting benched in favor of Tom Savage, we may be seeing the least experienced playoff game at the QB position ever, by a pretty big margin.

I say if because Houston started Tom Savage on Sunday but he had to leave due to the concussion protocol (then, oddly, re-entered briefly in a meaningless game only to then be pulled out again due to concussion). If Savage is cleared to play, then we would have a matchup where both starting quarterbacks have started less than 7 career games.

Oakland has Matt McGloin (7 career starts, 1-6 record) or rookie Connor Cook (0 career starts). Cook would become the first player to make his NFL starting debut in the postseason if he starts instead of McGloin.

Via a Pro Football Reference Search of all QBs to throw a postseason pass in a game, here is a summary of every quarterback to start a postseason game going back to 1950, after starting 10 or fewer career games to that point:

The one-start club includes Todd Marinovich for the Raiders against the Chiefs, Doug Flutie with the Bears (of course, Flutie had played in the USFL), Gifford Nielsen starting for an injured Dan Pastorini against the Chargers, and a young Ron Jaworski with the Rams.

Savage would match Joe Webb with two career starts at QB (Webb also started one at WR) before a playoff start.

No game has featured two quarterbacks starting against each other on this list. The “least experienced” game is Dallas and Minnesota in 1971– featuring Bob Lee (6 starts) vs Roger Staubach (14 starts), though Staubach did not have the typical career path and had gone 10-0 after taking over as the starter in Dallas that year. Next was Houston and Cincinnati in 2011 — with T.J. Yates (5 starts) vs Andy Dalton after his rookie year (16 starts).