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April 13, 2015

Without stability at QB, the Eagles aren't going anywhere

Eagles NFL
041315_eaglesQBs_AP Matt Slocum/AP

Donovan begat Kevin, who begat Michael, who begat Nick.

Assuming Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb don't make miraculous comebacks, or that the Eagles don't re-sign Michael Vick or trade Sam Bradford back to the Rams for Nick Foles, in 2015 the Eagles will have their fifth different Week 1 starter at quarterback in the last seven years. That is extreme instability at the most important position in sports.

Below is a list of every team in the NFL, and how many quarterbacks they have started Week 1 since 2009:

 Team# of QBs Who were they? 
 SteelersRoethlisberger, Dixon 
 BroncosOrton, Manning 
 BengalsPalmer, Dalton 
 TexansSchaub, Fitzpatrick 
 JetsSanchez, Smith 
 ColtsManning, Collins, Luck 
 RamsBulger, Bradford, Hill 
 ChiefsCroyle, Cassel, Smith 
 PanthersDelhomme, Moore, Newton 
 BillsEdwards, Fitzpatrick, Manuel 
 SeahawksHasselbeck, Jackson, Wilson 
 49ersHill, Smith, Kaepernick 
 BuccaneersLeftwich, Freeman, McCown 
 DolphinsPennington, Henne, Tannehill 
 RedskinsCampbell, McNabb, Grossman, Griffin III 
 JaguarsGarrard, McCown, Gabbert, Henne 
 TitansCollins, Young, Hasselbeck, Locker 
 VikingsFavre, McNabb, Ponder, Cassel 
 EaglesMcNabb, Kolb, Vick, Foles 
 BrownsQuinn, Delhomme, McCoy, Weeden, Hoyer 
 RaidersRussell, Campbell, Palmer, Pryor, Carr 
 CardinalsWarner, Anderson, Kolb, Skelton, Palmer 

When the 2015 season begins, there will be 11 teams who will likely be starting at least their fourth QB in the last seven years. They are the Rams, Bills, Buccaneers, Redskins, Jaguars, Titans, Vikings, Browns, Raiders, Cardinals, and Eagles. The combined number of playoff wins those teams have since 2010?


Meanwhile, the Super Bowl winners since 2009 have been the following teams: Saints, Packers, Giants, Ravens, Seahawks, and Patriots. The Seahawks aside, I'll let you figure out what those teams have in common in the chart above.

As the Eagles' roster currently stands, their starting quarterback heading into Week 1 is Sam Bradford, who as we all know, is coming off a pair of ACL tears in consecutive seasons and has a contract set to expire after the 2015 season. Let's say the Eagles go into the 2015 season with Bradford as the starter. If you listed the teams around the league who were likely to have someone different behind center in 2016 from their 2015 Week 1 starter, the Eagles would be near the top of the list.

In the NFL, you either have a franchise quarterback, or you don't. And if you don't, you have no chance unless you have some kind of historic defense like the 2000 Ravens or the 2002 Buccaneers. The Eagles don't have a historic defense. Well, it's not historic in a good way, anyway. And obviously, they certainly don't have a "franchise QB."

"Mortgaging the future" for a QB is bad, or so I've heard. Then again, starting the season with a new QB every year isn't so awesome either.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski