This is a list of every starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, a professional American football team who compete in the National Football League (NFL).

There have been 28 starting quarterbacks for the Patriots since their founding in 1960. Babe Parilli was the franchise's first longtime starter, leading the Patriots to their only playoff berth and championship game appearance while a member of the American Football League (AFL). Following the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, Jim Plunkett was drafted by the Patriots first overall to become the starting quarterback, but an unsuccessful tenure resulted in him being traded after five seasons. Plunkett was succeeded by Steve Grogan, who served as the team's primary starter during the late 1970s and helped lead them to their first NFL playoff appearances. A series of injuries caused Grogan to lose his starting job by the 1980s, although he remained on the team until 1990. The Patriots lacked a steady quarterback for most of the 1980s, with five (including Grogan) starting in the 1987 season. First-round selection Tony Eason, the longest-tenured of the decade, contributed to the Patriots making their Super Bowl debut, but lasted only three seasons as the primary starter.

In the 1990s, first overall pick Drew Bledsoe ended the Patriots' search for a quarterback by bringing the team to consistent playoff contention after five losing seasons. Bledsoe's success would be eclipsed the next decade when an injury caused him to be relieved by backup Tom Brady. As the franchise's longest-tenured quarterback from 2001 to 2019, Brady is credited with the Patriots dynasty that saw them set the records for Super Bowl appearances and wins. The Patriots' 2021 and 2022 starting quarterback is Mac Jones, who was named the starter at the beginning of his rookie season in 2021. However, due to injury early in the 2022 season (high ankle sprain) Bailey Zappe, a rookie, was named the starter.

History

Butch Songin became the first starting quarterback for the Patriots in 1960, when the franchise was first established.[1] He started the first 12 games of the season, and Tom Greene replaced him as starting quarterback for the final two games.[1] Babe Parilli was the next starting quarterback for the Patriots, from 1961 to 1967.[2]

In 1971, when the team moved to Foxborough and renamed from the "Boston Patriots" to the "New England Patriots", Jim Plunkett took over as quarterback.[3] Plunkett started every regular season game for four straight seasons,[4] until he was replaced by Steve Grogan as the starting quarterback in the 1975 season.[5] Grogan was the only starting quarterback for six straight seasons, until Matt Cavanaugh started for four of the sixteen games in 1980.[6] Grogan continued to start for the Patriots for parts of seasons until his retirement in 1990.[7] Grogan finished his career with 135 games as starting quarterback, the second-most of any Patriots starting quarterback ever.[7]

From 1987 until 1993, the Patriots had no regular starting quarterback, with as many as five in one season, until Drew Bledsoe was drafted as the number one overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft.[8][9] Bledsoe led the team to four playoff appearances (1994, 1996, 1997, and 1998), two AFC East championships (1996 and 1997), and an AFC Championship (1997).[10][11][12][13] Bledsoe was the team's primary starting quarterback for eight straight seasons until a hit by New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis sheared a blood vessel in his chest, which put Bledsoe out for the rest of the 2001 season. Before the start of the 2002 season, Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills and did not get to see the opening of the new Gillette Stadium in September 2002.[9]

Tom Brady has led the team for more regular season games (267), postseason games (40), Super Bowl appearances (9), and complete seasons (15) than any other quarterback in franchise history.[14] Brady's only incomplete seasons were 2001,[15] when he replaced Bledsoe as the starting quarterback, 2008, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game of the regular season,[16] and 2016 when he was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season as a result of the Deflategate incident.[17] In 2008, Matt Cassel started the remaining 15 games, and despite missing the playoffs, the team finished with an 11–5 record and second place in the AFC East.[18] In 2016, Jimmy Garoppolo served as the starting quarterback for the first two games of the season in Brady's absence before Garoppolo was injured and replaced by Jacoby Brissett. Brady also has led the team to all six of the franchise's Super Bowl victories, doing so in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2018.[14][19] He is one of only four Patriots quarterbacks to have started at Gillette Stadium, the others having been Cassel, Garoppolo, and Brissett.[14] Steve Grogan has started the second-most games in franchise history (135), 116 games fewer than Brady.[7]

Starting quarterbacks

As the Patriots' primary quarterback in the AFL, Babe Parilli led them to the 1963 championship
The Patriots drafted Jim Plunkett first overall in 1971, but traded him after five seasons
Steve Grogan set the season record for quarterback rushing touchdowns in 1976, which stood for 35 years
Drew Bledsoe helped transform the Patriots into playoff contenders during the 1990s
Considered the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady won a record six Super Bowls with the Patriots
Mac Jones became the Patriots' incumbent starter ahead of his rookie season in 2021
Year Column links to corresponding team season
(#) Number of games started in the regular season.
Inducted to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame[20]

Regular season

Season(s) Quarterback(s) Ref
Boston Patriots
1960 (AFL) Butch Songin (12) / Tom Greene (2) [1]
1961 (AFL) Babe Parilli (8) / Butch Songin (6) [21]
1962 (AFL) Babe Parilli (10) / Tom Yewcic (4) [22]
1963 (AFL) Babe Parilli (14) [23]
1964 (AFL) [24]
1965 (AFL) Babe Parilli (13) / Eddie Wilson (1) [25]
1966 (AFL) Babe Parilli (14) [26]
1967 (AFL) Babe Parilli (11) / Don Trull (3) [27]
1968 (AFL) Mike Taliaferro (7) / Tom Sherman (7) [28]
1969 (AFL) Mike Taliaferro (14) [29]
1970 Joe Kapp (10) / Mike Taliaferro (4) [30]
New England Patriots
1971 Jim Plunkett (14) [3]
1972 [31]
1973 [32]
1974 [33]
1975 Steve Grogan (7) / Jim Plunkett (5) / Neil Graff (2) [5]
1976 Steve Grogan (14) [34]
1977 [35]
1978[b] Steve Grogan (16) [36]
1979 [37]
1980 Steve Grogan (12) / Matt Cavanaugh (4) [6]
1981 Matt Cavanaugh (8) / Steve Grogan (7) / Tom Owen (1) [38]
1982[c] Steve Grogan (6) / Matt Cavanaugh (3) [39]
1983 Steve Grogan (12) / Tony Eason (4) [40]
1984 Tony Eason (13) / Steve Grogan (3) [41]
1985 Tony Eason (10) / Steve Grogan (6) [42]
1986 Tony Eason (14) / Steve Grogan (2) [43]
1987[c] Steve Grogan (6) / Tom Ramsey (3) / Tony Eason (3) / Bob Bleier (2) / Doug Flutie (1) [44]
1988 Doug Flutie (9) / Steve Grogan (4) / Tony Eason (2) / Tom Ramsey (1) [45]
1989 Steve Grogan (6) / Marc Wilson (4) / Tony Eason (3) / Doug Flutie (3) [46]
1990 Marc Wilson (6) / Tommy Hodson (6) / Steve Grogan (4) [47]
1991 Hugh Millen (13) / Tommy Hodson (3) [48]
1992 Hugh Millen (7) / Scott Zolak (4) / Tommy Hodson (3) / Jeff Carlson (2) [49]
1993 Drew Bledsoe (12) / Scott Secules (4) [8]
1994 Drew Bledsoe (16) [10]
1995 Drew Bledsoe (15) / Scott Zolak (1) [50]
1996 Drew Bledsoe (16) [11]
1997 [12]
1998 Drew Bledsoe (14) / Scott Zolak (2) [13]
1999 Drew Bledsoe (16) [51]
2000 [52]
2001 Tom Brady (14) / Drew Bledsoe (2) [15]
2002 Tom Brady (16) [53]
2003 [54]
2004 [55]
2005 [56]
2006 [57]
2007 [58]
2008 Matt Cassel (15) / Tom Brady (1) [18]
2009 Tom Brady (16) [59]
2010 [60]
2011 [61]
2012 [62]
2013 [63]
2014 [64]
2015 [65]
2016 Tom Brady (12) / Jacoby Brissett (2) / Jimmy Garoppolo (2) [66]
2017 Tom Brady (16) [67]
2018 [68]
2019 [69]
2020 Cam Newton (15) / Brian Hoyer (1) [70]
2021 Mac Jones (17)
2022 Mac Jones (14) / Bailey Zappe (2) / Brian Hoyer (1)
2023 Mac Jones (11) / Bailey Zappe (6)

Postseason

Season Quarterback(s) Ref
1963 Babe Parilli (1–1) [2]
1976 Steve Grogan (0–1) [7]
1978 [7]
1982 [7]
1985 Tony Eason (3–1) [71]
1986 Tony Eason (0–1) [71]
1994 Drew Bledsoe (0–1) [9]
1996 Drew Bledsoe (2–1) [9]
1997 Drew Bledsoe (1–1) [9]
1998 Scott Zolak (0–1) [72]
2001 Tom Brady (3–0) [14]
2003 [14]
2004 [14]
2005 Tom Brady (1–1) [14]
2006 Tom Brady (2–1) [14]
2007 [14]
2009 Tom Brady (0–1) [14]
2010 [14]
2011 Tom Brady (2–1) [14]
2012 Tom Brady (1–1) [14]
2013 [14]
2014 Tom Brady (3–0) [14]
2015 Tom Brady (1–1) [14]
2016 Tom Brady (3–0) [14]
2017 Tom Brady (2–1) [14]
2018 Tom Brady (3–0) [14]
2019 Tom Brady (0–1) [14]
2021 Mac Jones (0–1)

Statistics

Having been the starting quarterback 20 seasons, Tom Brady holds the record for the most starts and wins with the Patriots.[73] He is also the franchise leader in attempts, completions, total yards gained, and passing touchdowns, although Jimmy Garoppolo has the best pass completion percentage.[73] Brady also holds the record for the longest completed pass by a Patriots starting quarterback, throwing a 99-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Wes Welker in an away game against the Miami Dolphins during the 2011 season.[73][74]

Brady is also the leader in rushing attempts, but Steve Grogan has the most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.[75] Tom Yewcic holds the record for the longest rush with a 46-yard run in the Patriots' 14–10 road loss to the Denver Broncos during the 1963 season.[75][76]

Years Years that the quarterback was on the Patriots' roster Yds Yards gained by passing
GP Games played (regular season) TD Passing touchdowns
GS Games started (regular season) Int Interceptions thrown
W Number of wins as starting quarterback LngPass Longest completed pass thrown (yards)
L Number of losses as starting quarterback Rate Quarterback rating
T Number of ties as starting quarterback Att Rushes attempted
Cmp Passes completed Yds Yards gained by rushing
Att Passes attempted TD Rushing touchdowns
Cmp% Percentage of passes completed LngRush Longest rushing attempt
Name Years Passing statistics Rushing statistics Ref
GP GS W L T Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int LngPass Rate Att Yds TD LngRush
Tom Brady 20002019 285 283 219 64 0 6,377 9,988 63.8% 74,571 541 179 99 97.0 606 1,037 22 22 [14]
Steve Grogan 19751990 149 135 75 60 1,879 3,593 52.3% 26,886 182 208 76 69.6 445 2,176 35 41 [7]
Drew Bledsoe 19932001 124 123 63 2,544 4,518 56.3% 29,657 166 138 86 75.9 270 553 2 25 [9]
Babe Parilli 19611967 94 83 44 32 7 1,140 2,413 47.2% 16,747 132 138 80 64.8 228 949 14 33 [2]
Jim Plunkett 19711975 61 61 23 38 0 729 1,503 48.5% 12,665 62 87 88 59.7 159 817 9 37 [4]
Tony Eason 19831989 72 49 28 21 876 1,500 52.3% 10,732 60 48 76 80.6 126 474 6 26 [71]
Mac Jones 2021-2023 42 42 18 24 863 1,308 66.0% 8,886 46 36 75 85.6 117 328 1 18
Mike Taliaferro 19681969 32 25 8 17 305 680 44.9% 3,920 27 44 77 49.8 23 46 0 21 [77]
Hugh Millen 19911992 20 20 5 15 370 612 60.5% 4,276 17 28 60 71.8 48 200 1 26 [78]
Butch Songin 19601961 28 18 7 10 1 285 604 47.2% 3,905 36 24 78 71.7 19 79 2 20 [79]
Matt Cassel 2008 30 15 10 5 0 349 555 62.9% 3,946 23 13 76 88.2 85 298 3 19 [80]
Cam Newton 2020 15 7 8 242 368 65.8% 2,657 8 10 50 82.9 137 592 12 49
Matt Cavanaugh 19801982 52 5 10 206 385 53.5% 3,018 19 23 75 70.9 39 190 3 22 [81]
Doug Flutie 19871989 22 13 8 5 148 305 48.5% 1,871 11 14 80 61.0 65 308 1 22 [82]
Tommy Hodson 19901991 32 12 1 11 171 315 54.3% 1,809 7 11 56 64.1 21 90 0 23 [83]
Joe Kapp 1970 11 10 9 98 219 44.7% 1,104 3 17 48 32.6 20 71 14 [84]
Marc Wilson 19891990 30 214 415 51.6% 2,631 9 16 65 62.6 12 49 11 [85]
Bailey Zappe 2022 - 2023 15 8 4 4 192 305 63.0% 2,053 11 12 53 78.2 27 83 1 18
Scott Zolak 1992
1995
1998
54 7 3 4 124 244 50.8% 1,314 8 7 72 65.8 36 83 0 19 [72]
Tom Sherman 1968 18 1 6 90 226 39.8% 1,199 12 16 87 45.6 25 80 17 [86]
Tom Yewcic 1962 14 5 3 2 87 206 42.2% 1,374 12 12 78 60.2 72 424 4 46 [87]
Scott Secules 1993 12 4 0 4 75 134 56.0% 918 2 9 82 76.5 8 33 0 13 [88]
Tom Ramsey 19871988 21 2 2 84 164 51.2% 1,005 6 40 59.6 17 77 1 19 [89]
Don Trull 1967 7 3 0 3 27 81 33.3% 442 1 7 52 20.7 19 35 3 10 [90]
Bob Bleier 1987 3 2 1 1 14 39 35.9% 181 1 1 35 49.2 5 −5 1 1 [91]
Jacoby Brissett 2016 34 55 61.8% 400 0 0 58 83.9 16 83 27 [92]
Jimmy Garoppolo 17 2 0 63 94 67.0% 690 5 37 106.2 25 10 0 10 [93]
Jeff Carlson 1992 3 0 2 18 49 36.7% 232 1 3 40 33.7 11 32 7 [94]
Neil Graff 1975 25 19 36 52.8% 241 2 31 57.8 2 2 2 [95]
Brian Hoyer 2009-2011

2017-2018 2020-2022

30 61 92 66.3% 729 2 48 87.9 51 3 20
Tom Greene 1960 10 1 1 27 63 43.9% 251 1 6 31 20.1 7 44 21 [96]
Eddie Wilson 1965 14 1 0 0 1 20 46 43.5% 257 1 3 30 41.7 8 4 17 [97]
Tom Owen 1981 12 1 0 58 114 50.9% 655 3 9 32 44.3 2 −1 0 [98]
* Statistics accurate through the 2023 NFL season
Italic text indicates that the player is currently on the Patriots roster

See also

Notes

References

General
  • "New England Patriots Team Encyclopedia". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
Specific
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  8. ^ a b "1993 New England Patriots Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
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