10 Best Backup Quarterbacks of the 2010 NFL Season: Christmas Hangover Edition

With the season quickly coming to a close, this has been the season of the backup quarterbacks, with significant injuries to the quarterback roster. However, other teams have not given up, including the Buffalo Bills, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Detroit Lions and others. Some are surviving for the playoffs, and some are surviving on fumes and pride.

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Jon Kitna

After Tony Romo broke his clavicle and the change in head coach to Jason Garrett, the Dallas Cowboys developed a winning formula under Kitna.  Although this team isn’t playing in the playoffs, they are playing on Texas pride — and Jerry Johnson and Jason Garrett.  This is one team to be reckoned with Tony Romo back at the helm.   

Detroit Lions Quarterback Shaun Hill

With nearly all of the Detroit Lions quarterbacks battling through some kind of injury, the Lions have been having quite a season. Shaun Hill performed better than expected early on the season, particularly against the St. Louis Rams.  He scored three touchdowns on them and had a 117.6 quarterback rating average.  Now he’s suffering from an injury, and it appears Drew Stanton, the third option, is taking over.  Detroit Lions have been performing better this season than seasons past, partially because they have a running game and full use of Calvin Johnson as wide receiver.

Tennessee Titans Quarterback Kerry Collins

The Tennessee Titans have been having quite an erratic season.  With the quarterback controversy with Vince Young and Kerry Collins in the beginning of the season, the Titans started out surprisingly strong against the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars with a firm defense, and full use of running back Chris Johnson.  Then things fell apart as quarterback Vince Young debacle progressed involving head coach Jeff Fisher.  Now Kerry Collins is indeed the starting quarterback with explosive Kenny Britt returning, Chris Johnson running and Randy Moss serving as decoy.  

San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Troy Smith

The 49ers have been having a mess of a season.  Head coach Mike Singletary was in the hotseat early on this season with five successive losses.  Troy Smith handled himself averagely in the games where he started.  He never got beyond a touchdown and for the most part, he passed under 200 yards per game.  He performed above average against the St. Louis Rams and better than expected overall.

Cleveland Browns Quarterback Colt McCoy

The Cleveland Browns have been having quite a season under running back Peyton Hillis.  However, Colt McCoy has been nothing more than a “manager.”  He has performed solidly so far with a touchdown in three of five games and 240+ yards in four of five games he has started.  Whether he will be the starter or head coach Eric Mangini will return for next (potential) season, both remain to be seen.

Washington Redskins Quarterback Rex Grossman

Rex Grossman becoming starter over Donovan McNabb for the Washington Redskins has become quite a development. Unlike with the Chicago Bears, he has become surprisingly efficient comparatively to his past performances.  He scored four touchdowns and two interceptions against the Dallas Cowboys’ secondary.  However, he descended back into mediocrity against the Washington Redskins, although the Redskins won their game.

Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tyler Thigpen

After the Miami Dolphins lost Chad Pennington and Chad Henne to the Tennesee Titans, Tyler Thigpen took over as starting quarterback.  He had two games which he started in, but against the Chicago Bears defense led by Brian Urlacher, he was not capable of scoring a single touchdown.  However, not having a threatening running game like season’s past, the Dolphins had to lean on their quarterback’s arms to score decently. Now that Chad Henne will return against the New England Patriots, Thigpen will back to warming the bench, and the Dolphins will return to their somewhat below-average selves.

Green Bay Packers Quarterback Matt Flynn

Quarterback Matt Flynn took over for the Green Bay Packers as Aaron Rodger suffered a second concussion this season from Detroit Lions’ Amari Spievey and Landon Johnson.  Although replacing after Aaron Rodger in the Lions game, he did mediocre.  However, against the New England Patriots, a much tougher opponent, he scored three touchdowns and an interception against them.  However, Rodgers has returned to face the Chicago Bears, and Flynn can take a rest for now.

Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson

Tarvaris Jackson replaced an injured Brett Favre for two games against the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants.  He was somewhat successful against the Bills as he had two touchdowns and three interceptions.  However, against the New York Giants, he did not score a touchdown at all and injured his toe.  He is now placed on injured reserve, and with Brett Favre’s retirement looming (again…potentially), it’s now Joe Webb’s turn at the Vikings’ helm.

Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow has finally gotten the starting nod as the Denver Broncos quarterback after appearing in wildcat cameos this season. Tebow has performed above-average with 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and 438 yards to date. He now faces the San Diego Chargers who have been playing the most inconsistent football at the close of the season. 


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