Skip to main content

Great NFL Quarterbacks with New Teams: How They Fared Early On

Great NFL Quarterbacks with New Teams: How They Fared Early On

Great NFL Quarterbacks with New Teams: How They Fared Early On

It was clear that Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense was not in sync through much of the team's 34-23 Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Brady and the team rebounded with a nice, 31-17 win at home on Sunday, but he's still getting comfortable with his new supporting cast, as evidenced by his 1:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio (three each, also has a lost fumble) through two games.

While a majority of NFL fans are no doubt enjoying seeing Brady look not-so-terrific, they should not count him out just yet. Many great quarterbacks struggled early on — without having to manage a pandemic — and went on to have great seasons. Here is a brief recap of how they started out.

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (2012)

Manning completed two touchdown passes as the Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 at home on "Sunday Night Football." However, Denver lost three of its next four games before getting on track and finishing the season 13-3.

Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings (2009)

Favre signed with the Vikings during the preseason and played some of his best football during the 2009 campaign. He tossed 12 touchdown passes and threw only two interceptions as Minnesota won its first six games. The Vikings 2-4, but lost in the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl winner, the New Orleans Saints.

Joe Montana, Kansas City Chiefs (1993)

In his first game with the Chiefs, Montana completed 14 of 21 passes and threw three touchdown strikes in a 27-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then struggled with injuries throughout the season, but led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Buffalo Bills.

Y.A. Tittle, New York Giants (1961)

After being traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the New York Giants, Tittle sat on the bench for the first game, a 21-10 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He was named the starter the next week and reeled off five straight wins as the Giants went 10-3-1 and made the NFL Championship Game, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers 37-0.

Norm Van Brocklin, Philadelphia Eagles (1958)

Van Brocklin had retired from the Los Angeles Rams in 1957, but changed his mind and was traded to the Eagles. The first year, Philadelphia went 2-9-1, but improved to 7-5 the next season. In 1960, head coach Buck Shaw gave Van Brocklin control of the offense and the Eagles went 10-2 and scored the only NFL Championship Game victory over Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

(Top photo courtesy of