With two primary starting quarterbacks and only three head coaches this century, the Green Bay Packers are the most stable NFL franchise. Remember that this century actually began with the 2001 season (2000 was so last century). Brett Farve and Aaron Rodgers are the only two primary starting QBs for the team this century (as shown on the PFR franchise encyclopedia page). The Packers have also had only three head coaches this century (Mike Sherman, Mike McCarthy and Matt LaFleur). That is tied for the third fewest head coaches this century (with SEA, NOR and CIN).
Only the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens (2) and New England Patriots (1) have had more stability at head coach. The Las Vegas Raiders have had the least stable head coaching spot with eleven changes, even though they have only had ten head coaches (Jon Gruden had two stints leading the Raiders this century).
|Rank||Team||WIN% this century||Primary Starting QBs this century||Head Coaches this century|
|1||New England Patriots||73.9%||4||1|
|3||Green Bay Packers||63.5%||2||3|
|7||New Orleans Saints||57.6%||3||3|
|9||Kansas City Chiefs||54.9%||6||5|
|12||Los Angeles Chargers||52.5%||4||6|
|18||San Francisco 49ers||46.9%||15||8|
|20||Los Angeles Rams||46.3%||8||5|
|21||New York Giants||46.3%||4||6|
|25||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||45.1%||10||7|
|26||New York Jets||43.0%||11||6|
|28||Washington Football Team||40.9%||13||7|
|29||Las Vegas Raiders||38.9%||9||11|
If you look at the top 10 in the table above, you find that Denver Broncos are the one outlier. They have not had stability at starting QB or head coach this century, yet they still have been in the top 10 in regular season winning percentage. The Broncos have had seven head coaches this century; of the teams over 0.500 this century in the regular season, only the Atlanta Falcons also had seven (the rest all have six or fewer).
If found it interesting that if you focus on the top five winning percentage teams this century, only the Indianapolis Colts have had more than three head coaches. The teams with three of fewer head coaches this century have a 602 winning percentage (1421 W and 928 L). Since this is league wide, that means that teams with four or more head coaches have only won 39.8 percent of their regular season games this century. The only team with a stable head coaching position (3 or fewer HC’s) that has a losing record this century is the Cincinnati Bengals (but what else would you expect from the Bungals).
The Broncs have had twelve primary starting quarterbacks this century. In terms of primary starting quarterbacks among winning teams, only the Tennessee Titans have had more primary starting QBs with thirteen. The litany is below:
- Brian Griese
- Jake Plummer
- Jay Cutler
- Kyle Orton
- Tim Tebow
- Peyton Manning
- Trevor Siemian
- Case Keenum
- Joe Flacco
- Drew Lock
- Teddy Bridgewater
- Russell Wilson
Below is that same primary starting QB progression for the entire league (you will need a magnifying glass to see detail).
It may be a little easier to see in my tweet since you can zoom in on it.
How stable has the starting QB position been for your team this century? For the Broncos the answer is not very stable. The Broncos have had 11 different starting QBs in the 21 seasons this century. Russell Wilson makes 12. Only 6 tms have had more- ARI, MIA, TEN, WAS, SF and CLE pic.twitter.com/jIZmSXwstX— Joe Mahoney (@ndjomo76) August 23, 2022
Cells highlighted in pink are guys who only got only one year (at least so far) as a team’s primary starting QB. At this point Drew Lock and Tim Tebow are the two pink boxes for the Broncos. As you can see, many teams have no pink boxes up there.
If you want to look at the actual correlations, we can, but remember that correlation is not causation. The correlation between winning percentage and starting QB stability is 0.47. This is decently strong from a statistics standpoint. This century having a fewer starting quarterbacks (less turnover in starting QB) is decently strongly correlated to winning. The correlation with head coaching is much stronger - 0.76. Teams with fewer head coaches win more often than teams with many head coaches.
Both of these correlations stand to reason. Winning teams have little reason to change starting quarterback or head coach. Additionally, teams that have been losing but start winning because of either the head coach or the starting quarterback generally stick with that coach, quarterback or both unless they have to change due to retirement or free agency.
The takeaway is that while the Broncos have had a fair amount of regular season success this century (10th in win%), they have done this with a fair amount of instability at both head coach and starting quarterback. I would like to hope that with Russell Wilson at QB and Nathaniel Hackett at head coach that Broncos are in for a four plus year block of stability at both positions. One can always hope.
How long do you expect the combination of Russell Wilson at QB and Nathan Hackett at HC to last in Denver?
This poll is closed
eight or more years