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Jarrett Stidham

Stidham prepares to start against leaky KC secondary

I like Jarrett Stidham this week. He hasn’t played much, but he sure had a nice debut against the 49ers, passing for 365 yards and 3 TDs.

According to the player database at Pro-Football-Reference.com, that’s the 6th-highest total by a quarterback in his first start. Josh McDaniels can put togehter a game plan, and Stidham apparently has some ability to throw it. (Why didn’t the Patriots ever put him in the starting lineup? Particularly when sputtering through the 2020 season?)

Stidham has an appealing matchup to close the season. Las Vegas is playing against a good Kansas City team, but it has a defense that’s given up a lot of passing production, including a league-high 32 touchdown passes – 4 more than any other team. The Raiders were able to put up 29 points against them in the earlier meeting.

If I were looking for a Week 18 quarterback on the waiver wire, Stidham would be at the top of my priority list. (I may even plug him into my entry in our in-house Blackout competition.)

One good game, however, doesn’t guarantee a successful career. Below see the list of the 35 quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era who’ve passed for at least 300 yards in their first start. Only 13 of those quarterbacks were ever able to put together a top-10 fantasy season (standard scoring).

The 35 players (in order) appear below. I am surprised by how many are of the more lightly regarded variety. Only two of the top 10, for example, were first-round draft picks. That tendency is perhaps fueled by more of those guys getting shoved onto the field before they were ready to play. Guys like Mike White and Stidham saw substantial practice reps before they ever played.

Players with black dots are the ones who every had a top-10 season. (That final column – “rank” – shows the highest the player ever ranked at his position during his career.)

PASSING FOR 300-PLUS IN FIRST START
PlayerWeekOppResultCmpAttYdsTDIntRk
• Cam Newton, Car.2011at Ari.L 21-282437422211
Mike White, NYJ2021Cin.W 34-3137454053241
Kevin Kolb, Phil.2009N.O.L 22-4831513912330
• Vinny Testaverde, T.B.1987at N.O.L 34-442247369222
Browning Nagle, NYJ1992at Atl.L 17-2021373662020
Jarrett Stidham, L.V.2022S.F.L 34-37 (OT)23343653254
Todd Bouman, Min.2001Ten.W 42-2421313484135
Gary Hogeboom, Dall.1984at Sea.W 20-1333473431118
Scott Tolzien, G.B.2013at NYGL 13-2724343390345
Eric Hipple, Det.1981Chi.W 48-1714253364013
Daniel Jones, NYG2019at T.B.W 32-3123363362020
Ed Rubbert, Was.1987St.L.W 28-2114243343148
Trevor Lawrence, Jac.2021at Hou.L 21-3728513323322
• Kirk Cousins, Was.2012at Cle.W 38-212637329214
Kenny Pickett, Pitt.2022at Buff.L 3-38345232701--
Cooper Rush, Dall.2021at Min.W 20-1624403252151
• Dan Marino, Mia.1983Buff.L 35-38 (OT)1929322321
• Robert Griffin, Was.2012at N.O.W 40-3219263202010
Patrick Ramsey, Was.2002N.O.L 27-4321433201423
• Jay Fiedler, Jac.2000Cin.W 24-72839317109
• Dennis Shaw, Buff.1970NYJW 34-3112213172210
Teddy Bridgewater, Min.2014Atl.W 41-2819303170019
Matt Barkley, Chi.2016Ten.L 21-2728543163231
Ryan Lindley, Ari.2012T.B.L 17-3131523120440
• Justin Herbert, LAC2020K.C.L 20-23 (OT)2233311112
Cliff Stoudt, Pitt.1980at Cle.L 26-2718373100113
Eric Zeier, Cle.1995at Cin.W 29-26 (OT)26463101134
• Andrew Luck, Ind.2012at Chi.L 21-412345309131
• Kurt Warner, St.L.1999Balt.W 27-102844309321
• Kyler Murray, Ari.2019Det.T 27-27 (OT)2954308212
John Stofa, Mia.1966Hou.W 29-2822383074246
Jake Luton, Jac.2020Hou.L 25-2726383041145
• Mark Rypien, Was.1988at Pitt.L 21-302641303314
Mike Moroski, Atl.1983G.B.W 47-41 (OT)22353032135
• Peyton Manning, Ind.1998Mia.L 15-242137302131

Statistics compiled using search tools at Pro-Football-Reference.com

—Ian Allan

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