Eagles about to face a bunch of inexperienced quarterbacks

Eagles about to face a bunch of inexperienced quarterbacks originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The next four quarterbacks the Eagles are scheduled to face have 12 career wins.

They have 49 touchdowns and 41 interceptions, lifetime passer ratings ranging from 66.7 to 87.0 three wins this year and three career wins over winning teams.

If the Steelers, Texans, Commanders and Colts continue with their current starting quarterbacks, the undefeated Eagles over the next four weeks will face rookie Kenny Pickett, who’s thrown two TDs and seven INTs in his first three career starts; Davis Mills, who’s won three of 17 career starts; Taylor Heinicke, who’s played for three fewer NFL teams (five) than career wins (eight); and Sam Ehlinger, a 6th-round pick who’s never thrown an NFL pass.

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So, yes, the Eagles appear to be wins over Pickett, Mills, Heinicke and Ehlinger away from a 10-0 record. This coming off a win over Cooper Rush in his sixth career start.

Those quarterbacks will be facing a pass defense that through seven weeks is No. 1 in the NFL opposing passer rating and yards allowed and No. 2 in completion percentage and sacks.

Thanks to Stathead’s player game finder, using the quarterback career start spanfinder, we can determine that – if indeed the Eagles do face those four QBs – it will be the first time in 61 years they’ll face five straight quarterbacks with 20 or fewer career starts.

For those who don’t remember, from Week 2 through Week 7 of the 1961 season, the Eagles faced Washington’s Norm Snead (second career start), Cards QB Sam Etcheverry (fifth career start), Rudy Bukich of the Steelers (fourth career start), Etcheverry again (seventh career start), the Cowboys’ Don Meredith (fourth career start) and Snead again (seventh career start).

The Eagles went 5-1 in those games, losing 30-27 to the Cards at Franklin Field, even though Etcheverry only completed 11 passes.

More to the point, the Eagles are 18-1-1 in their last 20 games against quarterbacks who’ve made 20 or fewer career starts.

The one loss was in the 2020 opener to Washington at FedEx Field, and Washington Football Team’s quarterback, the late Dwayne Haskins, beat the Eagles in his eighth career start. Two weeks later the Eagles and Bengals tied 23-23 at the Linc in Joe Burrow’s third career start.

The last QB with 20 or fewer career starts to beat the Eagles at the Linc is Jameis Winston, who was with the Bucs in 2015 when he threw five TDs against the Eagles in a 45-17 win in his 10th career start. That game came during a brutal late-season stretch that ultimately cost Chip Kelly his job.

And you’re not going to want to hear this, but the last QB with 20 or fewer career starts to beat the Eagles in Philly when the Eagles had a winning record was Joe Webb of the Vikings in the infamous Tuesday night game late in 2010.

Remember, the Eagles finished last year facing the Jets’ Zach Wilson, Washington’s Garrett Gilbert, the Giants’ Jake Fromm and Heinicke in Weeks 13, 15, 16 and 17, winning all four games.

So that means – if all goes according to form – by the end of this next stretch of four games, the Eagles will have faced nine quarterbacks with 20 or fewer career starts in the span of 15 meaningful games.

The challenge Sunday at the Linc is Pickett, who will make his fourth career start since replacing Mitch Trubisky.

The Eagles are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games against rookie quarterbacks. They haven’t lost to a rookie since Dak Prescott beat them in overtime at AT&T Stadium in 2016. The last rookie to beat them at the Linc was Winston in 2015 and before that Robert Griffin III in 2012. And the last rookie with fewer than five career starts to beat them was the dreaded Joe Webb with the Vikings on a Tuesday at the Linc in 2010.

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“Coming in, you always want to show a rookie, you always want to give him a welcome,” Brandon Graham said. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t take him for granted because he’s a pro and we have to make sure we don’t give him any opportunities.

"I don’t really look at it too much as, 'Yeah, he’s a rookie.' Some rookies can definitely beat you. Everybody can beat you if you take them lightly.”

Eventually, the Eagles will face some experienced quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Tannehill are up after these next four games followed by Daniel Jones.

But for the next few weeks, they’ll have a chance to build on that undefeated record against some quarterbacks that are still trying to find their way.