Stability at quarterback is top priority in the NFL. Good teams have it and bad teams want it.
Few teams have had more instability at the position than the Tennessee Titans, however.
They’ve had a different passing yards leader every season since 2007. None posted a passer rating better than 82.8 in a season. By comparison, Tom Brady has never had a rating that low since becoming the Patriots starter in 2001.
While other teams have had more of revolving door in terms of starts, no other team had a different leader in passing yards for seven consecutive seasons.
The Titans are 59-53 since 2007. Here’s a close look at their passing yardage leaders for those seasons:
Quarterback rating: 71.1
Titans W-L: 10-6
What happened: After winning NFL Rookie of the Year in 2006, Young started 15 games in 2007 and guided the Titans into the playoffs, where they lost to the San Diego Chargers 17-6 in the Wild Card Round at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. He became the first quarterback to lead the Titans in passing yards in back-to-back years since McNair. No one has done it since.
Quarterback rating: 80.2
Titans W-L: 13-3
What happened: Young began the season as the starter, but injured a knee in the opener and was expected to miss 2-3 weeks. Coach Jeff Fisher opted to stick with Collins the rest of the season, however. The Titans jumped out to a 10-0 start, but sputtered down the stretch and lost to the Baltimore Ravens 13-10 in the Divisional Round at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.
Quarterback rating: 82.8
Titans W-L: 8-8 (8-2 in Young’s starts)
What happened: After starting 0-6, owner Bud Adams told Fisher he wanted Young back in the lineup. It sparked a turnaround, including five straight wins and finishing with running back Chris Johnson’s 2,006-yard season.
Quarterback rating: 82.2
Titans W-L: 6-10
What happened: The Titans started 4-5 behind Young, but the wheels came off in week 10. He tore a flexor tendon in his right thumb against the Washington Redskins and ended up on injured reserve. It was a postgame tantrum, however, that earned him a ticket out of town at the season’s end.
Quarterback rating: 82.4
Titans W-L: 9-7
What happened: After drafting Jake Locker in the first round, the Titans signed Hasselbeck (three years, $20 million) to be his mentor. Hasselbeck played well, but was only keeping the seat warm.
Quarterback rating: 74.0
Titans W-L: 6-10
What happened: Locker was handed the reins, but he suffered a shoulder injury and ended up missing five starts. Hasselbeck didn’t play as well as he did in 2011, and Locker struggled at season’s end while playing injured.
Quarterback rating: 82.0
Titans W-L: 7-9 (3-6 in Fitzpatrick’s starts)
What happened: Fitzpatrick was signed to replace Hasselbeck, and the bearded veteran was called into action after hip and foot injuries limited Locker to seven starts. Fitzpatrick had his moments, but he made too many costly turnovers along the way.