With college football entering bowl season, let’s take a look back at the active NFL starting QBs (and some backups) and how they fared in bowl games. So many people consider bowls “meaningless” but yet you’ll see every NFL QB has played in at least one, which means if you’re NFL team is in need of a QB, perhaps he is playing in the next few weeks in one of these bowl games.
Patriots: Tom Brady
Brady went 2-0 in his two bowl games. Should that really be a surprise? He led Michigan to a win over Arkansas in 1998 and beat Alabama in the Orange Bowl to end the 1999 season. They earned the right to play in the Orange Bowl after Brady led the game winning touchdown drive against Ohio State, in what feels like the last time Michigan beat Ohio State (sorry, Blue).
Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill went 1-1 as a starting QB (he began his career at Texas A&M as a WR). He lost the 2011 Cotton Bowl to LSU and won the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl against Northwestern.
Jets: Sam Darnold
Darnold went 1-1, winning a dramatic Rose Bowl in 2017 against Penn State and claiming the MVP award. His last college game at USC was a loss to Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl.
Bills: Josh Allen
Allen helped Wyoming snap a 5 year bowl drought from 2012-2016, losing to BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl. He ended his career with a win over Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last season, and was named MVP of the bowl.
Texans: Deshaun Watson
Watson was 2-1 in two years worth of bowl games. He missed the Russell Athletic Bowl during his freshman season. He appeared in the National Championship game in both 2015 and 2016, winning the title against Alabama during the latter season.
Colts: Andrew Luck
Luck went 1-1 in bowl games, under head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Cardinal won the 2011 Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech and lost the 2012 Fiesta Bowl vs Oklahoma State and QB Brandon Weeden.
Jaguars: Cody Kessler, Blake Bortles
Kessler 2-1 in three bowl starts, including a win in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl against Derek Carr’s Fresno State team.
Bortes is 2-0, leading UCF to a 12-1 season in 2013 and a win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl and a 2012 win in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl over Ball State. Bortles won MVP award in both games.
Titans: Marcus Mariota
Mariota went 3-1 in bowl games, in three years. He was the MVP of the 2013 Fiesta Bowl (win over Kansas State) and 2013 Alamo Bowl (win over Texas). He was again MVP in the 2015 Rose Bowl, beating Florida State, before losing two weeks later to Ohio State in the National Championship Game.
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger won his one and only bowl game at Miami Ohio in 2003, leading the RedHawks to a win over Louisville in the GMAC Bowl, completing a 12-1 season.
Ravens: Lamar Jackson
As a freshman, Jackson set a Music City Bowl record running for 226 yards and 2 TDs in a win for Louisville over Texas A&M. Jackson would follow up that performance with a loss during his Heisman year in 2016 to LSU in the Citrus Bowl and another loss in 2017 to Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl.
Bengals: Andy Dalton, Jeff Driskel
Dalton went 2-1 in bowl games, claiming MVP in the 2007 Texas Bowl and 2008 Poinsettia Bowl. The one loss came in his final game in 2010, losing the Fiesta Bowl to Boise State. Dalton led TCU to a 12-0 regular season that year.
New Bengals starting QB Jeff Driskel began his career at Florida, and led the Gators to the 2013 Sugar Bowl, losing to Louisville. After transferring to Louisiana Tech, Driskel threw for 458 yds, 3 TD in a New Orleans Bowl win over Arkansas State.
Browns: Baker Mayfield, Tyrod Taylor
Mayfield appeared in three New Year’s Six bowls for Oklahoma and went 1-2, losing in the CFB Playoffs in 2016 to Clemson in the Orange Bowl, beating Auburn in the 2017 Sugar Bowl, and losing to Georgia in the 2018 Rose Bowl, as part of the CFB Playoffs, once again.
Taylor went 2-1 in bowl games, leading Virginia Tech to a win in the 2009 Orange Bowl and 2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl, but lost his last game to Stanford in the Orange Bowl in 2011.
Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes lost his only bowl game, in the 2015 Texas Bowl to LSU. Mahomes threw for 370 YDS and 4 TD.
Chargers: Philip Rivers
Rivers started a bowl game in each of his four years at NC State, going 3-1 and claiming offensive MVP in each of the three wins.
Broncos: Case Keenum
Keenum was 2-1 as a starter in bowl games, including a win over Penn State in his final game at Houston. Houston finished the season 13-1 and Keenum’s numbers in that 2011 TicketCity Bowl were outrageous, completing 45 of 69 passes for 532 yards and 3 TDs.
Raiders: Derek Carr
Carr was a very disappointing 0-2 in bowl games at Fresno State, throwing 3 TDs and 3 INTs total. Fresno State lost the 2012 Hawaii Bowl 43-10 and lost the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl to USC 45-20.
Eagles: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles
Wentz played for North Dakota State in the FCS and helped lead them to two FCS National Championships, in 2014 and 2015.
Foles is 0-2 with Arizona losing in the 2009 Holiday Bowl and 2010 Alamo Bowl. But, it’s okay, at least he won a Super Bowl.
Cowboys: Dak Prescott
Prescott went 2-1 in bowl games at Mississippi State. In both wins, he was named MVP – 2013 Liberty Bowl and 2015 Belk Bowl. The loss came in the 2015 Orange Bowl to Georgia Tech.
Giants: Eli Manning
Manning, who is 2-0 in Super Bowls is also 2-0 in bowl games, leading Ole Miss to victories in the 2002 Independence Bowl and 2004 Cotton Bowl and claiming the MVP award in both games.
Redskins: Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez
Smith was 2-0 at Utah winning the 2003 Liberty Bowl and 2005 Fiesta Bowl. His coach was Urban Meyer.
McCoy was 3-1 at Texas, winning his first three bowls from 2006-2008 but losing his last game at the end of the 2009 season, in the BCS National Championship game.
Sanchez won his one and only bowl game, the 2009 Rose Bowl against Penn State.
Falcons: Matt Ryan
Ryan swept the bowl games in his three years as a starting QB at Boston College, going 3-0 from 2005-2007, winning the MPC Computers Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl, and Champs Sports Bowl (none of these names exist anymore).
Saints: Drew Brees
Brees went 1-2 at Purdue with both losses coming on New Year’s Day, including the 2001 Rose Bowl, in a loss to Washington (this is Washington’s last Rose Bowl appearance and they will play in the 2019 game)
Panthers: Cam Newton
Newton played one season at Auburn and in the 2010 season helped lead the Eagles to the BCS National Championship, beating Oregon.
Buccaneers: Jameis Winston
Winston went 1-1 in bowl games at Florida State, winning the BCS National Championship Game in 2013, beating Auburn and losing the following year in the first CFB Playoffs in the Rose Bowl.
Vikings: Kirk Cousins
Cousins went 1-2 in bowl games at Michigan State, winning his last won, the 2012 Outback Bowl vs Georgia, after losing the 2011 Capital One Bowl to Alabama and 2010 Alamo Bowl to Texas Tech
Packers: Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers went 1-1 in his two seasons at Cal. Cal won the 2003 Insight Bowl 52-49 and lost the 2004 Holiday Bowl to Texas Tech.
Bears: Mitchell Trubisky
Trubisky spent just one year as a starter at UNC and lost the Sun Bowl in 2016 to Stanford.
Lions: Matthew Stafford
Before being the #1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft, Stafford went 3-0 in his career at Georgia, winning the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Capital One Bowl.
Rams: Jared Goff
Goff led Cal to a 55-36 win in the 2015 Armed Forces Bowl over Air Force. His first two years ended with Cal under .500 so this was his only bowl experience.
49ers: Jimmy Garappolo, Nick Mullens, CJ Beathard
Garappolo led Eastern Illinois to the FCS Playoffs in his junior and senior seasons (2012-2013), losing in the round 1 in 2012 and making the quarterfinals in 2013, losing to Towson. That team was coached by current Syracuse coach Dino Babers.
Mullens went 1-1 in bowl games for Southern Miss, losing in 2015 to Washington in the Heart of Dallas Bowl and beating Louisiana-Lafaeytte in the 2016 New Orleans Bowl
CJ Beathard played in a bowl game in each of his four years at Iowa and the Hawkeyes lost all four, including the 2016 Rose Bowl.
Seahawks: Russell Wilson
Wilson went 1-1 as a starter at NC State, although somewhat misleading. NC State had a halftime lead over Rutgers in the 2008 Papajohns.com Bowl when Wilson suffered an injury that kept him from returning to the game. He led the Wolfpack to a win in his his final game with the school in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl. He spent his senior season at Wisconsin and helped the Badgers reach the 2012 Rose Bowl, where they would lose to Oregon.
Cardinals: Josh Rosen
Rosen was a three year starter at UCLA and played just one bowl game, his freshman year, a loss in the 2015 Foster Farms Bowl to Nebraska. In 2016, UCLA was 4-8 and 2017 he missed the bowl game due to injury.