Matt Flynn and Matt McGloin will be two of the starting quarterbacks this afternoon as you try to recover from your Thanksgiving feast. While they seal the deal for the worst combo of Matts to ever start on Turkey Day, you have to have a short memory if you think they are the least accomplished passers to appear.
That honor probably goes to 2004. Mike McMahon started for Detroit, while the Dallas vs. Chicago matchup featured Drew Henson vs. Craig Krenzel. (mental note: recreating Ohio State vs. Michigan on Thanksgiving is a bad idea, unless Tom Brady is involved). That game also saw Johnathan Quinn come on in relief for the Bears, while Dallas went to a 97 year old Vinny Testaverde.
Everyone thinks about Clint Longley when they think about improbable performances (Longley came off the bench in 1974 to throw for over 200 yards in relief of Staubach). That performance stands out because most would-be Longleys don’t have as much success.
Here are some other guys who have started on Thanksgiving that you may have blocked out of your memories as a defense mechanism.
- Bruce Gradkowski actually started two (in 2006 with Tampa and in 2009 with Oakland) out of his 20 career starts;
- The Chad Hutchinson vs. Danny Wuerffel matchup in 2002 is another all-timer;
- Ryan Leaf (2001 with Dallas) has played in almost as many games on Thanksgiving as Peyton Manning (2004 at Detroit and 2007 at Atlanta on Thursday night);
- Current Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is on the ledger in 1994;
- Rusty Hilger started for Detroit in 1988;
- The Glenn Carano vs. Vince Evans matchup in 1981 is another all-time great;
- For the old-timers, Gary Marangi (1976) and Joe Reed (1975) may have ruined your feast.