The list of 10 oldest starting quarterbacks in the NFL for the 2015 seasons is made up of the same names from last year: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Philip Rivers and others. The only change is Ryan Fitzpatrick entering the “top 10”, coming in for Shaun Hill who is no longer considered a starter.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets – 32
Born on November 24, 1982, Fitzpatrick will kick off his 11th NFL season and first with the Jets. It always seems like he’s not supposed to be a starter when everything starts out, but ends up taking the #1 job anyway. This time it’s because Geno Smith got his face broken by a teammate. Last season the former Harvard player started for the Texans (in 12 games), throwing 17 touchdowns to 8 interceptions, and his interception ratio (2.6%) was the lowest he’s posted since 2008.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers – 33
Born on March 2, 1982, ‘Big Ben’ will start at quarterback for a 12th straight season, following what might have been his best season since being drafted in 2004. Roethlisberger threw for an NFL-best 4952 yards, completing 67.1% of his passes, throwing 32 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He is a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers – 33
Born on December 8, 1981, Rivers is another member of the 2004 NFL draft that has found plenty of success in the NFL. Since becoming a starter in 2006 for the Chargers he hasn’t missed a single start, making five Pro Bowl games along the way. Overall 2014 was a good season for him, but a slight drop off from 2013 (winning comeback player of the year then), missing the playoffs (despite the similar 9-7 record) and leading the league in interceptions with 18.
Eli Manning, New York Giants – 34
Born on January 3, 1981, Manning is the third and oldest of the 2004 crop on this list and like Roethlisberger, possibly had his best season in 2014. Like Rivers, he doesn’t miss games, playing 16 games in every season since 2005. He posted a career high 63.1% completion percentage last season while eliminating some of his bad habits, narrowing down his interception number to 14, but he and the Giants missed the playoffs for a third straight season. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time Pro Bowler.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys – 35
Born on April 21, 1980, Romo is the one of two quarterbacks on this list to come from nowhere and “steal” Drew Bledsoe a starting job. He’s been the Cowboys’ starting QB since 2006, and was good enough to have some people consider him the MVP in 2014. He led the league in completion percentage (69.9%), touchdown percentage (7.8%), yards per attempt (8.5), passer rating (113.2) and QBR (82.75). He’s a four-time Pro Bowler.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals – 35
Born on December 27, 1979, Palmer is starting his third season as the starting quarterback for the Cardinals, following two successful ones, at least from a team perspective. The Cardinals made the playoffs last season despite Palmer playing just six times, in which they went 6-0. Palmer has been in the NFL since 2003, although he didn’t play until his second year in the league. It began in Cincinnati, and also played in Oakland before joining Arizona.
Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns – 36
Born on July 4, 1979, McCown is getting another shot at starting for an NFL team despite a very bad 2014, in which he started 11 times on an awful Tampa Bay team, completing just 56.3% of his passes and throwing 14 interceptions to his 11 touchdown passes. For a quarterback with only one season of over 75 in his career, expectations aren’t high he’ll be able to do wonders with his next opportunity.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – 36
Born on January 15, 1979, Brees is starting his 15th NFL season and 10th with the Saints, joining them in 2006. He’s a one-time Super Bowl champion and MVP, making nine Pro-Bowl teams and one first-team All-Pro. Brees led the NFL in passing yards and yards per game for the fifth time in his career last season, but that didn’t help the Saints make the playoffs in a rough 7-9 season.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots – 38
Born on August 3, 1977, Brady begins his 16th NFL season with the Pats since being drafted in the sixth round by them. All the offseason drama seems to be over, and Brady is ready to start his fourth title defense. He’s a three-time Super Bowl MVP, two-time regular season MVP, 10-time Pro Bowler and two-time first team All-Pro.
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos – 39
Still the oldest in the league among quarterbacks, celebrating his birthday on March 24, 1976, which means that if he’ll be 40 when next season begins. Manning showed easily-spotted decline last season, especially in the second half of the campaign, but it was still enough to throw for over 4700 yards, 39 touchdowns and post an above 100 passer rating for the third straight season with the Broncos. He’ll be starting his 18th NFL season in 2015.