There are currently eight quarterbacks in the NFL with streaks of 65 starts or more in the regular season: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford. Of the bunch, Dalton and Flacco are the only ones who have never actually missed a game since being drafted.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – 65
The number one overall draft pick in 2009, Stafford played 13 games for the Lions in 2009 and 2010, but a shoulder injury in 2010 kept him off the field for most of the season. He returned in 2011 and has started every game for the Lions ever since, helping them making the playoffs (and thus making his streak including the postseason 67 games) twice, losing on both occasions. In his streak, he has completed 60.6% of his throws, posting a 86.6 passer rating with 114 touchdowns and 66 interceptions.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals – 65
Dalton was the 35th overall pick in 2011, and has started in every game for the Bengals since they made that pick. Dalton has helped them make the playoffs in each season. Regardless of home or away, the Bengals always lost, with plenty on the blame falling on his shoulders. He has completed 61.7% of his passes for 101 touchdowns and a passer rating of 85.3 once you calculate his 66 interceptions into it. With the postseason, he has a streak of 69 games going.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – 81
The last time Brees didn’t play a regular season game for the Saints was in week 17 of the 2009 season, sitting that one out before going on the Super Bowl run that ended with a win over the Indianapolis Colts. He has started every game since the beginning of the 2010 season, and including the postseason (2009-2010 playoffs as well) he has started in 89 consecutive games. His numbers during his regular season streak? Completing 67.9% of his passes, throwing 195 touchdowns to 85 interceptions with a 99.6 passer rating.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons – 83
Ryan hasn’t missed a game since a turf toe injury sidelined him for a couple in 2009. He started in his 83rd consecutive game in week 1 of the 2015 NFL season, posting a 92.8 passer rating during the stretch, completing 65% of his passes, throwing 151 touchdowns passes and 70 interceptions. Including the postseason the streak reaches 88 games.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots – 97
Brady is closing in on his second 100 or more games started streak. The first one, lasting 111 regular season games and 128 including the playoffs, was stopped on the opening game of the 2008 season when Bernard Pollard of the Kansas City Chiefs hitting him resulting in an ACL and MCL tear. He returned a season later, and with the postseason has 109 consecutive starts, two of them in the Super Bowl (winning one of them). In his current 97-game streak, Brady has completed 64.1% of his passes, throwing 199 touchdowns to 57 interceptions and posting a passer rating of 99.4.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – 113
Flacco has started every game for the Ravens since they drafted him in 2008, and with the playoffs, including one Super Bowl victory, the streak reaches 128 games. During his 113-game stretch, he has completed 60.5% of his passes, thrown 148 touchdowns to 92 interceptions while posting a 84.4 passer rating.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers – 145
Rivers waited a couple of years before becoming the starter for the Chargers, and hasn’t missed a game ever since. With the playoffs, he’s started 154 consecutive games for San Diego. The numbers? Passer rating of 96, 64.9% completion percentage, 253 touchdowns and 123 interceptions thrown.
Eli Manning, New York Giants – 168
Manning, the number one overall pick in 2004, took over the starting spot for the Giants in week 10 and has never let go. With the postseason it’s been a 179 game ride that has included two trips to the Super Bowl, both against the Patriots, both ending in victory. Manning has completed just 59% of his passes during the streak, throwing 259 touchdowns and 185 interceptions, with a passer rating of 82.4.
Of course, these numbers don’t come close to the all-time record held by Brett Favre, with 297 consecutive regular season starts from 1992 to 2010. Including the playoffs, it goes to 321. Peyton Manning is second on the all-time list with 208 regular season appearances for the Colts, starting in 1998 and ending with the neck injury that kept him out of the 2011 season.