It was one start, but Gardner Minshew sure made an impression in his Eagles' starting debut.
Minshew had the highest passer rating for an Eagles quarterback in his first start, at 133.7 after leading the Eagles' 33-18 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Of the 14 quarterbacks who made their first starts as Eagles (Nick Foles and A.J. Feeley are counted twice because they went to other teams and then returned), many were injury replacements, getting a start or two before moving on.
But some, such as Jeff Garcia, Foles twice, Jalen Hurts and now Minshew have sparked debate about ultimately replacing the starter.
Here, then, is a ranking of the best first starts, from worst to best, by an Eagles quarterback from 1999 until the present day:
16. Mike McMahon, Nov. 20, 2005
Result: 27-17 loss to Giants
Stats: 18-for-39, 298 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 70.2 rating
Comment: The Eagles were already starting to unravel following their Super Bowl berth the previous season. Wide receiver Terrell Owens was kicked off the team two weeks earlier, and McNabb was lost for the season with a sports hernia. McMahon exposed the Eagles' decision not to pay for a good backup.
15. Nick Foles I, Nov. 18, 2012
Result: 31-6 loss to Washington
Stats: 21-for-46, 204 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 40.5 rating
Comment: Foles, a rookie that year, never had a chance. The Eagles were in the midst of losing eight straight games with Michael Vick out for the rest of the season. But Foles improved over his six starts. The first one, however, was rough.
14. Kevin Kolb, Sept. 20, 2009
Result: 48-22 loss to Saints
Stats: 31-for-51, 391 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 73.2 rating
Comment: McNabb was out with bruised ribs, so Kolb, the Eagles' second-round pick in 2007, made his first NFL start. The Eagles fell behind early, so head coach Andy Reid quickly abandoned the running game and had Kolb throwing constantly, but not effectively.
13. Doug Pederson, Sept. 12, 1999
Result: 25-24 loss to Cardinals
Stats: 12-for-26, 91 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 48.7 rating
Comment: It was a valiant effort in Reid's first game as Eagles' coach after taking over a 3-13 team. But there was a reason why Pederson was a career backup.
12. A.J. Feeley I, Dec. 2, 2002
Result: 10-3 win over Rams
Stats: 14-for-30, 181 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT, 66.1 rating
Comment: Feeley was the third-string QB that year. But McNabb broke his ankle the week before, and backup Koy Detmer dislocated his elbow. Feeley didn't inspire confidence for a Super Bowl run. But he led four straight wins until McNabb returned for the playoffs.
11. Jeff Garcia, Nov. 26, 2006
Result: 45-21 loss to Colts
Stats: 19-for-23, 140 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 121.0 rating
Comment: Garcia's stats are deceiving because the Eagles never had a chance against Peyton Manning and the Colts. But Garcia then led five straight wins and a playoff win while replacing McNabb, who tore his ACL.
10. Sam Bradford, Sept. 14, 2015
Result: 26-24 loss to Falcons
Stats: 36-for-52, 336 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 77.1 rating
Comment: Bradford's stats were impressive, but the result wasn't. The Eagles were coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons while the Falcons were rebuilding with a new coach.
9. Donovan McNabb, Nov. 14, 1999
Result: 35-28 win over Washington
Stats: 8-for-21, 60 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 46.3 rating
Comment: It was hardly the kind of performance that would inspire a career as one of the best players in franchise history. But McNabb led the Eagles to a victory, and he added 49 yards rushing.
8. Vince Young, Nov. 20, 2011
Result: 17-10 win over Giants
Stats: 23-for-36, 258 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 69.0 rating
Comment: Young famously made the "Dream Team" comment when asked about the Eagles' free-agent class that summer, of which he was a part of. As we all know, that didn't work out.
7. Mark Sanchez, Nov. 14, 2014
Result: 45-21 win over Panthers
Stats: 25-for-40, 306 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 71.5 rating
Comment: Foles broke his collarbone the week before in Houston, and the Eagles, off to a 6-2 start, kept it going despite Sanchez's 3 INTs.
6. Michael Vick, Sept. 12, 2010
Result: 27-20 loss to Green Bay
Stats: 16-for-24, 175 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 101.9 rating
Comment: The Eagles anointed Vick the starter after trading McNabb in the offseason. Vick didn't disappoint, rushing for 103 yards. It didn't take long before he became an MVP candidate.
5. A.J. Feeley II, Nov. 25, 2007
Result: 31-28 loss to Patriots
Stats: 27-for-42, 345 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs, 83.9 rating
Comment: The Patriots finished the regular season undefeated. The Eagles, behind Feeley, were one of a few teams to challenge them.
4. Nick Foles II, Dec. 17, 2017
Result: 34-29 win over Giants
Stats: 24-for-38, 237 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 115.8 rating
Comment: The Eagles were reeling after Wentz tore his ACL the week before. But Foles kept the Super Bowl hopes going and soon became legendary with his postseason performances.
3. Jalen Hurts, Dec. 6, 2020
Result: 24-21 win over Saints
Stats: 17-for-30, 167 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 83.6 rating
Comment: The Saints came into the game having won nine straight. Hurts ran all over them, literally, with 106 yards rushing after replacing Wentz, who was benched for the final 4½ games. It was one of the few bright spots in a deplorable 4-11-1 season.
2. Gardner Minshew, Dec. 5, 2021
Result: 33-18 win over Jets
Stats: 20-for-25, 242 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 133.7 rating
Comment: Minshew Mania hit the Eagles. He completed his first 11 passes and had a perfect 158.3 rating through the first half. Sirianni put a quick stop to a quarterback controversy, saying the job is Hurts' once he returns from an ankle injury.
1. Carson Wentz, Sept. 11, 2016
Result: 29-10 win over Browns
Stats: 22-for-37, 278 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 101.0 rating
Comment: In eight days, Wentz went from third-string quarterback recovering from a broken rib to a franchise savior after the Eagles traded Bradford. It might have stayed that way for Wentz if not for the torn ACL in 2017, the stress fracture in his back in 2018, and the miserable 2020 season that led to his trade to the Colts.
But for a debut, as a rookie, wow.
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Contact Martin Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Ranking Gardner Minshew among first starts by Eagles' quarterbacks