The Chicago Bears and Las Vegas Raiders are in for a rare treat Sunday, as both Justin Fields and Jimmy Garoppolo are inactive for the Week 7 matchup. Tyson Bagent will be making his first career start, facing off against longtime veteran Brian Hoyer — making it one of the unlikely quarterback matchups in some time.
Bagent is in the category of Moses Moreno, another one of the random quarterbacks to start games for the franchise over the course of its history. The NFL has experienced some interesting quarterback matchups over the last 25 years, so let’s look at the most unexpected the league has seen in that stretch.
1. 2017: Connor Cook (Oakland Raiders) vs. Brock Osweiler (Houston Texans)
This quarterback duel actually took place in a wild-card playoff game. Due to an injury to Derek Carr (Raiders), Cook had to start a playoff game in his first career start. In what would end up being his only career start, Cook went 18 of 45 for 161 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions in a 27-14 loss to the Texans.
Osweiler went 14 of 25 for 168 yards with a touchdown (90.1 rating) in the victory, his lone playoff win. He went 15-15 as a starter in seven seasons, but his lone playoff starts were with the 2016 Texans. Cook never played another NFL game.
2. 2007: J.P. Losman (Buffalo Bills) vs. Cleo Lemon (Miami Dolphins)
One of the more random quarterback matchups this century, the Bills actually improved to better than .500 by beating the winless Dolphins in Week 10 of the 2007 season. Lemon went 16 of 29 for 131 yards (4.5 yards per attempt) with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Losman finished 12 of 23 for 157 yards (6.8 yards per attempt) with no touchdowns and an interception, but was the winning quarterback in a 13-10 victory.
Losman even led a game-winning drive in which the Dolphins went 10 plays, but racked up just 22 yards in 3:51. Losman started 33 games in the NFL and finished with a 10-23 record while Lemon started eight games and went 1-7 in his starts.
3. 1999: Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Kent Graham (New York Giants)
Pederson is a Super Bowl-winning head coach, but a backup quarterback for a decade as a player. He finally had an opportunity to start for the Eagles in 1999, as the bridge quarterback until Donovan McNabb was ready. Pederson’s worst game was in Week 4 of the 1999 season, going 6 of 15 for 75 yards with two interceptions (16.7 rating). The Eagles didn’t score an offensive touchdown in the 16-15 loss.
Graham wasn’t much better, going 15 of 29 for 171 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions (41.7 rating). Both Pederson and Graham were relieved by McNabb and Kerry Collins, respectively, in the game, as both would eventually take over the starting jobs.
Pederson was 3-14 as a starting quarterback in 14 seasons while Graham was 17-21 in 10 seasons. Graham actually went 10-5 in his second stint with the Giants (1998-99).
4. 2006: Charlie Frye (Cleveland Browns) vs. Andrew Walter (Oakland Raiders)
Week 4 of the 2006 season pinned Walter in his first career start against Frye, who was in his second season as a starter for the Browns. Walter didn’t fare well, going 9 of 23 for 68 yards with a touchdown and interception (43.6 rating) in a 24-21 loss — but he did throw a touchdown pass to Randy Moss.
Frye went 22 of 32 for 192 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions (89.6 rating) in the win, the first of the year for the Browns (battle of 0-3 teams). Frye played five years and went 7-16 as a starter while Walter lasted three years and went 2-7 in his nine starts.
5. 2001: Todd Bouman (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Mike McMahon (Detroit Lions)
The Lions were 1-11 and one of the worst teams in the NFL, giving McMahon and opportunity to get some game tape. With Daunte Culpepper injured for the Vikings, Bouman got the call for Minnesota (5-7). The game went about as expected, even in a 27-24 Lions victory.
Randy Moss caught two second-half touchdown passes from Bouman, who went 18 of 38 for 243 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (63.8 rating). McMahon went 15 of 28 for 241 yards (82.6 rating) while rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Bouman went 1-6 as a starter in his 10 seasons while McMahon went 3-11 in his five seasons. Both were career backups.