Over the weekend, the Tennessee Titans announced that second-year QB Jake Locker has beaten out Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job, and will make his first career start in Week 1 against the Pats.
Good for Jake. And good for Bill Belichick, who's no doubt foaming at the mouth over an opportunity to welcome a new QB to the NFL starting ranks.
It got me thinking: Who was the last quarterback to make his first career start against the Patriots in Week 1 of the NFL season?
I know, pretty random. But would you would rather read about the Sox?
So, I started going back through the seasons . . .
And going back . . . and back . . . and back, back, back before briefly morphing into Chris Berman and eventually finding our answer.
So, let's set the Box Score Bank for 30 years ago: September 12, 1982
E.T. was No. 1 at the box office (followed not-so-closely by Rocky III and Porky's). "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago had briefly knocked the Steve Miller Band's "Abracadabra" off the top of the Billboard charts. A week later, a man named Scott Fahlman invented emoticons. Three weeks later, Sony launched the first consumer compact disc. Bill Belichick was coaching linebackers and special teams for the Giants. Tom Brady had recently turned five.
And at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, rookie QB Mike Pagel was making his first career against the Patriots in Week 1 of the NFL season.
Final Score: Patriots 24, Colts 13
Pagel, a 22-year-old fourth round pick out of Arizona State, was no match for the Pats and defensive coordinator Jim Mora. Pagel finished the game 7-15 for 71 yards with an INT and a rushing TD, and was ultimately replaced behind center by Art Schlichter (who was eventually replaced by David Humm). Despite the Colts lack of quarterbacking, they actually led 13-10 in the third quarter before the Pats rattled off 14 straight points (a 30-yeard pass from Matt Cavanaugh to Ken Toler, and a one-yard run by Robert Wheathers) to run away with the win.
Pagel went on to have a 12-year NFL career with the Colts, Browns and Rams but never found much success. He retired in 1993 with a career record of 17-36-1.
According to Wikipedia, he now resides in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, and is a project manager for AT&T. He also serves as analyst for the pregame, halftime and postgame shows on during Browns games and offers television color commentary on college games on Fox Sports Network.
Your move, Jake Locker.