Ranking every Commanders starting quarterback from the Dan Snyder era

Taylor Heinicke
Taylor Heinicke / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
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Kyle Allen - Former Commanders QB

  • Record: 1-3

I realize I may be the only one who believes this, but I think that if Kyle Allen didn’t get hurt on a Julius Peppers sack late in the first quarter of the now-Washington Commanders' game against the New York Giants midway through the 2020 season, he could have taken the team to the playoffs instead of Alex Smith.

Allen had played pretty well the previous two weeks, and though he started the Giants game miserably, he was just seeming to warm up when the injury occurred. The player showed flashes as a starter for the Houston Texans , but he was wildly inconsistent.

Still, I think he looked good in Scott Turner’s offense, and could have essentially been Taylor Heinicke with a bigger arm.

Todd Collins - Former Commanders QB

  • Record: 3-0

Todd Collins’ bubble burst on January 5, 2008, at Qwest Field in Seattle. He had somehow rallied from a 13-0 deficit in the fourth quarter to take a lead in the Wildcard round of the playoffs. But it came crashing down with two subsequent pick-sixes that left Washington as a 35-14 loser.

Prior to that game, Collins had been on a miracle run. He took over from an injured Jason Campbell and led the team to road victories over New York and Minnesota, before stomping Dallas at home to secure a playoff berth.

Collins wasn’t the main reason for the run. The defense played inspired football in the final month of the season, and the entire team seemed to be on a mission in the wake of Sean Taylor’s murder, but the signal-caller was there, and he deserves some credit for that.

Patrick Ramsey - Former Commanders QB

  • Record: 10-14

Patrick Ramsey’s career was not unlike that of Dwayne Haskins. He was a first-round draft pick playing for a coach who didn’t want him.

Ramsey split time with the Florida Gators duo in his rookie year, and despite the circuslike atmosphere that surrounded Steve Spurrier’s second and final season, he showed some improvement.

He was still very inconsistent and needed a lot of work, but the talent was obvious. Unfortunately, Joe Gibbs showed little interest in developing the erratic youngster. He preferred a veteran and Ramsey’s improvement hit a wall.

Mark Brunell - Former Commanders QB

  • Record: 15-18

Mark Brunell was the veteran that Gibbs wanted. He was well past his prime when he came to Washington, and he was truly atrocious in his first season, sharing starts with Ramsey.

Brunell rebounded in his second year. Though he was not particularly special, he did get the team into the playoffs, and managed to win the Wildcard game – Washington’s last playoff victory to date.

In that postseason win against the Seattle Seahawks, Brunell threw for 41 yards (yes – you read that right}, an interception and no touchdowns. Lavar Arrington, Sean Taylor, and the rest of Washington’s defense won that game. But Brunell did what Coach Gibbs wanted, and it worked better than most things in the Dan Snyder era.

Brunell would continue his mediocre play into the following season before giving way to Jason Campbell.

Jason Campbell - Former Commanders QB

  • Record: 20-32

Jason Campbell had one major flaw as a quarterback. He took too many sacks.

Whether that’s because he didn’t process fast enough, or because he was unwilling to give up on a play, it doesn’t really matter. Campbell just took too many sacks.

His defenders will point out that Campbell played his Washington career for one coach who was largely worn out (Gibbs) and another who was woefully overmatched (Jim Zorn). He got sacked so much because he played for some very bad teams.

I think Campbell was a decent player and I give him a lot of credit for staying healthy. He is one of just two quarterbacks in the Snyder era who started every game in consecutive seasons.