Facing the white-hot Dolphins with a depleted lineup, the odds were already stacked against Saints rookie quarterback Ian Book when he took the field for his NFL debut on Monday night. Perhaps unbeknownst to him, there was another factor at play working against him: the recent history of former Notre Dame quarterbacks losing in the NFL.
With the Saints’s 20–3 loss, former Fighting Irish quarterbacks have now lost in 24 consecutive NFL starts, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The streak dates back to 2012, and stands as the longest such drought since 1950.
It started with Brady Quinn, who lost the last four starts of his career with the Chiefs in 2012. The baton was then passed to Jimmy Clausen, who lost the last four starts of his career from 2014–15. Then it was DeShone Kizer’s turn, who lost 15 starts for the Browns in 2017 as Cleveland went winless for the season.
Book’s first career start was a night to forget. He threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown on his second pass attempt of the night. The Saints punted on their next three drives, netting zero combined yards during that stretch, before getting a field goal with under three minutes left in the half.
New Orleans went scoreless in seven second-half possessions, with four punts, one turnover on downs and one interception before running out the clock to end the game.
Book finished the game 12-for-20 for 135 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked eight times, and the Saints were an abysmal 0-for-12 on third down attempts.
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The Saints play host to the Panthers in Week 17, who have lost five in a row. While it’s unclear whether Book will get a chance to start, Carolina would represent a great chance to end Notre Dame’s dubious drought.