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3 former BYU quarterbacks threw passes in wins during Sunday’s NFL action

Zach Wilson, Taysom Hill and Jaren Hall all lined up behind center for all or part of their teams’ respective victories

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New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) looks to pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) looks to pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Adam Hunger, Associated Press

It’s been almost 30 years since three former BYU quarterbacks all took snaps at the position during the same week in NFL action.

It happened again Sunday.

While Zach Wilson has been the New York Jets’ starter since Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury four plays into the season and Taysom Hill is a do-everything star for the New Orleans Saints — yes, even passing the ball — the surprise on Sunday was Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Jaren Hall.

All three players threw passes in their team’s respective wins Sunday. Here’s a look at what each quarterback did:


Zach Wilson vs. New York Giants

Wilson completed 17 of 36 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown in the Jets’ 13-10 overtime win over the Giants.

With 24 seconds remaining in regulation and trailing 10-7, the Jets started a drive at their own 25 after a missed field goal attempt by the Giants, though the Jets did not have a timeout.

Wilson quickly got the Jets into position to tie the game, throwing back-to-back 29-yard passes — that set up a 35-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal as regulation expired to force overtime.

After the Giants went three-and-out on the first possession in OT, Wilson completed an 11-yard pass on third down and a pass interference call on a later play set the Jets up inside the Giants red zone. A 33-yard Zuerlein field goal won the contest.

Wilson threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Breece Hall late in the first quarter. He also ran for a team-high 25 yards on four carries in helping the Jets improve to 4-3.


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New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) runs past Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II (23) for a touchdown during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Indianapolis.

Zach Bolinger, Associated Press

Taysom Hill vs. Indianapolis Colts

Hill made an impact in several different ways in the Saints’ 38-27 victory over the Colts.

He scored a pair of rushing touchdowns — on runs of 20 yards in the second quarter and 1 yard early in the fourth quarter. The latter score gave New Orleans a 15-point lead after the Saints had trailed by 10 early in the game.

Hill led the Saints in rushing, picking up 63 yards on nine carries, for a 7.0 per-carry average.

He also caught a 14-yard pass — Hill has lined up at tight end and in slot throughout the season.

Hill also completed 1 of 2 passes in the game — his 44-yard pass to former Weber State star Rashid Shaheed helped set up Hill’s second touchdown run.


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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) looks to pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis.

Mike Roemer, Associated Press

Jaren Hall vs. Green Bay Packers

Hall made his NFL regular-season debut when Kirk Cousins left with 10 minutes left in the Vikings’ 24-10 victory over the Packers.

That left the rookie Hall, Minnesota’s only other active roster quarterback with Nick Mullens on injured reserve, to finish out the game.

Hall had a rough start, getting strip sacked on his first drive — that turnover set the Packers up at the Minnesota 15, but the Vikings defense held and didn’t allow any points.

Hall ended up completing 3 of 4 passes for 23 yards in limited time, including a 16-yard pass to T.J. Hockenson on a critical third-down conversion to help run the clock.

Cousins is feared to have suffered an Achilles injury, according to Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, leaving the possibility that the rookie Hall may be called on again. The earliest Mullens can return off IR is Week 10, two weeks away.


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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young warms up following the smokey halftime extravaganza of their game against the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX on Sunday, Jan. 29, 1995, at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami.

Ed Reinke, Associated Press

Historical significance

There have been 11 former BYU quarterbacks who have thrown at least one pass during an regular-season game, with Hall joining the group Sunday.

This isn’t the first time that three different BYU quarterbacks have played and thrown passes during the same week at the NFL level — far from it, thanks to some Cougar legends at the position.

It’s been nearly 40 years to the day since the first time three BYU alums threw passes on the same day, according to Pro Football Reference. That came on Oct. 30, 1983, when Marc Wilson (with the Los Angeles Raiders), Jim McMahon (Chicago Bears) and Gifford Nielsen (Houston Oilers) started for their respective teams.

That happened regularly during the mid-to-late 1980s with Wilson, McMahon and Steve Young in the NFL together, as well as a smattering of times in the early 1990s with Ty Detmer joining the league.

The last time three former BYU quarterbacks threw at least one pass during the same week came in Week 17 of the 1996 season.

Detmer started for the Philadelphia Eagles, McMahon threw his final two passes as a pro in a Green Bay Packers blowout win and Young started for the San Francisco 49ers in a Monday night contest.