Tom Brady and 232 others: NFL starting quarterbacks since start of 2001 season

Welcome to the club, Nick Mullens. 

Consider yourself, club member No. 233. 

When the San Francisco 49er started against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 1, he joined an elite club of NFL quarterbacks who have started at least one game since the start of the 2001 season.

The significance of 2001? It's the season that Tom Brady started in the NFL for the first time. He replaced Drew Bledsoe as the Patriots starter on Sept. 30, New England's third game that season. 

When Brady starts against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, it will be the 261st regular-season start of his career, by far the most of any NFL quarterback over the past 18 seasons. 

"When you’re playing in your 40s, I think that in itself says a lot about how he’s taking care of his body, how he’s done it. … The life span in the NFL is so short and for him to exceed that and more says a lot about what he’s done," said Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, who will make his 49th start for the Titans on Sunday.

A USA TODAY Network-Tennessee research of quarterbacks starting in the NFL since the start of the 2001 season revealed some interesting facts and some quirky stats. Among them:

►In the 4,478 games played, 233 quarterbacks have started at least one NFL game. Each team has used an average of 13 over the 18 seasons.

►The Cleveland Browns have started 27 different quarterbacks (Tim Couch's 37 starts lead the Browns' list). The Browns' 27 is the same amount as the other three AFC North franchises combined (Ravens 12, Steelers 8, Bengals 7).

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