Jake Christopher Delhomme (born January 10, 1975 in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was originally signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 1997. He played college football at Southwestern Louisiana, now Louisiana-Lafayette.
In 2005, Delhomme was selected to his first Pro Bowl. Since 2003, no other NFL quarterback has more game winning or tying drives in the game's final 2 minutes than Jake Delhomme. He currently has 16, including 2 already in 2008, against the Bears and Chargers, respectively.
Delhomme finished his career as the school's all-time passing leader in yards and touchdowns. He started the last 43 games of his career, which was the longest among active quarterbacks at the time. Upon graduating, he was ranked 22nd in NCAA history for passing yards and 28th in total offense. He was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
...I was able to go over and play, but we had some success and we just, we were a team. We were not the most talented team, but we just played together, had the right chemistry.|20px|20px|Jake Delhomme|
Following his success in Europe, he was brought back to New Orleans as the full-time third-string quarterback. In his first NFL start against the Dallas Cowboys, he threw two touchdowns en route to a Saints victory, the team's third.
Delhomme continued to see limited playing time the following three seasons, as he was the backup to Aaron Brooks and Jeff Blake. He managed to lead all NFC quarterbacks in overall passer rating during the 2001 and 2002 preseasons. His success, coupled with the team's struggles, led fans to chant "We Want Jake, We Want Jake".
The Panthers had been struggling, and were just one season removed from a dismal 1-15 season, during which they set an NFL record for consecutive losses in a single season. Although Rodney Peete was the Panthers' starter, Delhomme was looked at to be the future of the franchise. It did not take long for him to take over. At halftime of the 2003 season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Panthers were down 17-0. Delhomme took over from Peete and threw three touchdowns, the last coming in a fourth-down situation with just 16 seconds left in the game, to lead the Panthers to a comeback victory. He started the following week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and proceeded to start every game during the 2003 season. He then led the Panthers on a Cinderella run through the playoffs, including a double-overtime victory against the St. Louis Rams. The Panthers made it through to Super Bowl XXXVIII to face the New England Patriots. Despite his personal success in the game (16-of-33 for 323 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 113.6 passer rating), as well as setting a record for longest offensive play from scrimmage in Super Bowl history (an 85-yard pass to Muhsin Muhammad), the Panthers fell on a last-minute field goal by Adam Vinatieri. Delhomme was seen standing on the field during the Patriots' post-game celebration; he later commented:
I wanted to catch up to the moment of what it feels like to be on the other side, to be on this side, the losing side. To let it sink in, to hurt, so when we start practice in the fall, the two-a-days and there are days during the season when I’m tired and I want to go home, but I need to watch that extra film. I want to get back there, but I want to get on the other side of that field. They rope you off, the losing team basically. I just want to get on the other side of that rope. I just wanted to watch and let it sink in and hurt a little bit. When I have a tough day, I’ll just think about that feeling and it will make me dig down just a little deeper.|20px|20px|on losing the Super Bowl|
The 2004 season proved bittersweet for Delhomme, as he posted career highs in pass attempts, completions, overall yardage, and touchdowns. Unfortunately, the team was stricken with injuries, fielding five different combinations in their offensive line alone. Starting the season 1-7 after the early losses of running backs Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster, as well as Steve Smith, their leading wide receiver, the Panthers rallied for a fantastic second half of the season. Delhomme finished the final eight games of the season with a passer rating of 102.8, fourth best in the league during that period. He also threw 17 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions en route to winning six of their last eight games. They ultimately positioned themselves for a playoff berth, but lost that chance with a final game loss to Delhomme's former team, the New Orleans Saints.
2005 saw Delhomme return the Panthers to the playoffs. In addition to the team's success, Delhomme had one of his most productive seasons as a quarterback. His 11 victories as a starting quarterback set a team record, and he set career highs in completion percentage (60.2) and passer rating (88.1). In addition, his success led to Steve Smith leading the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, becoming only the third wide receiver to accomplish the "triple crown" in league history. Once again, he led the Panthers through the playoffs, including a shutout of the New York Giants, although the team ultimately fell to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.
Delhomme started the 2006 season as the Panthers' quarterback, the first time in franchise history that the same quarterback was the starter for three straight seasons. He set records during the season by making 150 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, bettering Steve Beuerlein's previous team record of 119. In addition, in a game against the St. Louis Rams, he broke Beuerlein's team record for pass attempts; the following week against the Washington Redskins, he continued his assault on the team record books by breaking Beuerlein's records for completions and passing yards. Unfortunately, he injured his thumb in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and missed three games. During his time off, Chris Weinke started for the first time since the 2002 season, and in his first game shattered the team record for passing yards in a single game with 423 yards, but his three interceptions cost the Panthers the game against the New York Giants. Weinke could only manage a single victory in Delhomme's absence (against the rival Atlanta Falcons, only his second victory as an NFL starter), and Delhomme returned for the season finale against the New Orleans Saints.
In the third game of the 2007 season, Delhomme suffered an elbow injury in a game against the division rival Atlanta Falcons. The injury set off a series of changes for the Panthers at the quarterback position. David Carr, who signed with Carolina in the off-season, took over as the Panthers' starting quarterback. After Carr injured his back in a defeat of the New Orleans Saints, , the Panthers signed Vinny Testaverde, who started the next game against the Arizona Cardinals just four days later, and in the process became the oldest starting quarterback to win a game in the NFL. However, an injury to Testaverde coupled with Carr's spinal cord injury led to rookie Matt Moore starting in week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks, a game he won. Meanwhile Delhomme opted for season ending Tommy John surgery on the elbow after two weeks of testing his arm. Delhomme returned to the starting position for the 2008 season. In the first game of the 2008 season, Delhome restarted his career by coming back on the San Diego Chargers with a touchdown pass on fourth down as time expired to win the game. This is similar to his debut game in 2003.
|Regular season totals||70||1206||2020||59.7||14591||100||64||130||249||5|
The official Panthers website features a regular discussion with Delhomme during the regular season, known as "Cajun Up with Jake".
QBs of a Different COLOR; No Brady! No Manning! No problem. Carolina's Jake Delhomme leads a group of underrated but accomplished quarterbacks into today's conference title games.(SPORTS)
Jan 22, 2006; Byline: Mark Craig; Staff Writer Imagine if Tom Brady or Peyton Manning had gone into Soldier Field in mid-January, completed 24...