28. Trent Dilfer (1-0)
Finally, to the starters who have won the Super Bowl. Dilfer only went 12-25 in Super Bowl 35, but he did not throw any interceptions – the Ravens defense and special teams did the rest.
27. Brad Johnson (1-0)
Similar to Dilfer, it was the Bucs defense that made things easy for Brad v. the Raiders in Super Bowl 37. But Johnson threw two TDs himself in the Bucs 48-21 rout.
26. Joe Theismann (1-1)
One of my favorite pre-game huddle lines ever was Theismann telling his team before Super Bowl XVII that this game ‘IS WORTH 70 THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!’ And can you imagine how much you could pawn Super Bowl rings off for???
Another great Theismann memory was him getting destroyed on a fourth-quarter sack/fumble in the Skins 38-9 loss to the Raiders the following year.
25. Ken Stabler (1-0)
He didn’t have to throw it up too much in the Raiders SBXI win over the Vikings, 12-19 for 180 yards and a 111 QB rating that day.
24. Jeff Hostetler (1-0)
Did not throw a pick and had a 93 QB rating in the Giants epic Super Bowl XX win over the Bills. Hostetler had to come off the deck that night after being shaken up early in the game. Before taking over for an injured Phil Simms late in the season, Hostetler had only thrown 109 passes in his previous seven pro seasons.
23. Mark Rypien (1-0)
Threw two TD passes while earning MVP honors and becoming the third different Washington quarterback to lead the Redskins to Super Bowl Championships with this win in SB 26.
22. Joe Namath (1-0)
It wasn’t so much about the numbers (206 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT) but simply following through on the ‘Guarantee.’
21. Jim McMahon (1-0)
Did his part in the Super Bowl XX annihilation, completing 12 of 20 passes for 256 yards, but no TD passes, about the only way the Bears did not score that day.
20. Doug Williams (1-0)
Now getting into some of the MVP performances out of QB’s in their lone Super Bowl appearances – Williams threw for four TDs in the second quarter alone (with the Skins scoring 35 points) and finishing Super Bowl XXII with a rating of 127.9. Few may remember the early knee scare and being replaced by Jay Schroeder for a few plays.
As Williams was announced as Most Valuable Player, the Washington radio announcers said that they hoped Williams’ day would finally end some of the myths about African-American QBs. A quarter-century later?? Unfortunately some of the stereotypes remain.
19. Brett Favre (1-1)
If he would had gotten that second Super Bowl win in San Diego the following year, he would obviously be higher on the list. Favre completed 14 of 27 with no INTs in the Packers win in Super Bowl 31, but the following year began a trend of Favre coming short in big games that would haunt him the rest of his career.
18. Aaron Rodgers (1-0)
Yes, I have Rodgers just ahead of Brett, based on throwing for 304 yards/3 TD/0 INT/111.5 rating in Super Bowl 45.
17. Len Dawson (1-1)
Dawson wasn’t even bad in the maiden AFL-NFL Championship Game. Three years later he was back completing 12 of 17 passes in leading a balanced Kansas City attack in the convincing 23-7 romp over the Vikings.
16. Bob Griese (2-1)
I tap the multiple time winners for the first time, Griese threw all of 41 passes in Super Bowl’s VI/VII/VIII, that is less attempts than two QB’s averaged PER GAME in 2012.
15. Ben Roethlisberger (2-1)
Has two rings but was MVP in neither. In fact Ben was just 9 for 21 with two picks in SB 40, finishing with a QB rating of 22.6. You could argue that Ben should even be behind Rodgers (who he lost to), but I’ll give points for the clutch Super Bowl 43 drive.
14. Drew Brees (1-0)
As he was for all of 2009, and the past several seasons, Brees was surgical in Super Bowl 44, completing 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and 2 scores/0 INTs.
13. Phil Simms (1-0)
Super Bowl XXI remains the closest any QB has ever come to a perfect game on the big stage. Simms completed 22-25 passes for 258 yards and three scores, good for a QB rating of 150.9.
12. Steve Young (1-0)
I have Young as the highest ranked of QBs who only started a Super Bowl game once, and what a game it was, throwing six TD passes.
Yes, I say he got the monkey off his back in Super Bowl 29.
11. Peyton Manning (1-1)
Finally got the gorilla off his back in Super Bowl 41, but statistically was better three years later – but there’s one fourth quarter pass he’d like back.
And you can also argue Peyton should have been able to get to the Bowl more than twice in his career.
10. Kurt Warner (1-2)
We start the top ten and the true heavy hitters here. Despite losing two of his three Super Bowls, I have a hard time putting the former stockboy turned probable Hall-of-Famer even this low. Warner threw for 1,156 yards in those games, and his numbers in Super Bowl 43 (31-43, 377 yards, 3 TD) would likely had brought the Lombardi Trophy to Arizona if not for throwing that devastating pick-six to James Harrison.
9. Jim Plunkett (2-0)
Think this was one of the better reclamation projects in Raiders history?? Plunkett had a 145 QB rating in the Raiders Super Bowl 15 win and was stellar three years later v. the Redskins.
8. Bart Starr (2-0)
One of the classiest individuals ever, and the quarterback of the 1960s with five titles to his credit. Starr ad QB ratings of 116 and 96 while dispatching the best the AFL had to offer in the first two Super Bowls.
7. Eli Manning (2-0)
Beating the evil Patriots not once, but twice?? Let’s just say he’s faired a little better against Belichick than his brother over the years.
6. Roger Staubach (2-2)
As Jerod Morris explains to me, Staubach remains the most iconic figure in Dallas football lore. Was quarterback for title-winning teams twice in the 1970s, coming up just short against Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers on the other two occasions.
5. Troy Aikman (3-0)
We now reach the top five, and the first of the three-time winners. Super Bowl 27 was Aikman’s finest hour, throwing four TD passes with a 140 QB rating.
4. John Elway (2-3)
Those two Super Bowl wins in ’98 and ’99 get Elway from possibly being outside the top 20 to near the top of the list. Elway rode off into the sunset after throwing for 336 yards and winning MVP honors in his final game.
3. Tom Brady (3-2)
Sure, he’s lost the last two, which knocks Brady from consideration for the top spot. What also gets graded is making it to the Bowl five times in 11 years and twice leading his team into position for two of the three GW last-second field goals in Super Bowl history. The clutch factor plays here.
2. Terry Bradshaw (4-0)
Then there are the four-timers. Why is Bradshaw not No. 1?? Well, he was kind of in Bob Griese mode in Super Bowls 9/10, completing only nine passes in each of those games. But the Steelers became much more of a passing team in the late-70s, and Bradshaw went over 300 yards passing in both Super Bowl 13 and 14.
1. Joe Montana (4-0)
And to me there isn’t even much debate on who belongs on top. Montana’s QB ratings for Super Bowl’s 16/19/23/24 are as follows: 100.0, 127.2, 115.2, and finally 147.6. Joe’s case for being the best QB ever gets enhanced by his performances in the biggest games of all.
It will be interesting to see where Kaepernick and Flacco end up on this list after Sunday…