Five Worst Quarterbacks To Win A Super Bowl

By Jason Stolberg
January 23, 2013 3:28 pm
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In today’s NFL landscape, it’s the elite quarterback that has proven to be necessary for a team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. In the last 10 years, the Super Bowl has been won by a quarterback named Brady, Roethlisberger, or Manning an astounding seven times; and that doesn’t include one-time winners Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. 

This year is the first year in a long time where both quarterbacks, Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco, aren’t considered household names.

Even though neither Kaepernick or Flacco are considered by most to be amongst the NFL elite just yet, no matter who wins, neither will be one of the worst quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl; not by a long shot.

Looking at career statistics and efficiency, there are a few quarterbacks that have won Super Bowls that you have to wonder how they did it; usually, it was an outstanding supporting cast or simply catching lightning in a bottle.

For the purpose of this article, we looked at career passing yardage, touchdown-to-interception ratio, completion percentage, and quarterback rating as the foundation for the ranking. 

What you see may indeed shock you; even a Hall-of-Famer is listed here. You may even be surprised at who isn’t on the list; for instance, no Brad Johnson. Johnson has a better TD:INT ratio (1.36), completion percentage (61.7), quarterback rating (82.5), and more passing yardage than anyone on this list.

So who’s on the list of the worst Super Bowl willing quarterbacks? 

Let’s find out:

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14 months ago
I absolutely agree with Joe Namath. He was a horrible QB. He's only in the HOF because he guaranteed a victory.
14 months ago

Exactly! He definitely benefited because of the hype around the guarantee and being one of the first poster boys as the NFL transitioned into a commercial powerhouse.
14 months ago
Someone finally had the balls to call out Joe Namath. Excellent article! Tons of props to you, very good list!
14 months ago

Thank you for your comment! I always looked at Namath's numbers and wondered why is this guy in the Hall of Fame? I know the Super Bowl win counts for a lot, and so does charisma/personality, but the statistics just aren't there. Isn't this stat line better: 55.1% comp., 71.7 passer rating, 68-69 TD-INT ratio, avg of 3000 yards per season. Of course it is from a numbers standpoint... and that's Mark Sanchez's career numbers. Better than the beloved Broadway Joe, and yet Sanchez is crucified for those numbers.
14 months ago
Dan Marino and Jim Kelley would pay to be on this list.
14 months ago

Good point! All the statistics, all the accolades of being called one of the best QBs of their generation probably is not worth a single Super Bowl victory to those guys!
14 months ago
Good article but you are really missing the boat on some of these guys. You are comparing Namath (whom I dislike mind you) to current day mediocre QBs. It was a COMPLETELY different game back then. There was no west coast dink and dunk offense where guys had 65% completions. It was vertical passing aimed to keep the D honest for the running game. Take a look at other All-Pro or HOF QBs from that era and you will see strikingly similar statlines.
Namath in the HOF has nothing to do with guaranteeing a victory. You have to compare stats to players of the same era and generation otherwise in every sport the older guys couldn't hold up.
14 months ago

Good point Matthew, thanks for the comment! Now, Namath did play in a different era I give you that. But a couple of things still hold up... namely his career winning percentage being below .500, plus his passer rating being an anemic 65.5. For comparison, let's look at a couple of his contemporaries that won Super Bowls and were also in the HOF. Bart Starr (80.5), Roger Staubach (83.4), Len Dawson (82.6), Bob Griese (77.1) and the guy he beat in Super Bowl III, Johnny Unitas (78.2). Each one had a much higher rating, plus are all squarely in the positive in TD-INT ratio, while Namath is very much underwater in the category. All of the QBs from his era who won Super Bowls (let's say SBs I-X) did better in passer rating, TD-INT ratio, and career winning percentage, so he's the obvious guy from his era to be on the list.
14 months ago

Agree he's probably the lowest out of the lot but don't forget QB rating is a flawed system and it rewards the high completion short passing game. Nonetheless you are right in that he is still below the litter.
14 months ago
You should have added Brett Favre on this list. Another poster boy of one and done in Super Bowl wins.
14 months ago

Thanks for the reply, David! While Favre did only win one,he did get to another and he does have some staggeringly good career numbers... he certainly wouldn't be amongst the worst of the Super Bowl winning QBs.
14 months ago
One cannot measure wins and losses with the success or failure of a quarterback. Football continues to be a team sport, not an individual sport as most sport pundits like to convey in nonsensical articles. As was mentioned in the article, quarterbacks always have a supporting cast. Some people say defense wins games while others will always give the quarterback all the glory or all the blame. As long as football stays a team sport, the credit for wins and losses falls on everyone on the team, including the coaches.
14 months ago

Thanks for the comment Juan! Absolutely true, and almost no team sport is as dependent on the entire team playing well together as football is. But like in baseball, where the pitchers get too much credit for wins or losses (after all, you need run support for wins and losses, which the pitcher has no control over), the QB gets more than his fair share of the win/loss credit. But that's the nature of the game.

Still, when looking at HOF numbers and considering if someone is a statistically bad Super Bowl winning QB, career win/loss record is a statistic that will get looked at. Even if you toss that out, Namath's career records just don't look that good. Upside down in TD:INT ratio, low passer rating, low completion percentage. If a QB posted those numbers even 10 years after Namath stopped playing, that QB wouldn't be HOF worthy. Namath had a ton of charisma and played in the right place at the right time to get into the HOF, and his guarantee makes him a legendary Super Bowl QB. His statistics however, do paint a different picture.
14 months ago

You are absolutely right. I appreciate the response. Statistics never lie, especially when you include the numbers for the defense too. Joe is just another average Joe like most quarterbacks that get more credit than they deserve.

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