The Top 10 Super Bowl Quarterbacks

With Tom Brady making his fifth Super Bowl appearance for the New England Patriots, there is a lot of talk about him being one of the best quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. Here is a look at the ten best quarterbacks in Super Bowl history, based on their performance in the big game.

Tom Brady
Wikimedia Commons

1. Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers (4-0)

The difference between Tom Brady and Joe Montana is that Montana never lost when he made it to the Super Bowl. He won three championships under Bill Walsh and then one more under George Seifert. Montana also won the Super Bowl MVP in three of the four wins and had three of the best performances in Super Bowl history. In his four Super Bowl appearances, Montana threw for 1,142 yards, completing 68.0-percent of his passes for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.

2. Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0)

Terry Bradshaw and the Pittsburgh Steelers dominated the '70s. He won four Super Bowls in four appearances, the only quarterback other than Montana to accomplish that. He won the Super Bowl MVP in the final two wins. Over his four appearances, he threw for 932 yards, completing 58-percent of his passes for nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (3-1)

Tom Brady has played in four Super Bowls, just like the two quarterbacks in front of him, but lost to the New York Giants in the season where the Patriots had a chance to actually finish the year undefeated. In Super Bowl XXXVIII, Brady had one of the greatest performances in the history of the big game, throwing for 354 yards, 19 first downs and 32 completions. He won two MVP awards, throwing for a total of 1,001 yards, completing 64-percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and one interception. If he wins this year, I can see moving him up this list.

4. Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys (3-0)

Troy Aikman led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl appearances in four years, winning all three. He won an MVP for the first appearance.

5. John Elway, Denver Broncos (2-3)

John Elway made it to five Super Bowls, the only quarterback to do so until Brady this year. He lost the first three trips under head coach Dan Reeves but then won back-to-back appearances when Mike Shanahan took over the team. Elway won the MVP in his final appearance and then retired.

6. Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys (2-2)

Roger Staubach played for the Dallas Cowboys in five Super Bowls but only started in four of them. Dallas went an even two-for-two with Staubach as the starting quarterback. Staubach won the MVP for his performance in the win over the Miami Dolphins.

7. Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers (2-0)

Bart Starr would be No. 1 on this list if the Super Bowl had started a decade sooner. Vince Lombardi named Starr the starter in 1959 and Starr went on to lead the Packers to six championship appearances, posting a 3-1 record for the NFL Championship and then finishing with a 2-0 record in the first two Super Bowls. A 5-1 championship record makes him better than everyone on this list, but in Super Bowls, he only had two chances.

8. Bob Griese, Miami Dolphins (2-1)

Bob Griese lost his first trip to the Super Bowl to the Dallas Cowboys and Roger Staubach. He rebounded the next season and was the only quarterback to lead his team to a perfect season record, going undefeated and winning the Super Bowl over the Washington Redskins. He ended up playing in three straight Super Bowls.

9. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

Rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took over as the Pittsburgh starting quarterback when starter Tommy Maddox fell to injury. He ended up leading the Steelers to the Super Bowl in his second season, beating the Seattle Seahawks. He won his second Super Bowl three years later and then finally lost to Green Bay in 2010.

10. Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills (0-4)

While he never won a Super Bowl title, no quarterback can ever say he led a team to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances. Kelly threw for 829 yards, completing 55-percent of his passes, for two touchdowns. His numbers might have been higher had he not hurt his knee in his third Super Bowl appearance.

Author Shawn S. Lealos has been an NFL fan since he was a child, starting out his obsession by watching football on his grandfather's lap in the 1970's.

Source: NFL.COM

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Updated Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012