There are always interesting sports and non-sports conversations that get going during show prep for The K&C Masterpiece. But as far as sports conversations go, this was one of my favorites.
The discussion started Thursday afternoon as we attempted to figure out where Peyton Manning would fit in the pantheon of starting quarterbacks that have won multiple Super Bowls should the Denver Broncos triumph over the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday … shameless plug alert, that game can be heard right here on 105.3 The Fan.
But that discussion quickly changed to who is the worst starting quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls.
Obviously I was intrigued, so I quickly got to work, pouring through stats and constructing a list.
That list ran on air last night on the K&C Masterpiece
But if you hate audio and prefer the sophisticated workings of the written word, here is the thought process behind how I ranked these quarterbacks … my apologies in advance to fans of Troy Aikman as his placement created the most anger during our broadcast.
No. 1: Joe Montana (Super Bowls 16, 19, 23, 24) Of course! He’s the greatest quarterback of all time, so Montana’s placement on this list is a no brainer. The most clutch signal caller in the history of football also threw for more than 40,000 yards in his career, won three Super Bowl MVPs and two NFL MVPs. Congratulations Joe Cool!
No. 2: John Elway (32, 33)
Elway doesn’t have a winning record in the Super Bowl (2-3), but did make the Pro Bowl nine times, threw for more than 51,000 yards, put up 300 passing touchdowns, won an NFL MVP, won a Super Bowl MVP and had a sweet helicopter-spinning TD in the Big Game.
No. 3: Tom Brady (36, 38, 39)
I might mockingly call Brady Mr. Field Goal due to his reliance on Adam Vinatieri to win a couple of his rings, but nearly 40,000 yards passing, 300 touchdowns, five Super Bowl appearances, a 64-percent completion rate, two Super Bowl MVPs and two NFL MVPs is a pretty impressive. Even if the Tuck Rule means he should just have two rings … sorry, couldn’t resist one last shot.
No. 4: Roger Staubach (6, 12)
Captain America made it to four Super Bowls, possesses two rings and (if not for an unfortunately dropped touchdown pass) could easily own another. Staubach was a member of the 1970’s all-decade NFL team, won a Super Bowl MVP and was named to the Pro Bowl six times. Plus, he’s Captain America … I mean, c’mon!
No. 5: Bart Starr (1, 2)
This selection raised some eyebrows during our show. But Starr is very worthy as he has a 9-1 playoff record plus the best passer rating in NFL playoff history. Starr threw only three interceptions and posted 15 touchdowns in the postseason. He won the first two Super Bowls, but also three NFL Championships prior to the implementation of the Super Bowl … five championships is tough to top.
No. 6: Terry Bradshaw (9, 10, 13, 14)
I know Bradshaw is tied with Montana for most Super Bowl wins ever, but I had to drop him at least a couple spots after seeing his butt in “Failure to Launch.” Bradshaw’s career stats aren’t overwhelming (with only two more touchdowns than picks), but he proved to be most clutch in the biggest situations … which is no doubt why Cowboys fans rightfully hate him, but also the reason he ranks this high.
No. 7: Troy Aikman (27, 28, 30)
Look, I love Aikman and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I’m also aware that Aikman was the first quarterback to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span, but he also passed for more than 20 touchdowns just once. Yes, yes, I understand you don’t have to pass a ton when you have the most prolific running back of all time in Emmitt Smith, but I can’t ignore the fact Brady and Elway have nearly twice as many career touchdowns as Aikman.
No. 8: Bob Griese (7, 8)
Here is another quarterback who doesn’t have prolific stats (only 20 more career touchdowns than interceptions and just a shade over 25,000 passing yards). It’s easy to point to the Miami Dolphins’ undefeated season in 1972, but remember Griese broke his ankle and missed much of that season, only returning for the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl. Griese won that Super Bowl and the next one too; tag on Six Pro Bowl appearances and that’s how you make the Hall of Fame.
No. 9: Eli Manning (42, 46)
This was the person that ran away with the fan text vote for worst quarterback with multiple Super Bowl victories as a starter. Manning is easily hateable to Cowboys fans and it’s true that he has been propped up at times by his defense. However, Manning also led the one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets in history (preventing the New England Patriots from completing a perfect season at Super Bowl 42) and set the New York Giants’ single-season record for most fourth-quarter comebacks in a season en route to a victory at Super Bowl 46. Sorry Metroplex folks, this guy isn’t too bad.
No. 10: Ben Roethlisberger (40, 43)
Roethlisberger is confusing. He has 97 more career touchdowns than he does interceptions, but has also thrown for more than 18 TDs only five times in 10 seasons. Roethlisberger has thrown more as his career has progressed, but was just a bus driver for his first Super Bowl victory with the Pittsburgh Steelers and not much more the second time around.
Which leads us to the worst quarterback to ever win multiple Super Bowls:
No. 11: Jim Plunkett (15, 18)
Plunkett never threw for more than 3,000 yards in a season, has 198 picks and only 164 touchdowns, plus he completed only 52.5 percent of his career passes. These are the numbers of a journeyman, but somehow Plunkett parlayed that into multiple Super Bowl rings. I imagine that’s gotta hurt, huh Dan Marino.
And for those curious about how this whole conversation started, if Peyton Manning (oh yeah, and the Denver Broncos) is able to win Super Bowl 48, he will jump to No. 2 on this list.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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