Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson and the 8 Worst QBs to Ever Wear a Super Bowl Ring
Since Super Bowl I between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs kicked off to finish the 1966-67 NFL season, 29 different quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl.
And unless Tom Brady or Eli Manning win it this season, that number will remain the same through 46 Super Bowls. To that end, numerous average or below-average quarterbacks have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.
So, here are the eight worst Super Bowl-champion quarterbacks of all time.
8. Ben Roethlisberger
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Had it not been for a defense and sure-handed receivers in his two Super Bowl wins, Ben Roethlisberger would be 0-3 in the NFL's biggest game.
Now from a career perspective, he's been a solid quarterback and one of the best in crunch time, but it's his poor performance on the big stage that lands him on this list. In Super Bowl XL, he was 9-of-21, threw two picks and finished with a 22.6 rating.
He played much better in Super Bowl XLIII, however, and was saved by James Harrison's miraculous interception return for a TD that was a 14-point swing. And in Super Bowl XLV, he tossed two TDs, but also two picks good for a 77.4 rating.
Still, Big Ben is only going to be 30 next season, so there's much time left for him to prove his worth as a legit Super Bowl-winning QB.
7. Joe Namath
Despite being in the Hall of Fame and winning the MVP award for Super Bowl III, Joe Namath still remains the only quarterback to win the award without throwing a single touchdown in the game.
And in throwing more picks than touchdowns (173 to 220), his place in pro-football immortality is because of his impact on the NFL—not his numbers. That said, the reason why the Jets won Super Bowl III was courtesy of a stud ground game led by running back Matt Snell.
Also, the Jets were fortunate that the Colts had Earl Morrall, who went 6-of-17 and threw three interceptions.
Throughout his career, Namath also had eventual Hall of Fame receiver Don Maynard out wide. Take him away, and Broadway Joe doesn't throw for nearly as many TDs as he did. Not to mention, Namath's career completion percentage was only 50.1 percent.
6. Brad Johnson
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Brad Johnson was your prototypical game-managing quarterback, but had it not been for the help of Jon Gruden, he would have never developed into the average quarterback that he was.
Sure, his career rating was 82.5, but Johnson struggled with consistency. After a solid year in 1999, where he threw 24 TDs to 13 picks, he flipped and threw just 11 TDs to 15 picks in 2000.
In his Super Bowl season, backed by one of the greatest single-season defenses of all time, Johnson threw 22 TDs to just six interceptions in 2002. In 2003, he may have had his career high with 26 TDs, but the 21 picks were also a career high.
There's no doubt that his 2002 season was remarkable, but he couldn't sustain it, and his completion percentage topped out at 61.7 percent.
5. Mark Rypien
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One guy that many forget about in terms of bad Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks is Washington's Mark Rypien.
Despite being named the Super Bowl XXVI MVP, Rypien's career was not as long as most believe. Taking over for Doug Williams in 1988 and leaving Washington after 1993, Rypien never had a better completion percentage than 59.1 with the Redskins.
And he had some really solid receivers in Art Monk, Ricky Sanders and Gary Clark along with a reliable running game led by Earnest Byner. In addition, he was greatly assisted by a sound defense with players like Darrell Green, Charles Mann and Kurt Gouveia.
Rypien also had some of the NFL's best offensive linemen at the time in Jeff Bostic, Mark Schlereth and Russ Grimm.
With so much talent around him, Rypien could have done a lot better.
4. Jeff Hostetler
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Mainly due to injuries, former Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler comes in at No. 4. After all, staying healthy is vital to being a legit quarterback in the NFL. Otherwise, it's not for long.
Although the Hoss was in the league for 15 seasons, he started just one full year (1994) with the then Los Angeles Raiders. There, he threw 20 TDs to 16 picks, had a 57.8 completion percentage and fumbled six times. The Raiders never made it past the divisional round under Hostetler, and he was out of the league by 1997.
At least he has Super Bowl XXV to his name, but had it not been for running back Ottis Anderson and Bills kicker Scott Norwood, the Hoss would simply be forgotten.
3. Doug Williams
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In 1987, Washington's Doug Williams at least won a Super Bowl, whereas Jay Schroeder watched from the bench.
Still, with a career completion percentage of 49.5 and a single-season best of 56.6 in 1987, Williams outdoes Joe Gibbs' other quarterback, Mark Rypien, by quite a bit.
He won the Super Bowl XXII MVP award and did so with a sensational performance. It was unfortunately followed up by only 11 games in 1988 (56.1 completion percentage, 15 TDs to 12 picks) and then just four games in 1989.
Much like Rypien, Williams was also surrounded by a lot of talent (mostly the same players), including one-hit-wonder running back Timmy Smith, who shined bright behind one of the NFL's best offensive lines. Thanks to the Hogs, Smith ran wild (204 yards), and it took a lot of pressure off Williams.
With Smith gone the following season, it was not surprising to see Williams also gone before 1990.
2. Jim Plunkett
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The next two-time Super Bowl winner on the list, Oakland's Jim Plunkett, never started a full 16-game season when the NFL extended the year in 1978.
During his 1980 campaign where the Raiders won Super Bowl XV over Philadelphia, Plunkett completed just 51.6 percent of his throws and had just 18 TDs to 16 picks. In the Super Bowl, he was vehemently assisted by the Raiders' defense—namely linebacker Rod Martin, who picked off Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski three times.
Not to mention, corner Lester Hayes was considered one of the best lockdown-coverage players at the time. And one of Plunkett's TD passes in the game was to receiver Cliff Branch, who had to out-jump the defender since the pass was so horribly under-thrown.
In his second Super Bowl win, Plunkett was once again assisted by a dominant defense that had guys like Howie Long, Matt Millen, Lyle Alzado, Mike Haynes, Lester Hayes and Ted Hendricks.
Oh yeah, and there was this one running back named Marcus Allen who had one of the best runs in Super Bowl history.
1. Trent Dilfer
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No surprise to see Trent Dilfer at No. 1.
Thanks to arguably the best single-season defense in NFL history that allowed only 23 total points in the postseason, Dilfer just needed to get kicker Matt Stover in field-goal range, and the game was over.
Dilfer never threw for more than 2,859 yards in a season or 21 TDs. He finished with a career rating of 70.2 and a completion percentage of 55.5.
The 2000 season was his lone year with the Ravens. Offensively, he had excellent talent around him in tight end Shannon Sharpe, blindside tackle Jonathan Ogden and running back Priest Holmes.
Trent's most effective season, where he played in more than 10 games, came in 1997 with Tampa Bay. There, he completed just 56.2 percent of his throws, had 21 TDs to 11 picks and only threw for 2,555 yards.
Yes, Dilfer is the exact definition of a game-managing quarterback, but there's a reason why Baltimore let him go after that 2000 season. He only started more than 10 games once more (11 for Cleveland in 2005) and was out of the league by 2008.
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