In the 47 previous Super Bowls, the MVP of the game has been a quarterback 26 times.
The Green Bay Packers have played in five Super Bowls, winning four times. In each game, the quarterback play has certainly been above average. In fact, Bart Starr was the MVP in both Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II, while Aaron Rodgers was MVP of Super Bowl XLV.
Brett Favre was never named MVP in the two Super Bowls he played in, but he could have been one, at least in the first one he played in. Favre threw two touchdowns and ran for another when the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI by beating the Patriots 35-21.
Let's compare the numbers for Starr, Favre and Rodgers in the Super Bowl.
Starr completed 29 passes out of 47 attempts for 452 yards in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II. No. 15 also threw three touchdown passes compared to one interception in those two games.
In Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII, Favre completed 39 passes in 69 attempts for 502 yards. No. 4 also threw five touchdown passes compared to one pick in those two games. Favre's overall quarterback rating in those back-to-back Super Bowls was 99.5.
In Super Bowl XLV, Rodgers completed 24 passes in 39 attempts for 304 yards. No. 12 also threw three touchdown passes without throwing a pick. His quarterback rating for the game was 111.5, as the Packers beat the Steelers 31-25.
Not all Super Bowls are determined by the play of the quarterbacks on each team, but most are. That being the case, the Packers should really be 5-0 in Super Bowls.
Favre outplayed John Elway of the Broncos by a large margin in Super Bowl XXXII, but other factors determined the outcome of the game.
Elway was just 12-of-22 passing in that game for 123 yards. No. 7 didn't throw a touchdown pass and also threw a costly interception. His quarterback rating for the games was just 51.9. Elway did, however, have a rushing touchdown.
Favre, meanwhile, was 25-of-42 for 256 yards. Favre also threw three touchdown passes versus one pick. No. 4 also fumbled once. Overall, Favre's quarterback rating for that game was 91.0.
Favre obviously wasn't the reason the Packers lost Super Bowl XXXII. The reason? The very effective ground game of the Broncos. Running back Terrell Davis gashed the Packers for 157 yards rushing (30 attempts) and three touchdowns. Davis ended up being the MVP of the game, as the Broncos won 31-24.
In addition, running back Dorsey Levens of the Packers was having almost equal success against the Broncos running the ball, but for some reason he wasn't given many rushing attempts in the second half.
Giving Levens more rushing attempts would have been very important, as it would have given the very tired defense of the Packers some needed rest, as they were gassed on a warm evening in San Diego.
Levens had 90 yards in just 19 attempts for a 4.7 yards-per-carry average with almost all that damage done in the first half.
Bottom line, for teams to be successful in the postseason, the quarterback normally has to play reasonably well.
Starr certainly played well at crunch time, as he has the best all-time quarterback rating in NFL postseason history with a 104.8 mark. He is followed in second place by Rodgers, who has a 103.1 rating.
Favre is in 14th place all-time with a 86.3 mark.
For what it's worth, Peyton Manning has a career quarterback rating of 90.1 in the postseason, good for ninth place all-time. Meanwhile, his opponent on Sunday, Russell Wilson, has a 96.9 rating in his brief two-year career spanning four postseason games.
In the two previous Super Bowls No. 18 has played in, his quarterback rating overall is 85.2. Wilson will be playing in his very first Super Bowl on Sunday night.
Both Manning and Wilson would love to have the combined 105.7 Super Bowl quarterback rating of Starr, Favre and Rodgers this Sunday night.
Whoever comes closest to that mark will probably win Super Bowl XLVIII.
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