Super Bowl XLV: Power Ranking The Best QB Performances

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IJanuary 31, 2011

Super Bowl XLV: Power Ranking The Best QB Performances

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    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    Super Bowls are all about the quarterbacks. They almost always get the MVP award, and it's become a common litany from sportswriters that the NFL now is a "quarterback-driven league."

    Some quarterbacks rise to the occasion in the Super Bowl, putting up great numbers and leading their team to victory.

    Some performances have become legendary for the sheer awesomeness of the numbers put up.

    This list looks mainly at stats, so there some losing quarterbacks on this list, and even if a particular quarterback had a great fourth quarter to win the game, that doesn't mean he appears on this list.

    Expect some blowouts on here, and enjoy.

15. Bart Starr In Super Bowl I

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    CANTON, OH - AUGUST 3:  Pro Football Hall of Famer (Class of 1977) Bart Starr waves to the crowd as he is introduced during the 2003 NFL Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on August 3, 2003 in Canton, Ohio.  (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
    David Maxwell/Getty Images

    Bart Starr gets us started off in classy fashion. Starr was 16-23 for 250 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, but those were big numbers for that era.

    Starr made backup wide receiver Max McGee look like a Pro Bowler, hitting him seven times for 138 yards and both of the touchdowns.

14. Jim Plunkett In Super Bowl XV

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - UNDATED:  Quarterback Jim Plunkett #16 of the Los Angeles Raiders falls back to pass during a NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Jim Plunkett played for the Los Angeles Raiders from
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Plunkett went 13-21 for 261 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Plunkett struck quickly, getting two touchdowns in the first quarter. Highlights included an 80-yard touchdown pass to Kenny King.

13. Brett Favre In Super Bowl XXXI

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    26 Jan 1997:  Quarterback Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers attempts to avoid New England Patriots defensive lineman Willie McGinest during Super Bowl XXXI at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Packers won the game, 35-21. Mandatory Credit:
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Brett Favre vaulted to superstardom in this game, going 14-27 for 246 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Favre also rushed for a touchdown in the victory over the Patriots.

    Highlights included a 64-yard touchdown pass to Andre Rison and an 81-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman.

12. Roger Staubach In Super Bowl XIII

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    1979:  Quarterback Roger Staubach #12 of the Dallas Cowboys rolls out of the pocket during a Cowboys game in the 1979 season.   Mandatory Credit: Allsport/ALLSPORT
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    It was in a losing effort, but Staubach went 17-30 for 228 yards, three touchdowns and one pick against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Staubach rallied the Cowboys in the second half, throwing two of his touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, but the Cowboys came up short.

11. Joe Montana In Super Bowl XXIII

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    22 Jan 1989:  Quarterback Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers throws the ball during Super Bowl XXIII against the Cincinnati Bengals at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida.  The 49ers won the game, 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    This game usually is at the top of a lot of Super Bowl lists because of Montana's late fourth quarter drive that gave the 49ers the go-ahead score with less than a minute remaining.

    Montana had a pretty good game overall, though, going 23-36 for 357 yards and two touchdowns.

    The 49ers had 453 yards of total offense in the game.

10. Tom Brady In Super Bowl XXXVIII

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    New England Patriots QB Tom Brady #12 makes a call during Super Bowl XXXIX between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6, 2005.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Tom Brady went at it with Jake Delhomme, completing 32 of 48 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns. Brady only had one pick on the day to mark his stats.

    His final drive didn't end in a touchdown, but it did end up with Adam Vinatieri's game-winning kick.

9. Kurt Warner In Super Bowl XLIII

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Kurt Warner #13 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Kurt Warner used every resource he could, and drew on all his experience in a losing effort against the Steelers.

    Despite facing one of the best defenses in the league, Warner completed 31 of 47 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns.

    However, his one interception was a game-changer. The 100-yard return by James Harrison just before halftime swung the momentum of the game, and the Cardinals missed a crucial opportunity to put the Steelers away.

8. Phil Simms In Super Bowl XXI

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 25:  Quarterback Phil Simms #11 of the New York Giants drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl XXI at the Rose Bowl on January 25, 1987 in Pasadena, California. The Giants defeated the Broncos 39-20. (Photo b
    George Rose/Getty Images

    Phil Simms completed an astounding 88 percent of his passes in this game, going 22-25 for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He had zero picks, and the Giants beat John Elway and the Broncos 39-20.

7. Kurt Warner In Super Bowl XXXIV

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    F363722 55: (NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA SALES ONLY) Quarterback Kurt Warner of the St Louis Rams is escorted off the field after winning Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on January 30, 2000. The St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee T
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Leading "The Greatest Show On Turf," Kurt Warner went 24-45 for 414 yards and two touchdowns. He had no interceptions and was the first player to throw for more than 400 yards in a Super Bowl.

    However, this game is remembered more for the Rams defense on the final play than Warner's eye-popping stats.

6. Troy Aikman In Super Bowl XXVII

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 31:  Quarterback Troy Aikman #8 of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass during Super Bowl XXVII against the Buffalo Bills at the Rose Bowl on January 31, 1993 in Pasadena, California.  The Cowboys won 52-17.  (Photo by George Rose/Getty
    George Rose/Getty Images

    Troy Aikman was brilliant in this game, going 22-30 for 273 yards and four touchdowns as the Cowboys flat out dominated the Bills. Aikman, in addition to completing 73 percent of his passes, didn't throw any interceptions on the day.

5. Doug Williams In Super Bowl XXII

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    SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 31:  Quarterback Doug Williams #10 of the Washington Redskins drops back to pass during Super Bowl XXII against the Denver Broncos at Jack Murphy Stadium on January 31, 1988 in San Diego, California.  The Redskins won 42-10.  (Photo by
    George Rose/Getty Images

    Doug Williams destroyed the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. He made John Elway look like a fool. Leading his team to five consecutive scoring drives in the second quarter, this game was over at halftime.

    Williams went 18-29 for 340 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception that didn't mean anything.

4. Terry Bradshaw In Super Bowl XIII

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    While Staubach had a good day, as evidenced prior in this piece, Terry Bradshaw had a better day.

    In the Steelers 35-31 win over the Cowboys, Bradshaw was 17-30, not a great completion rate, but when he connected, it was big. Bradshaw finished the day with 318 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception.

    This marked the first time in Bradshaw's career he had ever thrown for more than 300 yards in a game.

3. Joe Montana In Super Bowl XIX

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    STANFORD, CA - JANUARY 20:  Quarterback Joe Montana #16 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball against Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium on January 20, 1985 in Stanford, California. The 49ers won 38-16. (Photo by George Rose/Gett
    George Rose/Getty Images

    Joe Montana really began working on his legacy in this game, outdueling Dan Marino by throwing 24-35 for 331 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    One of the touchdowns was a rushing touchdown, and Montana had 59 yards rushing on the day, more than running back Roger Craig.

2. Joe Montana In Super Bowl XXIV

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    NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 28:  Quarterback Joe Montana #16 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball in Super Bowl XXIV against the Denver Broncos at Louisiana Superdome on January 28, 1990 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The 49ers won 55-10.  (Photo by Georg
    George Rose/Getty Images

    Joe Montana again is near the top, this time for the complete 55-10 blowout of the Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV.

    Montana threw for only 297 yards, but he had FIVE touchdown passes and no interceptions on the day. The Broncos defense was helpless against him as he went 22-29 on the day, a 76 percent completion rate.

1. Steve Young In Super Bowl XXIX

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    MIAMI - JANUARY 29:  Quarterback Steve Young #8 of the San Francisco 49ers finds room to run with the ball during Super Bowl XXIX against the San Diego Chargers at Joe Robbie Stadium on January 29, 1995 in Miami, Florida. The 49ers won 49-26. (Photo by Ge
    George Rose/Getty Images

    Steve Young made the Chargers wish they would've just stayed in the hotel.

    Young not only went 24-36 for 325 yards, he threw six touchdown passes. S-I-X.

    Young had no interceptions on the day and led the team in rushing yards with 49.

    Montana and Young always dueled it out for who was the best 49ers quarterback, and you can flip flop this performance with Montana's Super Bowl XXIV performance and not get much of an argument.

    I'm putting Young in the top spot because six touchdowns is more than five. It's just math.