Super Bowl's Two-Headed Monster: Top Winning QB/RB Combinations
In order to win a Super Bowl, you need at least one of two things on offense; either a high powered aerial attack or a forceful running game. The truly great teams tend to have both of these. It sure makes winning a lot easier if you can repeatedly punch a team in the mouth and then burn them on a 60 yard pass. These QB/RB tandems were able to bring their team all the way to the big game and then they got to lift the "Lombardi" trophy afterwards.
Note: This is not the top QB/RB dual performances in a Super Bowl. This list is based on careers of Super Bowl winning tandems.
#10= QB- Ben Roethlisberger and RB- Jerome Bettis: Steelers (S.B. XL)
Roethlisberger and Bettis kick this list off at #10, but they might not be here for long. Roethlisberger is still playing and actually playing in Super Bowl XLV today. He still has the chance to power them a little further up the list. By the time Roethlisberger's career is over, who knows how far up this list these two will have moved.
Career stats, all-time rank is in parenthesis...
Roethlisberger stats (active): 1766 completions (75), 22,502 yards (78), 144 TDs (79), 92.5 passer rating (8), 2004 AP offensive rookie of the year, one time pro-bowler
Bettis stats: 3479 attempts (4), 13,662 yards (5), 91 TDs (10), 94 total TDs (22), 1993 AP offensive rookie of the year, 1996 AP comeback player of the year, 6 time pro-bowler, 2 time first-team All-Pro
#9= QB- John Elway and RB- Terrell Davis: Broncos (S.B. XXXII and XXXII)
I would've liked to have put Elway and Davis higher up on this list, but with Davis having such a short career, I didn't think that I could. But at the same time, with Elway's career and them combining for two Super Bowl wins, I felt that I had to include them in this list. Elway is currently regarded as one of the top QBs of all-time. Davis was able to do a lot in a short amount of time, including rushing for 2008 yards in 1998, the 4th highest of all-time at that point. Elway had to wait a long time to get his 1st Super Bowl victory and not so long for the second one.
Elway stats: 4123 completions (four), 51,475 yards (four), 300 TDs (five), 1987 NFL MVP, 1998 Super Bowl MVP, nine time pro-bowler
Davis stats: 1655 attempts (53), 7607 yards (46), 60 TDs (40), 1996 and '98 AP offensive player of the year, 1997 Super Bowl MVP, 1998 NFL MVP, three time pro-bowler, three time first-team All-Pro
#8= QB- Bob Griese and RB- Larry Csonka: Dolphins (S.B. VII and VIII)
Griese and Csonka have the distinct pleasure of being part of the only undefeated team in NFL history (although Griese was hurt most of the year), when they went 17-0 during the 1972 season. They capped that magical season with a 14-7 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. The Dolphins then came right back and won the next year, featuring the same two players, with a 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings. That was actually the 3rd straight year the Dolphins made the Super Bowl, however, they dropped the 1st of the three, 24-3 in Super Bowl VI against the Cowboys.
Griese stats: 1926 completions (64), 25,092 yards (59), 192 TDs (39), 1971 NFL newspaper Ent. Assoc. MVP, 1977 NFL Bert Bell Award (player of the year), 8 time pro-bowler, two time first-team All-Pro
Csonka stats: 1891 attempts (39), 8081 yards (39), 64 TDs (35), 1973 Super Bowl MVP, 1979 AP comeback player of the year, five time pro-bowler, two time first-team All-Pro
#7= QB- Roger Staubach and RB- Tony Dorsett: Cowboys (S.B. XII)
Both Staubach and Dorsett are in the NFL Hall of Fame and with good reason. They both put together very successful careers. Staubach's numbers are mind blowing, but he was an excellent leader and a very good game manager. Dorsett, on the other hand, is towards the top of the lists in a few different rushing statistics. These two led the Cowboys to two Super Bowls; XII, a win over the Broncos and XIII, a loss to the Steelers.
Staubach stats: 1685 completions (84), 22,700 yards (74), 153 TDs (72), 83.4 passer rating (31), 1971 Bert Bell Award (player of the year), 1971 Super Bowl MVP, 6 time pro-bowler
Dorsett stats: 2936 attempts (11), 12,739 yards (8), 77 TDs (20), 91 total TDs (25), 1977 AP offensive rookie of the year, four time pro-bowler, one time first-team All-Pro
#6= QB- Joe Theismann and RB- John Riggins: Redskins (S.B. XVII)
Theismann and Riggins lead the Redskins to a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII. In that game, Riggins had one of the most historic runs in Super Bowl history, when on fourth and one from the Dolphins 42 yard line, he bounced off a tackler and took it 42 yards for the score. Theismann is a QB that you won't find too high up on any all-time stats lists, but I attribute that mostly to the vicious career ending hit that he took from Giants LB Lawrence Taylor. If not for that hit, Theismann probably would've had a few more good years left in him.
Theismann Stats: 2044 completions (52), 25,206 yards (57), 160 TDs (64), 1983 NFL MVP, 1983 AP offensive player of the year, two time pro-bowler, one time first-team All-Pro
Riggins Stats: 2916 attempts (12), 11,352 yards (16), 104 TDs (6), 116 Total TDs (12), 1978 AP comeback player of the year, 1982 Super Bowl MVP, one time pro-bowler, one time first-team All-Pro
#5= QB- Bart Starr and RB- Jim Taylor: Green Bay Packers (S.B. I)
Bart Starr and Jim Taylor teamed up to win the very first Super Bowl ever played. They defeated the Chiefs that day, 35-10. Bart Starr went on to win Super Bowl II against the Raiders, but he didn't have Taylor alongside of him. Starr played in a day where passing wasn't how it is today, so his stats aren't near the top of any list, but he had a great career. Bart Starr is famously remember for "The Sneak" against the Cowboys in the "Ice Bowl", but he was a great Green Bay quarterback for a long time and will always be remembered very fondly by the cheeseheads.
Starr Stats: 1808 completions (74), 24,718 yards (61), 152 TDs (73), 80.5 passer rating (51), 1966 and '67 Super Bowl MVP, 1966 NFL MVP, four time pro-bowler, one time first-team All-Pro
Taylor Stats: 1941 attempts (37), 8597 yards (33), 83 TDs (15), 93 Total TDs (24), 1962 NFL MVP, five time pro-bowler, one time first-team All-Pro
#4= QB- Terry Bradshaw and RB- Franco Harris: Steelers (S.B. IX, X, XIII, XIV)
Bradshaw and Harris teamed up with the "steel curtain" to bring home four Super Bowl trophies for the city of Pittsburgh. These two players performed very well together. Of course, Harris is remember by almost everyone in the country for making one of the most famous plays in football history when he came down with the "Immaculate Reception". Statistically, Harris is the better of the two players, but Bradshaw was an excellent leader and always performed well in the playoffs. How else would you win four championships?
Bradshaw Stats: 2025 completions (53), 27,989 yards (46), 212 TDs (25), 1978 NFL MVP, 1978 and '79 Super Bowl MVP, three time pro-bowler, one time first-time All-Pro
Harris Stats: 2949 attempts (10), 12,120 yards (13), 91 TDs (10), 100 total TDs (19), 1972 AP offensive rookie of the year, 1974 Super Bowl MVP, nine time pro-bowler, one time first-team All-Pro
#3= QB- Joe Montana and RB- Roger Craig: 49ers (S.B. XXIII and XXIV)
Montana and Craig, along with Jerry Rice, were the perfecters of the west coast offense. Montana had a quick release, great accuracy and was very football intelligent. Craig was known for his great versatility. The 49ers won back to back championships in Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV over the Bengals and Broncos, respectively. Both of these players racked up great stats throughout their careers.
Montana Stats: 3409 completions (10), 40,551 yards (10), 273 TDs (9), 92.3 passer rating (9), 1981, '84 and '89 Super Bowl MVP, 1989 and '90 NFL MVP, 1989 AP offensive player of the year, eight time pro-bowler, three time first-team All-Pro
Craig Stats: 1991 attempts (33), 8189 yards (36), 56 TDs (44), 566 receptions (76), 73 total TDs (71), 1988 AP offensive player of the year, four time pro-bowler, one time first-team All-Pro.
#2= QB- Troy Aikman and RB-Emmitt Smith: Dallas Cowboys(S.B. XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
You knew the all-time NFL rushing leader had to be somewhere towards the top of this list. I have them coming in at #2 on this list, mostly because even though he performed well, for the most part, in the three Super Bowls, Aikman didn't have the most illustrious career. His stats are good, but not great. Aikman and Smith led the Cowboys to back-to-back championships over the Bills and one over the Steelers.
Aikman Stats: 2898 completions (17), 32,942 yards (26), 165 TDs (57), 81.6 passer rating (44), 1992 Super Bowl MVP, six time pro-bowler
Smith Stats: 4409 attempts (one), 18,355 yards (one), 164 TDs (one), 515 receptions (102), 175 total TDs (two), 1990 AP offensive rookie of the year, 1993 NFL MVP, 1993 Super Bowl MVP, eight time pro-bowler, four time first-team All-Pro.
#1= QB-Kurt Warner and RB-Marshall Faulk: St. Louis Rams (S.B. XXXIV)
From grocery bagger to NFL quarterback to Super Bowl champion to number one on my list, Kurt Warner has had quite the ride. This was a tough choice but Warner and Faulk barely get the nod over Aikman and Smith. Some people may thing Warner didn't have enough great years, but I think that when he was on, he was one of the better QBs in the past couple decades. I also think he should make it into the Hall of Fame. Warner and Faulk teamed up with some damn good wide receivers to form "The Greatest Show on Turf" and were able to win Super Bowl XXXIV against the Titans.
Warner Stats: 2666 completions (27), 32,344 yards (28), 208 TDs (27), 93.7 passer rating (seven), 1999 and 2001 MVP, 1999 Super Bowl MVP, four time pro-bowler, two time first-team All-Pro
Faulk Stats: 2835 attempts (15), 12,279 yards (10), 100 TDs (seven), 767 receptions (25), 6875 yards (118), 136 combined TDs (seven), 1994 Offensive Rookie of the Year, 1999 AP offensive player of the year, 2001 AP offensive player of the year, seven time pro-bowler, three time first-team All-Pro