The 5 Worst Super Bowl Winning Quarterbacks of the Past Two Decades
Sorry for the super clickbaity headline but it’s rolls off the tongue a lot better than “The 5 Worst Super Bowl Winning Quarterbacks of the Past Two Decades (since 1998) sorted by Quarterback Rating (Football Reference not ESPN)”. Either way, if you’re a fan of any of these teams or any of these quarterbacks, this is an unbiased look at the 5-worst regular seasons by a Super Bowl winning quarterback based on Quarterback Rating. So don’t take too much stock in this. Regardless of any unflattering numbers or words surrounding these players is easily dismissed with the “shut up and count the rings” argument.
5. 80.1 Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers 2008
One fairly obvious and noticeable similarity among these quarterbacks is that they were backed by an elite defense and were able to move the ball enough to not lose. The 2008 Steelers gave up the least amount of points in the NFL led in large part to Pro Bowlers James Farrier, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison. That certainly made Roethlisberger’s job much easier. His 17 to 15 touchdown to interception ratio is certainly nothing to write home about. At the very least Big Ben, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes scored just enough to get the Steelers the lead and then from there all you have to do is manage the game and let the defense do their thing.
4. 79.5 Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles 2017
Of this list of Super Bowl QBs, Foles is the only one that won it all as an injury replacement. His 79.5 QB Rating with just three games started was a pretty small sample size to judge. While there were certainly some doubts that the downgrade from injured MVP candidate Carson Wentz to the backup would ruin Philadelphia’s season, Foles more than rose to the occasion. This Eagles team in general was just a juggernaut on both sides of the ball finishing with third most points for while giving up the fourth least amount of points. With weapons like Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement and Torrey Smith, the offense didn’t miss a beat with Foles taking snaps. If somebody told me in September that Nick Foles would be the Super Bowl MVP there’s not a chance that I would have believed such a preposterous idea. But here we are.
3. 76.6 Trent Dilfer, Baltimore Ravens 2000
Initially brought on to be the backup for Tony Banks, Trent Dilfer proved to be the least nauseating of the two QBs. Dilfer did just enough to let a number 1 ranked defense roll its way to a Super Bowl win. Of any championship quarterback, Dilfer might have the least accolades of any of them. One Pro Bowl appearance (1997 with Tampa) and 70.2 Quarterback Rating over 13 seasons is a pretty quiet and inoffensive career beyond that Super Bowl ring. After winning in 2000 the Ravens let Dilfer walk in free agency making him the first quarterback to be let go after winning a Super Bowl.
2. 73.9 Eli Manning, New York Giants 2007
Eli is a complete enigma. There is a chance that he makes the Pro Football Hall of Fame purely off of the strength of his two Super Bowls. He is a completely average regular season quarterback who somehow finds another gear when his nine-win Giants teams fall ass backwards into the playoffs. Eli threw a whopping 20 interceptions in 2007 only to go on to win Super Bowl MVP with a Patriots-vanquishing 255 yard, 2 touchdown performance in the same season. What is Eli Manning?
1. 67.9 Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos 2015
It seems unfair to include this considering his storied career, but realistically 2015 Peyton wasn’t Hall of Fame Peyton. The 39-year old husk of a quarterback was struggling to even make the short passes at this point in his career. This Super Bowl was won purely on the back of one of the best defenses of all-time: TJ Ward, Chris Harris, Aqib Talib, Demarcus Ware and Von Miller all Pro Bowlers that season. Manning was so bad that Denver strongly considered Brock Osweiller in the playoffs over him–in the Broncos defense, Osweiller was pretty decent in limited time that year. It seems criminal that out of all of the MVP calibre seasons that Peyton strung together with little playoff hardware to show for it, that one of his two Super Bowls could have been won with almost anyone else in the league taking the snaps.
Here’s the full list of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks with their regular season stats in their winning seasons: