The Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year for the National Football League. Every year, millions of people tune in to watch the best teams in the league battle it out for the coveted Lombardi Trophy. While most Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks are considered to be some of the greatest to ever play the game, there are a few that have won the big game despite being considered the “worst” quarterback in the league. In this article, we’ll take a look back at the infamous “worst quarterback to win a Super Bowl” and see if they truly lived up to their reputation.
Before we dive into the quarterbacks themselves, it’s important to establish what criteria we’re using to determine who the “worst” quarterback to win a Super Bowl is. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be considering quarterbacks who were not considered elite or even above average during their respective Super Bowl-winning seasons. We’ll also be looking at quarterbacks who may have had a great team around them that carried them to a championship, rather than the quarterback being the driving force behind the victory.
One of the most commonly cited quarterbacks as the “worst” to win a Super Bowl is Trent Dilfer, who won Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001. Dilfer had been a journeyman quarterback throughout his career, never really finding a permanent home with any team. In the 2000 season, he was signed by the Ravens as a backup. However, when starting quarterback Tony Banks struggled, Dilfer was given the starting job.
The Ravens Defense
While Dilfer did lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl, it’s important to note that it was the defense that was the driving force behind the team’s success. The Ravens set a record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season, and their defense was dominant throughout the playoffs. Dilfer’s job was simply to not make mistakes and let the defense do the work. In the Super Bowl, Dilfer completed just 12 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown.
Trent Dilfer’s Reaction
Despite leading his team to a Super Bowl victory, Dilfer was well aware of his limitations as a quarterback. In an interview after the game, he said, “I’m not the reason we won this game. I’m just a small part of it. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.” Dilfer knew that it was the defense that won the game, and he was just happy to be along for the ride.
Another quarterback that is often mentioned as the “worst” to win a Super Bowl is Brad Johnson, who won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003. Johnson had been a solid quarterback throughout his career, but was never considered one of the elite quarterbacks in the league.
The Buccaneers Defense
Like Dilfer, Johnson’s team had a dominant defense that was the driving force behind their Super Bowl victory. The Buccaneers had one of the best defenses in the league that year, and they were able to shut down the high-powered offense of the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl. Johnson played well in the game, completing 18 of 34 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
Trent Dilfer vs Brad Johnson
So, who was the “worst” quarterback to win a Super Bowl between Dilfer and Johnson? While both quarterbacks had great defenses behind them, Johnson was able to put up better numbers in the Super Bowl than Dilfer. However, Dilfer was more of a journeyman quarterback who was never really considered a starter, while Johnson had a solid career as a starting quarterback. It’s a tough call, but if we’re going strictly by quarterback play, Johnson would be considered the better of the two.
One quarterback that might surprise some people on this list is Eli Manning, who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants in 2008 and 2012. While Manning is considered by many to be a great quarterback, he was not considered one of the elite quarterbacks in the league during his Super Bowl-winning seasons.
The Giants Defense
Like Dilfer and Johnson, Manning had a great defense behind him that helped carry the team to victory. In both Super Bowls, the Giants were able to shut down the high-powered offenses of the New England Patriots, with Manning leading game-winning drives in both games. While Manning played well in both Super Bowls, it was the defense that was the driving force behind the victories.
In the end, the “worst” quarterback to win a Super Bowl is a subjective topic. While quarterbacks like Dilfer, Johnson, and Manning may not have been considered elite during their Super Bowl-winning seasons, they were able to lead their teams to victory. In the end, it doesn’t matter how good the quarterback is as long as the team is able to win the Super Bowl.