Tom Brady joins John Elway at top of Super Bowl starts by QB list

John Elway tosses footballs to the crowd durin...

John Elway... Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

Recently, blog follower (and Boston sports fan) Dave Dryer wondered about multiple appearances by quarterbacks in the Super Bowl. Specifically, Dave wanted to know how Tom Brady making his fifth Super Bowl start in 11 years compared with other QBs who have started multiple Super Bowls.

For the record:

* Brady’s five Super Bowl starts ties him with Denver’s John Elway for most Super Bowl starts by a QB.

* Brady’s 11-year timespan from first to last Super Bowl start ranks second on the list.

* Nine quarterbacks started back-to-back Super Bowl games: Elway (twice), Brady, Terry Bradshaw (twice), Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Jim Kelly (three times; he actually started four consecutive Super Bowls), Troy Aikman, Bob Griese (twice; he actually started three consecutive Super Bowls), Fran Tarkenton, Bart Starr, Joe Theismann, and Brett Favre.

* Longest gap between Super Bowl starts by a QB? Eight years. Elway started Super Bowl 24 and the Super Bowl 32. Kurt Warner had a seven-year gap between consecutive starts (he started Super Bowl 36 and Super Bowl 43), Craig Morton also had a seven-year gap (he started Super Bowl 5 and Super Bowl 12).

Here’s a look at the 19 quarterbacks who have made (or will be making, in the case of Eli Manning) two or more starts in a Super Bowl. Also noted is the year of their first start and the year of their “last” start (Brady, Roethlisberger and Eli  & Peyton Manning are still active and may get a chance to start another Super Bowl; plus you never know if Favre will suddenly want to play again later this decade).

Quarterback           Super Bowl starts        First/Last SB start   Years

John Elway                                5                                    1987/1999                    13

Tom Brady                                 5                                    2002/2012                   11

Joe Montana                             4                                    1982/1990                     9

Roger Staubach                        4                                    1972/1979                      8

Terry Bradshaw                       4                                     1975/1980                     6

Jim Kelly                                   4                                     1991/1994                     4

Kurt Warner                             3                                     2000/2009                 10

Ben Roethlisberger                 3                                     2006/2011                    6

Troy Aikman                            3                                     1993/1996                     4

Fran Tarkenton                       3                                     1974/1977                     4

Bob Griese                                3                                     1972/1974                     3

Craig Morton                           2                                     1971/1978                      8

Eli Manning                             2                                     2008/2012                   5

Jim Plunkett                            2                                     1981/1984                    4

Len Dawson                             2                                     1967/1970                    4

Peyton Manning                     2                                     2007/2010                   4

Bart Starr                                 2                                     1967/1968                    2

Joe Theismann                       2                                     1983/1984                    2

Brett Favre                              2                                     1997/1998                     2

(Thanks, Dave, for a great suggestion!)

2 responses

  1. Thanks Jerry. Good article.

    1. Thanks, Dave for your suggestion. Unfortunately, I may have to do a blog on those QBs who have lost multiple Super Bowls. Unfortunately, some dropped passes didn’t help Brady.

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