From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)
Despite only nine career regular starts at quarterback (seven regular season and two playoff), the legend of second-year San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick continued to grow as the 2012 season came to a close. With a start at QB in the Super Bowl after only seven regular-season starts, Kaepernick’s legend certainly could have skyrocketed with a Super Bowl win, but the Ravens had other ideas.
But just taking the field as the 49ers QB was enough to put Kaepernick in special company. Consider this: Kaepernick became the fifth starting QB in Super Bowl history with less than half of his team’s regular-season starts at that position. Kaepernick started seven of the 49ers 16 games, replacing an injured Alex Smith in the 10th game of the year. He led the 49ers to a win over Chicago and never relinquished the starting position. San Francisco went 5-2 in the games he started at QB.
Kaepernick’s seven starts in the regular season is not, however, the fewest by a Super Bowl quarterback in that season. A pair of NFC QB’s had only two regular starts in the year that they started the Super Bowl. Washington’s Doug Williams started only two regular season games (Washington lost both games) for the Redskins in the 1987 season replacing Jay Schroeder, but he started at QB for the Redskins when they went on to win the Super Bowl that year. Williams was the MVP of that game.
New York Giant Jeff Hostetler in 1990 started only a pair of regular season contests for the “G-Men” replacing an injured Phil Simms. The Giants won the Super Bowl that year.
Here’s a look at the five QBs who started less than half their teams regular-season games in a year when they started at QB in the Super Bowl.
Season, QB, team, regular-season starts at QB
1972: Bob Griese, Miami (five regular-season starts)
1979: Vince Ferragamo, L.A. Rams (five regular-season starts)
1987: Doug Williams, Washington (two regular-season starts)
1990: Jeff Hostetler, N.Y. Giants (two regular-season starts)
2012: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (seven regular-season starts)
Note: Two more Super Bowl starting quarterbacks started only seven games in the regular season before their Super Bowl start: Len Dawson and Terry Bradshaw. For both Dawson and Bradshaw, those seven starts represented exactly half of the 14 games their teams played that season.
One more note: Of the 94 starting QBs in the 47-year history of the Super Bowl, 47 (exactly half) started all of his team’s regular-season games that season.
“99 Stats Before Kickoff” (Stats you need to know before the start of the 2013 NFL season) is available from e-book publisher Smashwords. Go to www.smashwords.com to download a copy, including a pdf version which can be viewed on your home computer. Cost is $2.99.