Last week Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers and St. Louis Rams QB Austin Davis each completed over 85% of their passes in a game. Rodgers was 19 of 22 (86.4 completion rate) in Green Bay’s win over Carolina, while Davis was 18 of 21 (85.7 completion rate) in the Rams upset of Seattle. It was only the third time since 1966 that two QBs had a completion rate over 85% in a game (minimum of 20 pass attempts) in the same week. It happened December 27, 2009 when Tom Brady and Drew Brees did it, and it also happened earlier that season when Brett Favre and Kurt Warner did it in games in the same week (September 20).
For Davis, it was his first NFL game with a 85% completion rate. For Rodgers, on the other hand, this was his second such game. He did it in a playoff game against the Falcons in January, 2011 when he completed 31 of 36 passes (86.1% completion rate). Rodgers became the 14th QB in the Super Bowl era to have multiple games with an 85% or higher completion rate. (Note: He became the second Packers QB on this list. The other? Lynn Dickey. Favre is on the list with two such games, but he got his as the Vikings QB.)
Here’s a look at those 14 QBs with two or more games of completing 85% or more of their passes in a game (minimum of 20 pass attempts).
6: Drew Brees
3: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner
2: Ken Anderson, Mark Brunell, Lynn Dickey, Jim Everett, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ken Stabler, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Young
The highest completion percentage since 1966 in a game with a minimum of 20 pass attempts is 92.9% by Brady in a January 12, 2008 playoff game against Jacksonville. Brady completed 26 of 28 passes in that game.
Seven QBs have completed 90% (or better) of their pass attempts in a game since the 1966 season. They are:
Tom Brady, New England, January 12, 2008: 26 of 28 (92.9%)
Kurt Warner, Arizona, September 20, 2009: 24 of 26 (92.3%)
Vinny Testaverde, Cleveland, December 26, 1993: 21 of 23 (91.3%)
Ken Anderson, Cincinnati, November 10, 1974: 20 of 22 (90.9%)
Lynn Dickey, Green Bay, December 13, 1981: 19 of 21 (90.5%)
Steve Young, San Francisco, October 20, 1991: 18 of 20 (90%)
Philip Rivers, San Diego, November 1, 2012: 18 of 20 (90%)
It’s interesting to note that of the 62 times since 1966 that a QB had completed 85% or more of his passes in a game (minimum of 20 attempts) that the QB’s team has won 58 of those games. Last QB to lose such a game was Drew Brees on December 27, 2009 when he completed 32 of 37 passes (86.5%) in a 20-17 loss to Tampa Bay.
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The San Francisco 49ers fell three points short in Super Bowl XLVII, but a look at the boxscore reveals that the team did achieve a rare feat in their 34-31 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed for 302 yards; running back Frank Gore had 110 yards rushing; and, receivers Michael Crabtree (109 yards) and Vernon Davis (104) each passed the 100-yard mark in receiving yards. This was the first time in Super Bowl history that a team that had a running back with 100-plus yards, a receiver with 100-plus yards, and a QB with 300-plus yards lost in the Super Bowl.
This 100-100-300 trifecta had happened only twice before in the 47-year history of the Super Bowl: The Washington Redskins did it in 1988 with running back Timmy Smith, receiver Ricky Sanders and QB Doug Williams. The Denver Broncos did it in 1999 with running back Terrell Davis, receiver Rod Smith and QB John Elway.
You will also notice that this was the second time in Super Bowl history that the team that lost had teammates both gain 100 or more yards receiving. The Cincinnati Bengals receiving duo of Cris Collingsworth and Dan Ross did it their 1982 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Here’s a look at the runners with 100-plus yards, receivers with 100-plus yards, and QBs with 300-plus yards in a Super Bowl loss.
Runners with 100-plus yards in a Super Bowl loss
Thurman Thomas, Buffalo, 1991, 135 yards
Tom Matte, Baltimore, 1969, 116 yards
Thomas Jones, Chicago, 2007, 112 yards
Frank Gore, San Francisco, 2013, 110 yards
Receivers with 100-plus yards in a Super Bowl loss
Andre Reed, Buffalo, 1993, 152 yards
Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina, 2004, 140 yards
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, 2009, 127 yards
Antonio Freeman, Green Bay, 1998, 126 yards
Terrell Owens, Philadelphia, 2005, 122 yards
Vance Johnson, Denver, 1987, 121 yards
John Henderson, Minnesota, 1970, 111 yards
Michael Crabtree, San Francisco, 2013, 109 yards
Cris Collingsworth, Cincinnati, 1982, 107 yards
Dan Ross, Cincinnati, 1982, 104 yards
Vernon Davis, San Francisco, 2013, 104 yards
Wes Welker, New England, 2008, 103 yards
Quarterbacks with 300-plus yards passing in Super Bowl loss
Kurt Warner, Arizona, 2009, 377 yards
Kurt Warner, St. Louis, 2002, 365 yards
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia, 2005, 357 yards
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis, 2010, 333 yards
Jake Delhomme, Carolina, 2004, 323 yards
Dan Marino, Miami, 1985, 318 yards
John Elway, Denver, 1987, 304 yards
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco, 2013, 302 yards
Ken Anderson, Cincinnati, 1982, 300 yards
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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!)