The Top 15 Super Bowl Quarterback Performances Ever

Vincent JacksonCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2009

The Super Bowl. 

It's a game that every NFL player aspires to and works his entire career to play in, and it has provided us with some of the most incredible moments and performances in the history of the sport. 

Here are MY personal top 15 performances by quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. 

Again, this is my personal list and people can respond how ever you may choose.

15.  Tom Brady (NE)- XXXVI, W: 20-17

16/27, 145 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Though outplayed on the stat sheet by league MVP Kurt Warner, Brady led the underdog Patriots on a dramatic game-winning drive capped off by Adam Vinatieri's game-winning 48-yard kick as time ran out.

After the Rams rallied from a 14-point deficit, Brady took the ball with 1:30 left and even though John Madden famously suggested they play for overtime, the eventual Super Bowl MVP drove to the Rams' 30-yard line capping his drive with a 27-yard completion to Troy Brown and 6-yard pass to Jermaine Wiggins to set the stage for Vinatieri's kick.

14.  Jake Delhomme (CAR)- XXXVIII, L: 32-29

16/23, 323 yards, 3 TD

Delhomme played out of his skull, but unfortunately for him, Tom Brady was on the other sideline. 

His Super Bowl record 85-yard touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad gave Carolina a brief 22-21 lead in the fourth quarter before the Patriots took it back and then threw his third score of the game to Ricky Proehl to tie the game before Brady's final drive for the win.

13.  Brett Favre (GB)- XXXI, W: 35-21

14/27, 246 yards, 3 TD (2 pass, 1 rush)

Though he wasn't named MVP (Desmond Howard was), Favre did more than enough to win his first and only championship. 

In the team's America's Game documentary, Favre said he watched Joe Montana's "Black 59 Razor" audible in Super Bowl XXIV before Montana threw one of his then-record five touchdown passes

Favre copied such an audible and threw a 64-yard bomb to Andre Rison on the game's second play. He added another touchdown pass to Rison, 81 yards, to go along with a three-yard touchdown run.

Favre became the first Super Bowl winning quarterback to have at least three total touchdowns (2 throwing, 1 rushing) and not be named MVP.

12. Roger Staubach (DAL)- XIII, L: 35-31

17/30, 228 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

He may have lost but the former Navy star single-handedly kept Dallas in the game, even though he wasn't helped by Jackie Smith's infamous drop. 

The quarterback of the first defending champion to lose the Super Bowl threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, rallying Dallas from a 35-17 deficit.

11. Troy Aikman (DAL)- XXVII, W: 52-17

22/30, 273 yards, 4 TD

Aikman really did not have to do much against Buffalo as the Cowboys were in control the minute they got off the bus in Pasadena. Aikman, the game's MVP, directed the second highest single-game point total in Super Bowl history, completing 73 percent of his passes and directing quick touchdown drives. 

10. Phil Simms (NYG)- XXI, W: 39-20

22/25, 268 yards, 3 TD

Though he trailed 10-9, Simms was razor sharp completing the then-single game completion percentage record for a postseason game (Tom Brady broke the record in 2007). At one point, Simms completed 10 passes in a row and was the first Super Bowl MVP to proclaim, "I'm goin' to Disney World!" 

9.  Kurt Warner (STL)- XXXIV, W: 23-16

24/45, 414 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

In probably one of the greatest finishes in Super Bowl history, Warner led "The Greatest Show on Turf" to a dramatic victory. His 75-yard pass to Issac Bruce gave the Rams the lead before Steve McNair almost one-upped him but came up a yard short. 

Warner's 414 passing yards is a game record and is still the only 400-yard passing game in Super Bowl history.

8. John Elway (DEN)- XXXIII, W 34-19

18/29, 336 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

In the final game of one of the most clutch quarterbacks of all time, John Elway got things started with a bang with an 80-yard strike to Rod Smith on his first drive. 

Adding in a rushing score as well, Elway's second straight championship would prove to be his finest hour. 

7. Doug Williams (WAS)- XXII, W: 42-10

18/29, 340 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT

Not known so much for the score but for the fact that Williams was the first African-American quarterback to ever start and win a Super Bowl. After John Elway and Denver took a 10-0 lead into the second quarter, the Redskins exploded and Williams threw all four of his touchdown passes in one quarter, which is a game record.

6. Joe Montana (SF)- XXIII, W: 20-16

23/36, 257 yards, 2 TD, O INT

Don't worry, this won't be the last time he's here. Montana's 16-yard score to John Taylor capped off one of the greatest Super Bowl winning drives ever with Montana famously telling his team in the huddle, "Hey, isn't that John Candy over there?"

The 11-play, 92-yard drive was absolute magic, highlighted by Jerry Rice's 27-yard completion that nearly went for a touchdown before being tackled from being by Ray Horton. San Francisco dominated offensively, outgaining the Bengals 453 yards to 229.

5.  Eli Manning (NYG)- XLII, W: 17-14

19/34, 255 yards, 2 TD

He had been torched in the papers and on the radio. Even a great road playoff run did not satisfy New York sports fans' hunger for a championship.

Eli Manning faced the biggest game of his career against a team that was 60 minutes from perfection.

After throwing a touchdown pass to David Tyree in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady led the 18-0 Patriots on a touchdown drive and capped it with a six-yard score to Randy Moss with 2:42 left.

Manning took the field on his own 14-yard line with almost 200 million people watching and was unwavered under the pressure. His greatest moment came on a third down situation with just over a minute left.

He took the snap and was grabbed by two Patriot defenders but fought threw the grasp and rolled to his right, threw up a pass to David Tyree who somehow caught it with one hand against his helmet while being defended by Rodney Harrison.

Four plays later, Manning threw the game-winning 13-yard pass to Plaxico Burress in the back left corner of the end zone with 32 seconds left.

Hailed as a hero and branded an official New York sports legend, Manning was named MVP of one of the biggest upsets in sports history.

4.  Tom Brady (NE)- XXXVIII, W: 32-29

32-48, 354 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

The Patriots and Panthers kept trading haymakers but Tom Brady landed the final, knockout punch. In a game that was supposed to be dominated by defense, Brady and Jake Delhomme (323 yards, 3 TD in a losing effort) engaged in a classic slugfest before the Patriots took the field with 1:48 left.

In winning his second Super Bowl MVP award, Brady completed four passes on the final drive and Adam Vinatieri made his second Super Bowl winning field goal with four seconds left to give New England its second title in three years. Brady's 32 pass completions are a game record.

3. Terry Bradshaw (PIT)- XIII, W: 35-31

17-30, 318 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT

"The Blond Bombshell" picked the perfect time to throw for more than 300 yards in a game in his illustrious Hall of Fame career.

En route to his third of four Lombardi Trophies, Bradshaw, named MVP, threw a then-Super Bowl record four touchdown passes and would need them all to hold off a furious rally by Roger Staubach and the Cowboys.  

2. Steve Young (SF)- XXIX, W: 49-26

29-46, 325 yards, 6 TD

Steve Young told his teammates to "get the monkey off my back," and they did.

Young was unstoppable and the San Diego Chargers were helpless to do anything about it. His game-record six touchdown passes sparked a scoring outburst in a game that was never in doubt.

The 49ers had been denied the Super Bowl time and again since Young took over for Joe Montana in 1991 and once taking the field in Miami, San Francisco was an unstoppable machine. 

The 1994 NFL MVP took his momentum into the biggest game of his career and took out his frustrations against the Chargers, striking immediately to Jerry Rice; he would find Rice three times that night.

No matter what San Diego threw at him, Young would not be denied and when it was over and he clutched the Lombardi Trophy in his hands and would not let it go.

1. Joe Montana (SF)- XXIV, W: 55-10

22-29, 357 yards, 5 TD

In winning his fourth championship and record third Super Bowl MVP, "Joe Cool" was spectacular in the most lopsided victory in the game's history. 

Montana, also the 1989 NFL MVP, was as sharp as a tack and the 49ers defense helped him out immensely. He completed 76 percent of his passes against the league's top scoring defense, throwing three scores to Jerry Rice. 

Montana finished his Super Bowl career undefeated in four career games with ZERO interceptions and the highest career passer rating at 127.8.

Like I said, if you have a problem with the list please feel free to comment. I'll do the top Super Bowl performances by running back and wide receivers in later articles.


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