Best Super Bowl QB Matchups

Best Super Bowl Quarterback Match-Ups of All-Time

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Super Bowl XXXII: John Elway vs. Brett Favre

Favre was the 3-time running MVP, facing the old warrior in Elway–a standout quarterback forever plagued by not only losing Super Bowls, but getting annihilated in them. Favre was in his prime at 28, riding the crest of an incredible wave of success. Green Bay was favored by 11 points and the defending Super Bowl Champion. In addition, the AFC had not won any of the last 13 Super Bowls and Denver had lost 4 of their own. Elway was 37 and close to retirement, but this was Denver’s night, as the veteran outplayed the young stud for Denver’s first Super Bowl win. For a guy who had such a great career, it’s strange that Elway’s legacy would be so wrapped up in one game, but such was the case. And Elway answered the call and then some.

Super Bowl XIX: Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino

The two ultimate quarterbacks from the 80’s duking it out. Montana, the veteran, showed he had the right stuff over the young Marino. The 23-year old Dolphins superstar racked up mind-blowing numbers with over 5000 yards passing and 48 touchdowns. That Miami offense was intimidating as they were explosive. But in the other corner was the cool and calculating Montana, who had led the 49ers to a 15-1 season, becoming the first team to win 15 regular season games. It wasn’t easy at first, with the Dolphins getting off to a lead. But Montana got the Niners offense in gear, scoring 21 second-quarter points and ten more unanswered points to open the second half–putting the game out of reach for Marino and the Dolphins.

Super Bowl XLVI: Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady

It wasn’t so much the status of these two quarterbacks, but this was a rematch between the quarterback of the decade (Brady) against his nemesis who had already ruined one Super Bowl for the Patriots, when they spoiled their perfect season several years previously. And while Manning cannot compete with Brady’s career stats, he again proved to be a thorn in the side of the Patriots superstar, taking the rematch, 21-17 for his second Super Bowl ring and giving credence to his standing as one of the best quarterbacks of the era.


Super Bowl XIII: Terry Bradshaw vs. Roger Staubach

Staubach, 36, had set a career high in passing yards as he once again led the Cowboys to the big game. Bradshaw, 30, had another big year, leading the NFL in touchdown throws. What made it better was that it was the first-ever Super Bowl rematch, with the Steelers having beaten the Cowboys in Super Bowl X. In this heavyweight battle of Super Bowl-proven quarterbacks, Staubach hung in there with Bradshaw the best he could, but costly team mistakes cost him the win in 35-31 slugfest that went to the Steelers.

Super Bowl XLV: Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger

At 28, Roethlisberger was already a Super Bowl Champion and going for number two against burgeoning star Aaron Rodgers in this battle of two traditionally-winning franchises. Roethlisberger had missed some time during the regular season, but was deadly efficient upon his return, throwing 17 touchdowns against only 5 picks. Meanwhile, Rodgers had established his credentials, averaging over 4000 passing over the past 3 seasons. In a good game, Rodgers managed to add a ring to his growing legacy, as the Packers won 31-25.

Super Bowl I: Bart Starr vs. Len Dawson

In the first championship game between the NFL and AFL, it was only fitting to have the two signature quarterbacks of the 60’s involved. Dawson, 31, was established as one of the best, leading the league in touchdowns again, for the 4th out of 5 seasons. In the other corner was the immortal Bart Starr, the grizzly 32-year old field general–already a 3-time NFL champion. It wasn’t much of a game, but it wasn’t supposed to be, with the mighty Packers favored by 14 points. And the 35-10 score isn’t a good reflection on Dawson, who was otherwise a splendid quarterback.