With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday between the Eagles and Patriots, it is clear to all football fans that New England is the clear favorite to win it all once again. But both teams in this year’s Super Bowl finished at 13-3, why are the Patriots the clear favorite? Well, the Patriots will have their all-time great quarterback Tom Brady leading the charge, while Philidelphia will be lead by their backup QB, Nick Foles. Philidelphia’s starting QB (and MVP candidate) Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending injury in one of the last games of the season, leading to Foles taking the quarterback reigns from there on out. Most believe that Nick Foles doesn’t stand a chance on Sunday vs. Mr. Brady, but don’t be too surprised if Foles is able to pull off the “unthinkable”, it has been done in previous Super Bowls.
With that, let’s take a look at the top five quarterbacks that shocked the world by winning the Super Bowl, guys that when you hear their name, your response will probably be, who?
5. Kurt Warner, Super Bowl XXXIV
Yes, I get it, you’re probably not asking who when it comes to Kurt Warner, in fact, he was one of the better quarterbacks of this millennium so far, so then why is he on this list you might ask. Well to understand why Kurt is on this underdog list, you must know his underdog story. Warner went undrafted in 1994, played in the Arena Football League from 1995-1997, and afterward in the now dissolved NFL Europe league for a season. In 1998 he signed with the St. Louis Rams but did not get the starting job until ’99 when then Rams starting QB Trent Green went down with a season-ending injury in the preseason. When Warner’s opportunity arose, he ran with it. Warner would go on to start all 16 games for the Rams in 1999, finishing with over 4000 passing yards on the year with 41 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In the Super Bowl in early 2000, Warner would throw 414 yards to go along with two touchdowns to lead the Rams to a Superbowl victory over Tennessee.
4. Jim Plunkett, Super Bowl XV
Jim Plunkett was taken number 1 overall by the Patriots in 1971, but struggled right off the bat and rode the bench for most of his time in New England. In 1976 he was traded to the 49ers, where he also had minimal success. He signed with the Raiders in 1978 and finally got his opportunity to be the Raiders starting QB in 1980 when then Raiders starter Dan Pastorini went down with an injury. Plunkett started the Raiders final 11 regular season games, leading them to nine victories. Plunkett would lead the Raiders all the way to the Super Bowl, and in the Super Bowl Plunkett would throw for 261 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl title over Philidelphia. Jim would go on to win NFL comeback player of the year in 1980 for his performance that season.
3. Trent Dilfer, Super Bowl XXXV
Trent Dilfer joined the Ravers in 2000 after over half a decade playing for Tampa Bay. Trent rode the bench until week 9 when he finally got his opportunity to lead Baltimore’s offense. Once Trent became the started, he won all the remaining regular season games except one. Trent continued to lead the Ravens throughout the NFL playoffs and all the way to the Super Bowl, even though he only threw three touchdowns through four postseason games. Although in the Super Bowl Dilfer only threw for 153 years and one touchdown, Baltimore would go on to win the Super Bowl in a commanding 34-7 win over the Giants.
2. Jeff Hostetler, Super Bowl XXV
Jeff Hostetler had ridden the NY Giants bench since 1984, but finally, late in the 1990 season, Hostetler would get his shot at stardom. Giants starting QB Phil Simms went down with an injury in week 14 of the 1990 season, making Hostetler the new Giants starter. He would start the Giants final two regular season games, winning only one of them, but once the playoffs came around, Jeff kicked it into full gear. Hostetler played three games for the Gmen in that postseason, not throwing a single interception in those three appearances. In the Super Bowl, Hostetler threw for 222 yards and one touchdown to lead the Giants in a nailbiting 20-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
1. Doug Williams, Super Bowl XXII
Doug Williams was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1978, he shared some relative success in Tampa, leading them to three postseason appearances in his time there. After leaving the Bucs in 1982, he did not return to the NFL until 1986 with the Redskins. While Williams only would get two starts for the Redskins in 1987, he was their starting QB once the ’87 postseason rolled around. Williams over 3 postseason games that year would throw for seven touchdowns and 666 passing yards, leading Washington to a Super Bowl victory. In the Super Bowl, Williams threw for a commanding 340 yards and four touchdowns, outperforming all-time great QB John Elway. Williams would take home the Super Bowl MVP and become the first African-American QB ever to win a Super Bowl, beating Elway’s Broncos by a blowout score of 42-10.