Patriots' Eason bottoms out with an O-fer

From Joe Montana to Tony Eason, ranks the Super Bowl starting quarterbacks from 1-82.

Originally Published: January 22, 2008
By Allison Wachs |

Aikman, Roethlisberger, and EasonGetty Images, US Presswire Troy Aikman, left, was 3-0 in Super Bowls. Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger played poorly in his only SB appearance. Tony Eason failed to complete a pass for the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.
Through 41 Super Bowls, there have been 51 different starting quarterbacks. Among them are players who put up monster numbers and won regular-season MVP awards, and guys who still make us wonder how they ever started a Super Bowl.

Our list is top-heavy with 49ers (Joe Montana and Steve Young) and bottom-heavy with Hall of Famers (John Elway, John Unitas) and guys who will get into the Hall only with a ticket (Kerry Collins, Rich Gannon).

Here is's ranking of the Super Bowl performances of the starting quarterbacks, from best to worst:

51-60 | 61-70 | 71-82 | 1-40

41. Troy Aikman, Cowboys, Super Bowl XXVIII (1994)

Stats: 19-27, 207 yards, 0 TD, 1 interception in 30-13 win over Bills.
Aikman's performance was fairly nondescript. He made the throws when he had to and did not get in Super Bowl MVP Emmitt Smith's way (132 yards rushing) as the Cowboys outscored Buffalo 24-0 in the second half.

42. Len Dawson, Chiefs, Super Bowl I (1967)

Stats: 16-27, 211 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception in 35-10 loss to Packers.
Dawson put up decent numbers, but the Chiefs failed to score in the second half en route to a decisive loss.

43. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks, Super Bowl XL (2006)

Stats: 26-49, 273 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception in 21-10 loss to Steelers.
Playing from behind for most of the game, the Seahawks were depending on Hasselbeck's arm. He threw just one interception in his 49 attempts, but it came when Seattle was threatening to score and take the lead in the fourth quarter.

44. Joe Theismann, Redskins, Super Bowl XVII (1983)

Stats: 15-23, 143 yards, 2 TD, 2 interceptions in 27-17 win over Dolphins.
Theismann methodically managed the game for the Redskins and let John Riggins (166 yards rushing) do most of the work.

45. Daryle Lamonica, Raiders, Super Bowl II (1968)

Stats: 15-34, 208 yards, 2 TD, 1 interception in 33-14 loss to Packers.
Lamonica did not have a terrible game statistically, but his second touchdown pass came well after the game was out of hand.

46. Fran Tarkenton, Vikings, Super Bowl VIII (1974)

Stats: 18-28, 182 yards, 1 rush TD, 0 interceptions in 24-7 loss to Dolphins.
Tarkenton and the Vikings were dominated from the start. Minnesota's only touchdown came on Tarkenton's 4-yard run with the Vikings down 24-0.

47. Terry Bradshaw, Steelers, Super Bowl IX (1975)

Stats: 9-14, 96 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions in 16-6 win over Vikings.
As he usually did, Bradshaw made the big throw when it counted, securing the Steelers' win with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Larry Brown in the fourth quarter.

48. Dan Marino, Dolphins, Super Bowl XIX (1985)

Stats: 29-50, 318 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions in 38-16 loss to 49ers.
In a game that featured one of the best regular-season quarterbacks ever against one of the best postseason quarterbacks ever, Marino was unable to keep the momentum from his 1984 regular season (48 TD passes) going.

49. Roger Staubach, Cowboys, Super Bowl X (1976)

Stats: 15-24, 204 yards, 2 TD, 2 interceptions in 21-17 loss to Steelers.
Staubach's third interception of the game came in the end zone on the last play of the game.

50. Trent Dilfer, Ravens, Super Bowl XXXV (2001)

Stats: 12-25, 153 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions in 34-7 win over Giants.
Dilfer did his best to just stay out of the way while the Ravens' defense dominated. He had a 38-yard touchdown pass and would have done even more damage if he hadn't missed open receivers on several occasions.


Stats: 18-30, 212 yards, 0 TD, 0 interceptions in 20-19 loss to Giants.
It wasn't an overwhelming performance by Kelly, but he should be given credit for putting his team in position for a game-winning field goal attempt. Paging Scott Norwood.

Stats: 16-25, 172 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions in 38-9 win over Redskins.
Plunkett's touchdown pass put the Raiders up 14-0 and Marcus Allen took it from there, racking up 191 rushing yards in the lopsided victory.

Stats: 24-49, 275 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions in 49-26 loss to 49ers.
From the start, Humphries and the Chargers were blown away by a better 49ers team. Humphries fared better than his team's defense, which surrendered 455 yards.

Stats: 12-22, 123 yards, 1 rush TD, 1 interception in 31-24 win over Packers.
It's hard to believe that Elway's first Super Bowl triumph is ranked so low, but he did little to help his team win this game. Terrell Davis carried the offense with 157 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Stats: 31-50, 260 yards, 0 TD, 1 interception in 30-13 loss to Cowboys.
The Bills had a 13-6 lead at the half but were shut out in the second half en route to their fourth straight Super Bowl loss. Kelly's 31 completions were a Super Bowl record at the time.

Stats: 28-58, 275 yards, 2 TD, 4 interceptions in 37-24 loss to Redskins.
Kelly was forced to lead the Bills from behind the entire game, leading to his Super Bowl-record 58 pass attempts.

Stats: 25-48, 253 yards, 2 TD, 4 interceptions in 35-21 loss to Packers.
Bledsoe threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter to give the Patriots the lead. In the fourth quarter, he was picked off twice, spoiling a comeback attempt.

Stats: 8-11, 88 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception in 14-7 win over Redskins.
Don Shula and the Dolphins found a winning formula -- Griese passed infrequently as Miami amassed 184 rushing yards and completed a perfect season.

Stats: 6-7, 73 yards, 0 TD, 0 interceptions in 24-7 win over Vikings.
It's hard to imagine a starting quarterback doing less -- Griese attempted 18 passes in Miami's Super Bowl VII and VIII wins. This game was similar to Super Bowl VII, with the Dolphins getting major production (196 yards) from the running game.

Stats: 17-35, 205 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions in 32-14 loss to Raiders.
With the game basically out of hand in the second half, Tarkenton was pulled in favor of Bob Lee.


Stats: 19-35, 219 yards, 1 TD, 3 interceptions in 34-19 loss to Broncos.
Chandler's game was summed up by his throwing interceptions to Darrien Gordon on consecutive possessions deep in Broncos territory.

Stats: 20-28, 165 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions in 29-17 loss to Colts.
Grossman's turnover woes from the regular season carried over to the Super Bowl; he lost a fumble and threw two interceptions, including one returned 56 yards for a TD by Kelvin Hayden.

Stats: 16-25, 183 yards, 0 TD, 2 interceptions in 23-7 loss to Chiefs.
Kapp and the heavily favored Vikings could not get things going offensively against Kansas City. Kapp had a reputation as a solid running quarterback, but he managed only 9 rushing yards.

64. Joe Theismann, Redskins, Super Bowl XVIII (1984)

Stats: 16-35, 243 yards, 0 TD, 2 interceptions in 38-9 loss to Raiders.
Theismann, the regular season MVP, had a nightmarish performance in which he was sacked six times and threw two interceptions, including one returned 5 yards for a TD by Jack Squirek.

65. Bob Griese, Dolphins, Super Bowl VI (1972)

Stats: 12-23, 134 yards, 0 TD, 1 interception in 24-3 loss to Cowboys.
The Dolphins were dominated from the beginning; Griese's offense had possession for only 20 minutes, 48 seconds. Bob Lilly chased down Griese for a Super Bowl record 29-yard sack.

66. Boomer Esiason, Bengals, Super Bowl XXIII (1989)

Stats: 11-25, 144 yards, 0 TD, 1 interception in 20-16 loss to 49ers.
Esiason was unable to recreate the magic that earned him MVP during the regular season. The Bengals finished with 229 yards as Esiason and the Bengals got off to a slow start and never recovered.

67. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, Super Bowl XL (2006)

Stats: 9-21, 123 yards, 1 rush TD, 2 interceptions in 21-10 win over Seahawks.
The Steelers won despite the performance by their quarterback. Aside from his rushing touchdown, Roethlisberger was ineffective and had the worst passer rating (22.6) by any starting quarterback in a Super Bowl win.

68. David Woodley, Dolphins, Super Bowl XVII (1983)

Stats: 4-14, 97 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception in 27-17 loss to Redskins.
Seventy-six of Woodley's passing yards came on a touchdown pass to Jimmy Cefalo. Woodley was benched late in the game in favor of Don Strock.

69. John Elway, Broncos, Super Bowl XXIV (1990)

Stats: 10-26, 108 yards, 1 rush TD, 2 interceptions in 55-10 loss to 49ers.
Overshadowed by Joe Montana's masterful performance (see No. 1), the Elway-led offense was nonproductive. Elway rushed for the team's only score, but it was well after the game was out of reach.

70. Ron Jaworski. Eagles, Super Bowl XV (1981)

Stats: 18-38, 291 yards, 1 TD, 3 interceptions in 27-10 loss to Raiders.
Jaworski's only Super Bowl start was a forgettable one -- he turned the ball over four times, had a long touchdown pass nullified by penalty, and his only touchdown pass that counted came in the fourth quarter.


Stats: 28-49, 239 yards, 1 TD, 3 interceptions in 27-17 loss to Cowboys.
The Steelers dominated the second half, outgaining the Cowboys 201-61 in yards. But O'Donnell's interceptions -- two by Larry Brown -- killed Pittsburgh's chances.

Stats: 4-7, 82 yards, 0 TD, 2 interceptions in 52-17 loss to Cowboys.
This was the most disastrous of Kelly's four Super Bowl losses. He had three turnovers -- including a fumble returned 2 yards by Jimmie Jones for a touchdown -- and left the game in the second quarter with an injury.

Stats: 14-38, 257 yards, 1 TD, 3 interceptions in 42-10 loss to Redskins.
Behind Elway, the Broncos jumped to a 10-0 lead, but as you can guess, that didn't last long. Elway was sacked five times en route to a lopsided loss.

Stats: 11-26, 102 yards, 0 TD, 3 interceptions in 16-6 loss to Steelers.
The Tarkenton-led offense was limited to just 119 total yards, and the Minnesota QB was harassed all game by the Steel Curtain.

Stats: 14-28, 104 yards, 0 TD, 3 interceptions in 14-7 loss to Dolphins.
It's amazing that the Redskins were still in the game despite Kilmer's poor showing, but Washington did manage 141 rushing yards.

Stats: 3-9, 88 yards, 0 TD, 2 interceptions in 16-13 win over Cowboys.
Unitas is the lowest-ranked winning quarterback on our list. Not only did he struggle when he was in the game, he left the game in the first half with an injury and was replaced by Earl Morrall.

Stats: 12-26, 127 yards, 1 TD, 3 interceptions in 16-13 loss to Colts.
Needless to say, the quarterback play in Super Bowl V left a lot to be desired. Morton and the Cowboys were unable to take advantage of Baltimore's quarterback struggles -- the Cowboys' QB threw two of his three picks in the second half of a close game.

Stats: 15-39, 112 yards, 0 TD, 4 interceptions in 34-7 loss to Ravens.
Collins and the Giants' offense were completely outclassed by the Ravens' defense. Collins averaged less than 3 yards per pass attempt and was sacked four times.

Stats: 6-17, 71 yards, 0 TD, 3 interceptions in 16-7 loss to Jets.
Morrall, the regular season MVP, put up an ugly showing despite his Colts being heavily favored. The Colts' only touchdown came on a drive led by Johnny Unitas, who came off the bench to replace Morrall.

Stats: 24-44, 272 yards, 2 TD, 5 interceptions in 48-21 loss to Buccaneers.
Gannon threw for five touchdowns -- unfortunately for him, three were to the other team. On a positive note, he made Buccaneers safety Dexter Jackson a rich man. Jackson, who had two picks, was named Super Bowl MVP and parlayed that into a big free-agent contract with Arizona.

Stats: 4-15, 39 yards, 0 TD, 4 interceptions in 27-10 loss to Cowboys.
Morton has the dubious distinction of having two of the six worst starts by a quarterback in Super Bowl history.

Stats: 0-6, 0 yards, 0 TD, 0 interceptions in 46-10 loss to Bears.

While Morton gave him a run for his money, Eason's performance is the worst ever. In addition to his awful passing stats, he lost a fumble and not surprisingly was yanked in the second quarter.

Click here for Nos. 1-40.

Allison Wachs is an NFL researcher for ESPN.