Super Bowl LV on Sunday is going to be one of the best of all-time in terms of the quarterback matchup. Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, and reigning Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, are set to go head-to-head. However, not all quarterbacks that have started games in the Super Bowl were among the best in the NFL. Here are the five worst quarterbacks to start an NFL Super Bowl, in honor of this great matchup.
5 Worst Quarterbacks to Start a Super Bowl
5 | Nick Foles | Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl LII
As a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, it pains me to have to put Nick Foles on this list. However, when looking at his career résumé, it has to be done. Foles broke onto the scene in 2013, when he was an MVP candidate after throwing 27 touchdowns, compared to only two interceptions. However, in 2014, things started to go downhill for Foles as he suffered a broken collarbone. After a horrendous year with the Rams in 2015, Foles spent 2016 as a backup to Alex Smith in Kansas City.
Everyone knows what happened in 2017. Carson Wentz, who was having an MVP-caliber year, suffered a torn ACL, and Foles came in under center. After a poor showing in the few final regular-season games, Nick found his 2013 form in the playoffs and had an all-time performance in the Super Bowl to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots. Foles has struggled throughout his career outside of Philly, with a 10-24 record, when playing for anyone besides the Eagles. Most recently, he lost his starting job on the Bears to Mitch Trubisky in 2020.
4 | Trent Dilfer | Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XXXV
That’s right, Trent Dilfer, a current ESPN analyst, was once a Super Bowl champion quarterback. During the 2000-2001 season, the Ravens had one of the best defenses in the league, with Dilfer leading the offense under center. While he was underwhelming in the regular season with a 12-11 touchdown to interception ratio, Dilfer led his team to the big game where he helped to defeat the New York Giants.
Outside of that year, Dilfer was mostly a career backup. He also had stints with Tampa Bay, Seattle, Cleveland, and San Francisco. His best year came in 1997, when he threw for 21 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions, as he earned the only Pro Bowl nod of his career. However, Dilfer will always be remembered for his Super Bowl run in 2000.
3 | Rex Grossman | Chicago Bears Super Bowl XLI
The 2006-07 Bears are an odd team, to begin with, considering their general lack of offensive star power. A first-round pick by Chicago in 2003, Rex Grossman spent the first three years of his career as a backup, as he barely saw the field. However, while Grossman was far from elite, he led Chicago to Super Bowl 41, where the Bears lost to the Colts. That season, Grossman started all 16 games and threw 23 touchdowns compared to 20 interceptions. Grossman is one of the oddest quarterbacks to make it to the Super Bowl in recent memory as the full-time starter.
Grossman eventually got benched the next season and would go on to spend the next three seasons once again as a backup. The only other year of his career where he started more than three games was in 2011 with Washington. Washington drafted Robert Griffin III as Grossman’s replacement that year and Rex never saw the field again. In total, Grossman retired with 56 touchdowns compared to 60 interceptions.
2 | David Woodley | Miami Dolphins Super Bowl XXVII
If you have never heard of David Woodley, then I promise that you are not alone. Woodley would ultimately be remembered as the guy who bridged the gap between the Bob Griese and Dan Marino eras of Dolphins’ football. Despite his below-average years in 1980 and 1981, the Dolphins went with Woodley in the 1982 season, where he led his team to the Super Bowl.
On the big stage, David Woodley struggled mightily as he failed to complete a single pass in the second half as Washington beat Miami 27-17. The following year, Woodley was benched in favor of Marino, and he never regained a starting job. He spent two more years as the Steelers’ backup QB and retired in 1986, having thrown 48 touchdowns and 63 interceptions for his career.
1 | Joe Kapp | Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl III
If you thought David Woodley was an unknown, get a load of Joe Kapp. Some of the most die-hard football fans probably are not aware that Kapp was the Vikings’ starting quarterback for Super Bowl III. A rookie in 1967, Kapp was a below-average quarterback in the early days after the merger of the NFL and AFL.
1969, the year that Minnesota made the Super Bowl, was the best year of Kapp’s career. Having thrown 19 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions, Kapp was set to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs on the big stage. He struggled as the Vikings would be defeated by a final score of 23-7. The following year, Kapp signed a deal with the Boston Patriots, where he would play the last year of his career. After throwing for only three touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 1970, Kapp retired with a 40 to 64 career touchdown to interception ratio.
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