If anyone asks you to call the most efficient quarterback by no means to win a Tremendous Bowl, the solution is apparent. Dan Marino was once one of the most biggest signal-callers in NFL historical past, however after dropping to the 49ers in Tremendous Bowl XIX at age 23, he by no means made it again to the largest degree. The Dolphins could be outscored 60-24 of their two closing convention championship appearances ahead of Marino ultimately retired after the 1999 season.
If I had been to invite you about the most efficient quarterback by no means to make it to a Tremendous Bowl, regardless that, the solution may not be moderately as glaring. A variety of passers have sneaked in for no less than one championship sport, even though guys like Mark Brunell best made it as backups who did not take any snaps all over the sport. The idea was once impressed via Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who’s enjoying Thursday evening, and certainly has made it onto my record.
To create the record of the 10 best possible quarterbacks by no means to make it to a Tremendous Bowl, the use of talent as a measure is not sufficient. Time issues too. A quarterback who’s above common for 10 years almost certainly has a greater shot of creating it to a Tremendous Bowl than a signal-caller who’s even higher, however lasts for best 5 seasons.
My figuring out issue for applicants was once to search out the passers who had performed smartly sufficient over the biggest selection of seasons to push their groups into the Tremendous Bowl. To be extra particular, I checked out quarterbacks who arrived after the merger and the seasons the place they had been the principle starter for his or her respective staff(s).
To determine whether or not a quarterback performed smartly sufficient to win a Tremendous Bowl, I used Professional Soccer Reference‘s listed model of adjusted yards in step with try, or AY/A+. AY/A improves on passer score via weighting touchdowns and interceptions extra as it should be. AY/A+ then indexes the stat to the league common, so we will be able to examine quarterbacks throughout eras.
The indexing scale makes it in order that a 100 AY/A+ is strictly league common, which turns out like a just right baseline for me. There are indisputably quarterbacks who’ve received Tremendous Bowls with no 100 AY/A+ — Trent Dilfer posted a 93 AY/A+ with the Ravens in 2000 ahead of being carried via their dominant protection to a Tremendous Bowl victory — however a league-average season is an inexpensive baseline for a quarterback retaining up his finish of the discount. We’re going to rank those quarterbacks, then, via how repeatedly they posted an AY/A+ of 100 or higher whilst they had been their staff’s number one starter.
As I discussed, there are a number of passers who best made it to the Tremendous Bowl as backups, together with Brunell, Bernie Kosar and Alex Smith. Danny White received a hoop whilst he was once Dallas’ punter, years ahead of he took over because the beginning signal-caller. Lets come with the ones quarterbacks, however since they in reality suited up for the championship (and a number of other of them received rings), it does not appear affordable to place them in the similar grouping because the 10 quarterbacks under.
There are many gamers who did not accrue sufficient seasons as an above-average passer to make the record. Modern day stars similar to Andrew Good fortune, Carson Palmer and Matthew Stafford all narrowly got here up brief, as did veterans similar to Steve DeBerg, Trent Inexperienced and Bert Jones. The ultimate man off the highest 10, surprisingly sufficient, was once not too long ago resurfaced Falcons backup Matt Schaub. Schaub posted six above-average seasons as his staff’s number one starter at quarterback, and if that does not appear specifically spectacular, imagine that about 1/2 of the quarterbacks who pulled that off made it to no less than one Tremendous Bowl.
It is not hyperbole to indicate that Blake is the best quarterback the Jets have drafted since Joe Namath. Whilst shut festival Ken O’Brien spent his whole occupation with the staff, Blake threw simply 9 passes for Gang Inexperienced ahead of making his approach to the Bengals. He sneaks onto this record via distinctive feature of a handful of seasons wherein he began both precisely 10 (2002) or 11 (1997, 2000) video games. I would not fault you for who prefer one of the most near-misses I discussed within the advent to the East Carolina product.
While you put Blake available in the market, regardless that, you in most cases were given reasonably above-average efficiency. Blake posted an AY/A+ between 102 and 108 in every of his first seven seasons as his staff’s number one starter. The issue is that he did not normally get that very same form of enhance from his protection. Over his 8 years as a number one starter, the common rank for Blake’s defenses in issues in step with sport was once 24th. He even controlled to catch the only Ray Lewis-era Ravens protection that was once disappointing, when Lewis overlooked 11 video games all over the 2002 season.
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: 2000. The only time Blake did hyperlink up with an above-average protection was once 2000, when he joined the Saints. Blake began 7-Four, best to damage his foot and leave out the rest of the season. Aaron Brooks took over and led the Saints into the postseason, the place they disillusioned the protecting champion Rams ahead of dropping to the Vikings within the divisional around. This was once Blake’s best shuttle to the playoffs.
Probably the most dynamic quarterbacks of his period, Cunningham helped encourage the following technology of quarterbacks. He took a staggering quantity of punishment in an period wherein quarterbacks — specifically working quarterbacks — did not have the similar protections those self same passers have nowadays. Cunningham posted a scarcely plausible 25.6% sack charge in 1986, however his skill to increase performs and outrun the league’s best possible pass-rushers made him a shockingly treasured weapon.
A wholesome Cunningham was once in most cases sufficient to push a staff to the postseason. He began 12 or extra video games simply seven instances in 16 professional seasons, however the ones groups went a mixed 68-35-Zero, with Cunningham posting a .500 or higher file in every of the ones campaigns. In spite of his luck, regardless that, he received simply one in all his 5 playoff begins with the Eagles. After transferring to Minnesota in 1997, he took over for Brad Johnson in December and led a comeback victory over the Giants within the wild-card around, best to lose to the 49ers the next week.
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: 1998. The next season, Cunningham took over because the Vikings’ starter. Buoyed via the addition of first-round pick out Randy Moss, Cunningham went 13-1 and led one of the crucial devastating offenses in league historical past to the NFC Championship Recreation. The Vikings led Atlanta 27-20 with 2 mins, 11 seconds left and had been about to seal the sport with a 38-yard subject target via Gary Anderson, who had made 122 consecutive kicks over two years. He driven his try extensive. The Falcons therefore tied the ranking in law and received it in time beyond regulation.
The presence of Cutler on any top-10 record will invariably get some folks offended, however whilst he changed into a punchline, he delivered six above-average seasons as a starter via our definition. Sadly, two of the ones seasons got here in Denver with defenses that ranked 28th and 30th in issues allowed. Cutler had an opportunity to make the postseason in 2008, just for his protection to permit 289 speeding yards and 5 touchdowns in a 52-21 blowout loss to the Chargers. Cutler, then 25, made his first and best shuttle to the Professional Bowl.
Traded to Chicago the next offseason after feuding with new trainer Josh McDaniels, Cutler bounced proper above and under the league-average mark throughout seven-plus seasons because the Bears’ starter. Handiest a type of seasons delivered a playoff run (2010), even if the Bears got here inside of a fourth-down Aaron Rodgers conversion of creating a moment shuttle in 2013. Via default, it was once Cutler’s best possible shot at a identify …
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: 2010. After very easily dealing with the Beast Quake Seahawks at house, Cutler was once one house victory in opposition to the Packers clear of a shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl. It did not move smartly. He suffered a knee damage all over the primary 1/2 and struggled, going 6-of-14 for 80 yards with an interception. He attempted to intestine it out at the opening force of the second one 1/2 ahead of spending the remainder of the day at the sideline with what would later be identified as a sprained MCL.
In spite of teammates similar to Brian Urlacher coming to Cutler’s protection, the languid quarterback was once inexplicably criticized for status at the sideline to enhance his staff. A wholesome Cutler may had been ready to win this sport and move to the Tremendous Bowl, which might have modified all of the complexion of his occupation.
Recruited out of the Canadian Soccer League, a 29-year-old Garcia began his occupation via taking up for an injured Steve Younger within the ultimate days of the 49ers’ dynasty. Garcia then made the Professional Bowl in every of his first 3 seasons as a starter with the Niners ahead of starting the itinerant section of his occupation. The 6-foot-1 Garcia began video games for 4 other groups in 4 seasons, hooking up because the West Coast quarterback du jour for Invoice Walsh disciples similar to Steve Mariucci (Lions), Andy Reid (Eagles) and Jon Gruden (Buccaneers). He got here off the bench to guide a middling Eagles staff to the playoffs at age 36 in 2006 after which adopted that with a Professional Bowl season for the Bucs the following season.
Garcia began playoff video games in 4 seasons, with every of his two wins coming in opposition to the Giants. He threw for 331 yards and contributed 4 touchdowns in a 39-38 mystery in opposition to the Giants all over the 2002 playoffs, even if it was once overshadowed via the sport’s chaotic ultimate play.
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: 2006. The 49ers had been blown out via the eventual Tremendous Bowl champion Bucs the next week in 2002. Garcia would get his subsequent playoff victory with the Eagles in 2006, beating the Giants 23-20. The Eagles confronted the Saints the next week in the divisional around, however after Philly didn’t convert on a third-and-1 from the 43-yard line when it was once down six issues within the fourth quarter, it kicked a subject target and did not ranking once more. The Giants after all were given their revenge on Garcia via beating his Buccaneers within the wild-card around the next season, which was once Garcia’s ultimate playoff look.
In the beginning drafted via the Oilers with the 1/3 general pick out to probably substitute Warren Moon, Everett wasn’t ready to return to phrases on a freelance with Houston and was once shipped off to the Rams. The Purdue product briefly took over because the beginning quarterback and spent 8 years in Los Angeles ahead of transferring to New Orleans, the place he spent 3 years beginning for the Saints.
Everett was once in most cases an above-average quarterback, even if he is almost certainly best possible remembered now for brawling with TV host Jim Rome within the early days of ESPN2. The issue was once that his defenses hardly ever returned the desire. In Everett’s 10 years as his staff’s number one starter, he performed with only one above-average protection via scoring common. Six of his 10 seasons as a starter got here hooked up to a protection that ranked within the backside six in issues allowed in step with sport.
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: 1989. Everett began playoff video games in 3 seasons, however after dropping the opener in 1986 and 1988, his protection after all confirmed up in 1989. The Rams received on highway journeys east in opposition to the Eagles and Giants in video games wherein the protection allowed a complete of 20 issues. Within the NFC Championship Recreation, regardless that, the protection after all gave out in a 30-Three blowout in opposition to the 49ers. Everett did not be offering a lot lend a hand, as he was once 16-of-36 for 141 yards with 3 interceptions. In spite of the 6-foot-Five Everett being best 27, this was once his ultimate postseason look.
Hart, who posted 8 qualifying seasons underneath our measure, grew to become round his occupation with the St. Louis Cardinals after the arriving of mythical trainer Don Coryell in 1973. He made 4 consecutive Professional Bowls from 1974 thru 1977 for a staff that went a mixed 38-18 over that time period. In spite of posting 3 10-win seasons in a row in an period wherein groups performed best 14 video games, regardless that, Hart didn’t win a unmarried playoff sport all over his time as a starter. Two mythical defenses — the mid-’70s Vikings and Rams — stopped Hart in his tracks with divisional-round losses.
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: None. Hart’s Cardinals by no means in reality got here with reference to Tremendous Bowl competition, even though they had been one of the most league’s best possible regular-season groups for a number of seasons underneath Coryell. Cutler displays up as one in all Hart’s maximum related quarterbacks on Professional Soccer Reference, and whilst Hart’s luck was once extra concentrated, that may well be a just right on-field comparability.
The famously snakebitten Romo spent 3 complete years at the Dallas bench after signing with the staff as an undrafted unfastened agent, however after Invoice Parcells refused to industry Romo to former Cowboys passing-game coordinator Sean Payton after the latter took over as Saints trainer, Romo took over the beginning process at age 26 and straight away emerged as one of the most league’s best possible quarterbacks. He posted just one sub-.500 season because the Cowboys’ starter, a six-start marketing campaign in 2010. He was once at all times just right and from time to time nice ahead of accidents and the emergence of Dak Prescott ended in Romo’s retirement in 2017.
In fact, some subset of the Cowboys’ fan base merely could not forgive Romo’s playoff screw ups. All through the 2006 season, Romo — nonetheless serving because the staff’s holder after beginning the season because the backup to Drew Bledsoe — fumbled away the snap on what would had been a profitable subject target in a loss to Seattle. The next yr, Romo was once criticized for taking a bye-week holiday to Mexico with then-girlfriend Jessica Simpson ahead of the 13-Three Cowboys had been disillusioned at house via the Giants. Romo received his first playoff sport in 2009 via blowing out the Eagles, best to show the ball over 3 times in a 34-Three loss to the Vikings the next week.
Closest shuttle to Tremendous Bowl: 2014. Romo’s ultimate playoff run was once most likely his best possible likelihood at glory. Supported via a devastating working sport, he went 12-Three all over the steady season. The Cowboys beat the Lions in the wild-card around after the referees controversially reversed a go interference name on Anthony Hitchens with out rationalization.
The next week noticed the Cowboys dispatched via any other debatable name when a fourth-and-2 landing catch via Dez Bryant was once dominated incomplete on evaluation. The ranking would have given the Cowboys a 27-26 lead over the Packers with the conversion pending. Whilst Inexperienced Bay would have had 4 mins to take the lead, a Cowboys victory would have set them up for a rematch in opposition to a Seattle staff they’d overwhelmed at house previous within the season.
I am not certain the Cowboys would have made it to the Tremendous Bowl if the referees had dominated Bryant stuck the ball, however that replay evaluation was once as shut as Romo were given to glory.
From one colour commentator to any other! The latest time the Chargers received a championship was once again in 1963, when Tobin Rote took over for second-year quarterback John Hadl and led an 11-Three Chargers staff to an AFL championship. Whilst the franchise has long gone 55 consecutive seasons with out profitable any other identify, it’s not for a loss of secure quarterback play. In 45 of the ones 55 years, the Chargers’ passing chief has been one in all 5 gamers: Hadl, Fouts, Stan Humphries, Philip Rivers or Drew Brees. Fouts is a Corridor of Famer, Brees is a lock to get in, Rivers may practice him in someday, and Hadl was once a six-time Professional Bowler.
Brees ended up as the best of the bunch after leaving the group, and Rivers has held on for an extended occupation. Fouts, alternatively, may well be the most efficient quarterback in franchise historical past. I gave him the Quarterback Championship Belt for his three-year stretch in 1979-81, when he led the NFL in passing yards, passer score and yards in step with try. He was once then robbed of the MVP award all over the strike-shortened 1982 season, when the nod as a substitute went to kicker Mark Moseley.
After 1982, Fouts struggled to stick wholesome, with the Chargers fielding a bottom-four protection via scoring common in 4 consecutive seasons. From 1978 thru 1982, regardless that, he was once one of the most best possible regular-season quarterbacks within the league. The playoffs had been a distinct tale. In 1979, he threw 5 interceptions in a 17-14 divisional-round loss to the Oilers, then repeated the feat 3 years later in a 34-13 loss to the Dolphins. In between, Fouts’ Chargers received a memorable epic within the Orange Bowl in opposition to the Dolphins, best to depart the whole thing at the subject in Miami and get blown out in one of the most coldest video games in NFL historical past the next week at Cincinnati.
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: 1980. The nearest Fouts ever got here to a Tremendous Bowl, then, is his one closing playoff shuttle. After throwing for 314 yards and two touchdowns in a comeback win over the Expenses, Fouts and the Chargers had been four-point favorites within the AFC Championship Recreation at house in opposition to the Raiders. At the 1/3 play of the sport, the Raiders noticed a go soar off of 1 receiver and into the palms of tight finish Raymond Chester, who took it to the home for a 65-yard landing. Oakland were given up 28-7 in the second one quarter, and whilst Fouts was once ready to guide a comeback to get inside of one landing at 34-27 with 6:43 to move, the Raiders had been ready to carry the ball for the rest of the sport without having to punt.
Moon received 5 skilled championships, however none of them had been within the NFL; he was once a part of a dynasty with the Edmonton Eskimos within the CFL ahead of transferring again stateside. Consequently, Moon’s NFL occupation did not start till he was once 28, and after an inconsistent begin to his occupation, the Oilers attempted to exchange him with Everett. Moon best in reality emerged as a Professional Bowl-caliber passer in 1988, wherein time he was once already 32. In making up for misplaced time, he proceeded to make the Professional Bowl in seven of the following 8 seasons.
Even for the reason that his NFL occupation began overdue, few quarterbacks had as many probabilities to make it to a Tremendous Bowl as Moon, who made it to the playoffs six instances because the beginning quarterback for the Oilers and added a 7th with the Vikings. For the entire alternatives and his playoff luck in Canada, regardless that, he by no means made it so far as a convention championship sport. He was once at the dropping aspect of one of the crucial well-known video games in playoff historical past, when the Expenses got here again from a 35-Three halftime deficit to win in time beyond regulation 41-38.
Every of Moon’s seven playoff journeys got here from 1987 to 1994. He posted an 84.nine passer score all over the playoffs, which was once proper in step with the 84.2 score he garnered around the steady season over the ones years. He was once let down from time to time via a protection that allowed a mean of 26 issues in step with playoff sport, up from a mean of 19.7 issues in step with regular-season contest. The run ‘n’ shoot scheme the Oilers ran all over Moon’s best possible years in Houston got here in for grievance, however that was once simply old-school nonsense. His postseason struggles had been a mix of deficient timing, subpar protection and the occasional dangerous sport.
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: 1993. The most efficient staff Moon quarterbacked was once this 12-Four Oilers staff, which completed fourth within the league in each issues scored and issues allowed. The Oilers were given a first-round bye after which began with a house sport in opposition to the Chiefs, whom Moon & Co. had overwhelmed 30-Zero in Week 2. The large distinction, after all, was once that Dave Krieg was once beginning in September and Joe Montana was once again within the lineup by the point January rolled round. A 37-year-old Montana threw for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns, and whilst Montana was once picked off two times, Moon was once sacked 9 instances and chargeable for 5 of Houston’s seven fumbles. The Oilers broke up their staff on account of the league’s new wage cap after the season, with Moon leaving for the Vikings.
There is not any quarterback in trendy league historical past, regardless that, who has delivered extra above-average seasons with out sneaking right into a Tremendous Bowl than the person who will make his 229th occupation beginning for the Chargers on Thursday evening. Rivers has been just right sufficient to snuff out the concept that the Chargers made a horrific mistake via letting Drew Brees go away for the Saints in unfastened company after the 2005 season. Brees grew to become out to be the simpler quarterback, however the Chargers had been blessed with superb quarterback play from the instant Rivers took over.
In flip, he has been time and again let down, best from time to time via himself. There were accidents and ill-timed errors and breathtakingly dangerous gadgets in different places at the roster. Whilst contemporaries Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning have had the breaks move their means all over fateful runs in January, Rivers hasn’t been ready to catch a damage.
Take the primary playoff sport he began, which got here within the divisional around of the 2006 playoffs at house in opposition to the Patriots. The Chargers led 21-13, and with the Patriots dealing with a fourth-and-Five at the San Diego 41-yard line with 6:25 to move, Tom Brady threw an interception to Marlon McCree. What took place subsequent appeared preordained for New England: McCree fumbled all over the go back and passed the ball again to the Patriots with a brand new set of downs.
The Pats therefore scored a landing and transformed a 2-pointer to tie the ranking. After the Chargers went three-and-out, Brady lofted a third-and-10 go over extremely drafted Chargers nook Quentin Jammer to Reche Caldwell for 49 yards, putting in a lead-taking subject target. Rivers were given the ball again and drove the Chargers into subject target vary, just for Professional Bowl kicker Nate Kaeding to leave out a 54-yard try that may have despatched the sport into time beyond regulation.
Particular-teams misadventures had been a near-constant for the Chargers. Kaeding, who attached on 87% of his regular-season tries for the Chargers, was once simply Eight-of-15 all over the playoffs, together with an Zero-for-Three efficiency in a 17-14 wild-card loss to the Jets. The 2010 Chargers ranked within the peak seven in each offensive and defensive DVOA, just for one of the most worst special-teams gadgets in league historical past to stay San Diego out of the postseason.
Each different quarterback I may to find who posted 10 or extra above-average seasons as his staff’s number one starter within the Tremendous Bowl period made it to no less than one identify sport over the process his occupation. Rivers has 12 and is prone to hit 13, having posted only one below-average season as a starter alongside the best way. In what may best be thought to be a shocking building, deficient particular groups and goal-line errors have time and again price the Chargers this season, as their Four-Five file does now not come with a unmarried loss via greater than seven issues.
Rivers is a unfastened agent after the season, however it is tough to believe him enjoying any place else or slipping a lot. He feels destined to chuck up terrible-looking absolute best passes for future years with out ever making it to the Tremendous Bowl.
Closest shuttle to the Tremendous Bowl: 2007. I wrote about this postseason a number of instances in my Brees exchange historical past from 2018, so this may well be acquainted. Everybody recollects that the Giants ultimately slayed the beast and disillusioned the 18-Zero Patriots in Tremendous Bowl XLII, however alongside the best way, the Patriots slipped. The Chargers must had been ready to take merit, however they had been averted via a bevy of accidents.
They received the AFC West in 2007 with an 11-Five file, and after beating the Titans at house, they traveled to Indy to stand a 13-Three Colts staff. As 11-point underdogs, the Chargers pulled off a 28-24 disillusioned when Billy Volek sneaked in a 1-yard landing with Four:50 to move. Volek was once in, after all, as a result of Rivers went down with a knee damage within the 1/3 quarter. It might later develop into transparent that Rivers had torn his ACL, which is a season-ending damage for any individual who is not Philip Rivers.
Rivers underwent a knee scope all over the week and in some way suited up for the next weekend’s sport in opposition to the Patriots, however he wasn’t the one person who was once overwhelmed up. Celebrity working again LaDainian Tomlinson suffered a knee damage within the first quarter in opposition to the Colts, and whilst he attempted to return again for the Patriots sport, he tapped out after 3 touches and spent the remainder of the sport at the sideline. Superstar tight finish Antonio Gates, enjoying thru a dislocated toe, had two catches on six objectives for 17 yards.
Introduced with a golden alternative to overcome a staff whose famous person gamers had been compromised, the Patriots laid an egg. Brady went 22-of-33 for 209 yards with 3 interceptions and a passer score of 66.Four. On a windy day, Brady averaged Three.Five adjusted yards in step with try, the second-worst playoff efficiency of the longer term Corridor of Famer’s occupation. Randy Moss, in all probability coping with an ailment of his personal, had only one catch for 18 yards.
With an injured Rivers and Tomlinson, regardless that, the Chargers could not make the most of their alternatives. San Diego went Three-of-12 on 1/3 down. It made 3 journeys throughout the crimson zone and kicked 3 subject objectives throughout the 10-yard line, with Kaeding including a fourth from 40 yards out. Rivers earned the consideration of any individual staring at him intestine thru ache, however he went 19-of-37 for 211 yards with two interceptions.
If Rivers is wholesome, do the Chargers win that sport? We’re going to by no means know needless to say, however it is indisputably believable. The Chargers would have then been a nightmare matchup for the Giants within the Tremendous Bowl, for the reason that New York struggled mightily in opposition to throws to working backs and tight ends. The San Diego protection was once additionally higher than New England’s via DVOA.
Now not best would Rivers have made it to a Tremendous Bowl, he may really well have received the item. As an alternative, except the Chargers can triumph over what the ESPN Soccer Energy Index pegs as Zero.1% odds of creating it to Miami this postseason, Rivers will spend any other yr staring at the Tremendous Bowl on TV.