Check out this list of the most Super Bowl wins by quarterback—as well as analysis of NFL talents under center who might soon crack this club.
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In the NFL, no one player is responsible for a Super Bowl victory. Football is a team sport, with 11 players on the field at each time, and two sides of the ball to man. Success in the playoffs is owed to everyone who steps foot on the gridiron and puts in the work.
At the same time, NFL quarterbacks remain the engines of their team. It is why so many are the odds-on favorites to win prop bets like MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and even Rookie of the Year. Without a top-tier star under center, franchises can be set back years, if not decades. Quarterbacks are the key to everything, the one player who levies the most impact over a team's livelihood, even if they don't do it alone.
It is with this indispensability in mind that we present to you the QBs with the most Super Bowl wins to date. And while this list may remain static at times, there are a few current NFL studs who might one day join their historical compatriots.
John Elway (2)"John Elway" by TravelNevada is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
John Elway lost three championship tilts before ending his career with back-to-back Vince Lombardi trophies. His eight-yard, helicopter-style rush against the Green Bay Packers is the stuff of legend, showing how bad Elway wanted a ring. And unlike other players on this list, Elway also assembled two Super Bowl teams as a general manager of the Denver Broncos.
Bob Griese (2)"Nat Moore & Bob Griese" by MiamiFilmFestival is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Bob Griese is the only player on the list without a Super Bowl MVP to his name. Then again, Griese is the lone player in this exercise that led his team—the 1972 Miami Dolphins—to the only undefeated season in NFL history. The two-time champion also holds the distinction for throwing the fewest passes by a Super Bowl participant (seven), back in Super Bowl VIII.
Eli Manning (2)"Eli Manning" by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Eli Manning's two Super Bowl wins—both over the New England Patriots in come-from-behind fashion—are forever stitched in NFL lore. The first included a miraculous helmet catch to spoil the Patriots perfect season, and the second included a stunning sideline catch on the waning possession. Manning's ice-in-his-veins performance and efficiency in the fourth quarter on both occasions earned him Super Bowl MVP honors.
Peyton Manning (2)"Peyton Manning" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Peyton Manning ended his career with a Vince Lombardi trophy, the second of his career, against the Carolina Panthers. However, his performance was one of the worst by a winning quarterback in Super Bowl history. Manning completed just 13-of-23 throws for a meager 141 yards, zero scores, and one interception. The performance earned him a 56.6 quarterback rating—third-worst among winning signal callers. Still, two Super Bowls is two Super Bowls.
Jim Plunkett (2)
"Ronnie Lott and Jim Plunkett" by Wikimedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Somehow, someway, Jim Plunkett is not in the NFL Hall of Fame. This is in spite of leading the Raiders to two Super Bowl wins, once while in Oakland and once in Los Angeles. During his first championship, the Raiders became the first NFL team to win the Super Bowl at the wild card position. Plunkett earned Super Bowl MVP that year after upsetting the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10.
Ben Roethlisberger (2)
"Ben Roethlisberger" by Wikimedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Compared to his peers on this list, Ben Roethlisberger's Super Bowl track record isn't the greatest. He didn't play up to snuff during his first victory, and while he was better in his second win, he still tossed for under 260 yards and only one touchdown. That being said, he was instrumental during both regular seasons, and his capacity to protect the ball during Super Bowl win No. 2 proved absolutely huge.
Bart Starr (2)"Bart Starr" by Sabatu is marked with CC PDM 1.0
Super Bowl firsts follow Bart Starr into history. Representing the NFL, the Starr-led Packers won the first-ever Super Bowl 35-10 against the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs. And for his part, Starr was named the first-ever Super Bowl MVP. Green Bay repeated the following season, giving Starr the distinct honor of being the inaugural two-time Super Bowl champion and MVP.
Troy Aikman (3)
"Torry Aikaman by Sabatu is marked with CC PDM 1.0
With three Vince Lombardi trophies, Troy Aikman sits alone in fourth-place for most Super Bowl wins among NFL quarterbacks. He piloted the great Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s that won three titles in four years. Interestingly enough, his victories came under two different head coaches—Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. Aikman's first Super Bowl win also earned him MVP honors; he threw for four touchdowns in a 52-17 rout of Buffalo.
Terry Bradshaw (4)"Terry Bradshaw toss a football to Sailors aboard USS McFaul." by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0
The knock-on Terry Bradshaw is that the Pittsburgh Steelers' "steel curtain" defense was the prime reason for their four Super Bowl wins rather than the quarterback himself. Whatever. Bradshaw was the first signal-caller to win three, and then four rings. Furthermore, Bradshaw earned Super Bowl MVP honors twice—a feat that's only been duplicated four other times.
Joe Montana (4)"Cal Running Backs Coach Ron Gould and NFL Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana - Intercontinental Hotel Lobby" by SalesianHigh is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Where do we start with Montana? The perfect 4-0 Super Bowl record? The three Super Bowl MVP trophies? Better yet, how about the 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions during all four games? Montana's combined 127.8 quarterback rating during his four Super Bowls is the best of all-time. His clutch play in the big game is the reason why he's nicknamed "Joe Cool."
Tom Brady (6)"Tom Brady | New England Patriots" by Seatacular is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Tom Brady just keeps breaking records. He became the first QB with five Super Bowl victories when he led the Patriots back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons. Then, a few years later, he reset his own record by taking home a sixth title when New England took down the Los Angeles Rams. And guess what? He might not be done.
Though Brady is 43 years old and has lost a step or two at this writing, he is still piecing together strong performances under center, this time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Most believe he has at least two high-quality seasons left in him, which puts a seventh Super Bowl within reach.
Active QBs Who May Join the List
Any quarterback who winds up with two or more Super Bowl victories will inevitably be added to this list. Here are the current stars with the best chance of working their way into this fold sometime soon.
Drew Brees (1)
At 41, Drew Brees is getting up there in age. But his trajectory has followed that of Tom Brady, in that he's verged on timeless. Some might argue his arm strength has held up even better. Given that he's surrounded by deep ball threats and continues to captain top-seven offenses, he should have a real shot in the next year or two of winning his second Super Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes (1)
As of right now, Patrick Mahomes' candidacy isn't a matter of if. It's a matter of when.
Kansas City's superstar signal-caller won his first Super Bowl, complete with an MVP, before his 25th birthday. At this writing, he just signed a 10-year extension to stick with the Chiefs. Many have his team pegged as the next Patriots-like dynasty. Expecting Mahomes to rival Brady's total of six Super Bowls goes a touch too far. But at the moment, it seems fair to set the over/under on the number he wins at 3.5.
And if we're being honest, taking the over doesn't feel like such a bad idea.
Russell Wilson (1)
It has been a while since Russell Wilson won his first and only Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, but that doesn't mean he's running out of time.
At 32, he could have a half-decade or more of Pro Bowl-level football left in the tank. That gives him more than enough runway to add a second victory to his resume—though asking for more than that is probably too ambitious.