The 34 Super Bowl winning quarterbacks and when they won their first (or 2nd, or 3rd..) Super Bowl

Jason Pauley
4 min readFeb 4, 2024

Tom Brady won a Super Bowl in his 2nd season (first season as a starter), John Elway went 15 years before his first. Here is the data for every SB winner.

There have been 820 quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era — 34 have won a Super Bowl; and 13 have won more than one Super Bowl. If Patrick Mahomes wins next Sunday, he will join Troy Aikman (3), Terry Bradshaw (4), Joe Montana (4), and Tom Brady (7) as the only quarterbacks to win three or more Super Bowls.

The chart below shows each Super Bowl winning quarterback, the total number of years played, and each year of their career they won. The chart goes from the player with the most Super Bowl wins on the left to guys who won one Super Bowl on the right.

Notes about the chart:

Some of these quarterbacks played before the Super Bowl era, those seasons are indicated by a grey circle.

Each circle represents years played, not years as a starter. For example, Tom Brady and Kurt Warner both won in their first seasons as a starter, but the SB win came in their second season overall.

Some interesting notes and highlights:

Four QBs won in their second year (Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger)

Tom Brady started on fire winning 3 Super Bowls in his first 5 seasons, then hit a 9-yr period with no SB wins, and from seasons 15–21 is when he cemented GOAT status by winning four more during that period.

4 players crossed the pre-Super Bowl era, and the Super Bowl era. Here are their seasons before 1966 and the number of championships they won:

  • Bart Starr — 10 seasons, 3 championships
  • Johnny Unitas — 10 seasons, 2 championships
  • Len Dawson — 9 seasons, 1 championship
  • Joe Namath — 1 season,0 championships

The average (mean) season for a QBs first SB win is year 5.9, the median is year six. Here is the distribution of years in which the QBs got their 1st SB win.

The average (mean) season for a QBs second SB win is year 8.3, the median is year seven. Here is the distribution of years in which thirteen QBs got their 2nd SB win.

Excluding active players, the average (mean) career of a Super Bowl winning QB is 14.9 years, the median is 15.

Bart Starr won five championships or Super Bowls in seven years from his 6th season to his 12th

P.Manning and J.Elway are the only two quarterbacks to win in their final season.

Here are some of the patterns of SB winners

  • Early Bloomers (winning early, then never again): K.Warner and R.Wilson
  • Late Bloomers (long stretch to start their careers with no SB win, then winning late): J.Elway, S.Young, M.Stafford
  • Super Bowl Sandwich (Win early, nothing in between, win late): T.Brady, R.Staubach
  • Inside-out (one win in the middle of career, with almost an equal number of seasons before and after with no SB wins): B.Griese, N.Foles, D.Brees, B.Johnson, T.Dilfer, K.Stabler

Notable quarterbacks who never won a Super Bowl

No Super Bowl/QB conversation goes to long before Dan Marino’s name comes up as the best QB to never win the big game. Here are some of the most notable quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era who never won one.

Notable active quarterbacks with 5+ years who haven’t won a Super Bowl yet

The average Super Bowl winning QB won their first SB in their 6th season. Dak Prescott, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson are some of the best QBs yet to win. Joe Burrow is another current great who hasn’t won, but he has played four seasons and I cut this off at five seasons played.

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Jason Pauley

Passionate about Analytics (Football, Sports, Marketing, Sales, Demographics)