Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will join rare company when he steps on the field of SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl 56 this Sunday. Burrow will become just the seventh second-year quarterback in NFL history to start in a Super Bowl, joining Dan Marino, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Colin Kaepernick, and Russell Wilson to accomplish the feat.
Before the former Heisman Trophy winner plays this Sunday, lets take a look at how the previous gunslinger fared.
Dan Marino, 1984
For decades, Marino’s breakout 1984 campaign was held as the gold standard of quarterback play. The young upstart out of Pittsburgh won the MVP, throwing for a then record-setting 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns.
Unfortunately for him, he only threw for one touchdown and two interceptions in Super Bowl 19 as his Miami Dolphins were demolished by the San Francisco 49ers 38-16. The assumption at the time was that it would be the first of several Super Bowl appearances for the future Hall of Famer. Proving how hard it is to make it to the big game, Marino never set foot on a Super Bowl field again.
Kurt Warner, 1999
After brief stints with the Green Bay Packers, Iowa Barnstormers, and Amsterdam Admirals, former Hyvee shelf stocker Kurt Warner got his big opportunity with the St. Louis Rams in what was technically his second season in the NFL.
The result was the Greatest Show on Turf, as Warner went from an unknown to NFL MVP overnight and led the Rams to a 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl 34.
Tom Brady, 2001
C’mon, you’ve heard this story a countless number of times before, but lets run through it again.
New England Patriots franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe gets hurt early in the 2001 season. The Pats are forced to go with second-year, sixth-round draft pick Tom Brady. The kid from Michigan holds his own to the point where head coach Bill Belichick controversial decides to stick with him even after Bledsoe returns from his injury. The kid goes on to lead the Pats to a 20-17 upset victory over the aforementioned Greatest Show on Turf Rams in Super Bowl 37. He has a pretty decent career afterwards. The end.
Ben Roethlisberger, 2005
A young Ben Roethlisberger helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl 40 in his second season, resulting in a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Roethlisberger played poorly, however, completing just nine-of-21 passes for 123 yards and two interceptions. The only passing touchdown by the Steelers came by wide receiver and former college QB Antwaan Randle El on a trick play.
Even with a ring, Big Ben’s poor performance stuck with him for a few years and he was only legitimized as a Super Bowl winning QB three years later when the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl 43.
Colin Kaepernick, 2012
A second-year backup QB for the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick rose to stardom midway through the season when he replaced starter Alex Smith and head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to stick with the younger, more mobile QB.
That decision arguably raised the ceiling for the Niners as they made it to Super Bowl 47 and lost a thrilling 34-31 nail biter to the Baltimore Ravens.
Russell Wilson, 2013
After a rookie season where he led the Seattle Seahawks to the NFC Divisional round, Russell Wilson achieved greater heights in his second season by leading his team to Super Bowl 48 against the Denver Broncos.
Wilson played well in the 43-8 beatdown, throwing for 206 yards and two touchdowns. However, the game was more remembered for Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” defense absolutely dismantling Peyton Manning and the Broncos.