The quarterback position is the most critical in any football game, and the Super Bowl is no exception. Throughout the history of the big game, there have been plenty of exceptional quarterback performances that could’ve made this list. However, we pulled out our five favorites and ranked them from great to legendary. These rankings take into consideration the stats, context of the game, and lasting impression. Let’s dive into the rankings below!
5. Phil Simms, Giants vs. Broncos, Super Bowl 21
The year was 1987, and the New York Giants beat the Denver Broncos 39-20 in Super Bowl 21. Within that, Simms recorded one of the most efficient quarterback performances in Super Bowl history, going 22-of-25 for 268 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. That’s good for a QB rating of 150.9, which is the highest of any performance in the big game.
4. Joe Montana, 49ers vs. Broncos, Super Bowl 24
Montana set a record with five touchdown passes as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos 55-10 in the Louisiana Superdome. Montana’s final stat line consisted of 297 passing yards while completing 22 of 29 attempts. He had no interceptions to go along with those five touchdowns. This was a truly dominant performance by Montana and the Niners.
3. Nick Foles, Eagles vs. Patriots, Super Bowl 52
Foles, who was starting in place of the injured Carson Wentz, led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 41-33 victory over the heavily favored Patriots. This was an entertaining back-and-forth matchup, but Foles outlasted legendary QB Tom Brady with 373 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles QB even caught a touchdown pass while coming through with one of the most clutch showings in Super Bowl history. Not bad for a backup!
2. Steve Young, 49ers vs. Chargers, Super Bowl 29
In 1995, the 49ers notched another Super Bowl win by beating the San Diego Chargers by a score of 49-26. Young threw for a Super Bowl-record six touchdown passes, completing 24-of-36 attempts for 325 yards, with a passer rating of 125.4. Nearly three decades later, the six total touchdown passes and four touchdown passes in a half still stand in the Super Bowl record books. It could be that way for another decade or two.
1. Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Falcons, Super Bowl 51
You already know the story. In 2017, Brady led the Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit to win Super Bowl 51. The New England QB completed 43 of 62 passes for 466 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception while orchestrating the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. The 466 passing yards set a Super Bowl record, which Brady ended up breaking with 505 yards in a loss to Nick Foles and the Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
This article can also be found in our Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 57, presented by Frank’s Red Hot.