In the Super Bowl anything can happen. If someone told you at the beginning of the season that the Philadelphia Eagles were going to win the Super Bowl and Nick Foles was going to be the MVP quarterback you would have likely laughed them out of the room. A back up quarterback winning the Super Bowl proves just how unpredictable the league can be at times.
This also proves that it takes an entire roster to win a Super Bowl and the quarterback does not mean everything all the time. Now, the starting quarterback for the Eagles Carson Wentz is also technically a Super Bowl champion and he carried them to the playoffs, but he did not play a single game in the playoffs. He will likely be back in the big game because he is the best young quarterback in the league, but for now his Super Bowl has an asterisk next to it.
There are players on every Super Bowl team that were just along for the ride and did not help the team much to win the championship. Players like backup quarterbacks and special teams players barely see the field but still get the same ring everyone else does. This list consists of the more notable players who have won Super Bowls and rode the coat tails of their teammates along the way. Some of the guys who made the list made an impact in the big game that they won, but they did not do much in their career after that. Other players that made the cut some how won multiple Super Bowls as backups on different teams.
17. Jeff Fisher
Jeff Fisher is mostly known around the NFL for being a head coach for the Tennessee Titans and the Los Angeles Rams. He was also a member of one of the best defences of all-time playing with the Chicago Bears as a defensive back in 1980s. He got a ring in 1986 even though he was injured for the entire season. That injury actually prematurely ended his playing career. Even when he was on the field he didn’t make that much of an impact, he only started three games and was primarily a return man on special teams. Fisher notably reached the Super Bowl as coach of the Tennessee Titans in 1999, but ultimately came up one yard short. He would have earned that Super Bowl as a head coach, but the one he won as a player was pretty much handed to him by an all-time great defence.
16. Jared Lorenzen
Jared Lorenzen is known as perhaps the widest quarterback in NFL history and he looked like he was meant to play fullback. He won the Super Bowl as back up QB to Eli Manning for the New York Giants back in 2007 when they upset the undefeated New England Patriots. He probably got his Super Bowl ring sized alongside the lineman on the team, but Lorenzen did nothing in the trenches to help the team win the ultimate prize. It would have been interesting to see Lorenzen get into the game against one of the best teams of all-time if Eli went down. Thankfully Manning stayed healthy and lead his team to one of the most memorable Super Bowls wins ever. Lorenzen is not the only player from this spectacular Super Bowl upset to make the list, continue reading find out who the other player will be.
15. Doug Williams
Before Doug Williams won the Super Bowl in a blow out with the Washington Redskins he was a relatively unknown quarterback. Going into the match up the Broncos were somehow favoured by 3 points. It was probably because they possessed the better quarterback of the two teams in John Elway. However on Super Bowl Sunday Williams put on a show and Elway had a very forgettable performance. Williams threw 4 touchdowns and 1 interception and Elway only threw for 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. Williams won Super Bowl MVP in what was the pinnacle of his playing career. After the Super Bowl Williams’ play came back to earth and he was never the player that showed up in the Super Bowl. He even eventually lost his starting job the next season and was a backup the rest of his career.
14. David Carr
Carr is the second Eli Manning backup quarterback to make the list. Carr is best known for being one of the biggest draft busts of all-time after being selected number one overall by the Houston Texans in 2002. They were an expansion team, so they did not have a solid foundation for Carr to work with and he failed to reach his potential because of it. These days Carr is watching his little brother Derek have a better career than he ever did as starter for the Oakland Raiders. At least David has one thing over Derek right now and that is a Super Bowl ring. Even if he did not do much to deserve it, he still probably holds sibling bragging rights anytime he mentions it.
13. Patrick Pass
Patrick Pass is one of many Patriot players who have gotten the free pass to a Super Bowl over the years (pun intended). Throughout their many Super Bowl runs the Patriots have had plenty of players that were on the team that played a small role while Tom Brady and Bill Belichick carried the team to Championships. Pass played when Tom Brady was young and the defence was actually the better side of the ball. In the early 2000s Pass played full back and special teams for the Pats and ended up winning 3 Super Bowls in 4 years with the team. Pass only had four touchdowns in his entire Patriot career. Pretty incredible that he almost had as many Super Bowls as touchdowns.
12. Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor has transformed his career from a backup quarterback with potential into a starting quarterback in the NFL. As a backup quarterback he was a member of the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. He never played a snap during the playoff run because Joe Flacco was playing the best football of his career. It is unlikely Taylor will lead his team to the Super Bowl as a starter; he was benched for a rookie playing for the Bills this season. Former teammate Ray Lewis said that Taylor was valuable to the team leading up to the Super Bowl because he ran the scout team offence to help replicate Colin Kaepernick’s athleticism. This probably helped the defence stop the 49ers on the goal line at the end of the game and help them win the Super Bowl.
11. Jeff Hostetler
Jeff Hostetler’s story is the old version of what happened this year, when backup Nick Foles lead his team to the Super Bowl he was not the first back up to accomplish that feat. Hostetler was the first to do it when he came in for the injured Phil Simms and lead the Giants to the Super Bowl title in 1991. He was in fact a two time Super Bowl champion, in 1991 he was a third string quarterback and mostly sat on the bench. He even contemplated retiring from football due to his lack of playing time. He makes the list for his first Super Bowl, but in his second Championship he was one of the most important players on the field. Hostetler and Foles will go down in history as two of the best backup quarterbacks of all-time.
10. Roy Gerela
Back when Roy Gerela played with the Steelers back in the 1970s, kickers were given much more leeway than they are today in the social media era where one missed kick gets you cut. Gerela somehow managed to remain the kicker on the team from 1971-1978 despite his horrendous field goal percentage being barely over 60 percent. He barely ever had to kick playing alongside so many hall of famers on the offensive side of the ball including Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, and John Stallworth. Gerela managed to win three Super Bowls playing with the Steel Curtain that is still one of the best defences of all-time. With Gerela kicking the ball it was almost a 50/50 toss up whether it would go in or not, but it did not matter because the rest of the team was that dominant.
9. Garo Yepremian
Garo Yepremian, the kicker on the undefeated Miami Dolphins team in 1972, had perhaps the worst play in Super Bowl history. On a blocked field goal he found himself in a very unfamiliar position with the ball in his hands. What he did with it is now played on blooper reels forever, he got the ball sprinted right and then tried to throw (no receivers were in sight) and then he batted the ball into the air. Washington picked it off and ran for their only touchdown of the game. Larry Csonka has said he wanted to get Garo jokingly after seeing that play. Despite that blunder, the Dolphins won the Super Bowl 14-7 and are still the only team to go undefeated.
8. Marc Wilson
The Raiders drafted Marc Wilson with the fifteenth pick in the 1980 draft. He was drafted just in time to win two Super Bowls as the back up quarterback in both 1981 and 1984. He was back up to Jim Plunkett who was solid, but if Marc Wilson was truly a great first round pick he could have beat Plunkett out as the starter late in his career. Wilson eventually became the starter when Plunkett retired and he lead the Raiders to an AFC West title in 1985, but he never really became a top tier quarterback that he was projected to be. The Raiders could have easily won the two Super Bowls in without Wilson on the team. Marcus Allen had one of the most dominant performances for a running back in the 1984 Super Bowl win, so no one on the team had to pass very much.
7. Jason Garrett
Jason Garrett has been on the hot seat in Dallas as a head coach for quite sometime now. One of the main reasons he still has his job is because he has such a great relationship with the team owner Jerry Jones. Their relationship goes all the way back to when Garrett was winning Super Bowls in the glory days of the Cowboys in the 90s. Garrett did not start at quarterback at that time. Instead he backed up hall of famer Troy Aikman and rode the pine. He sat his way to two Super Bowl rings and now he is in search of his third as a head coach. If he brings home the Lombardi as a coach, it will be much more satisfying for him because he will have played a major part in it.
6. David Tyree
Without his incredible helmet catch over Rodney Harrison in the Super Bowl it is highly unlikely any fan would remember the name David Tyree. His role on the team was mainly to be a special teams player and to be a blocking receiver in some formations. He had not caught a touchdown all season, but in the Super Bowl he caught a touchdown and came up with the game’s biggest play as well. Leading up to the game Tyree reportedly had his worst practice of the season almost dropping every ball thrown his way. Yet his hands came up clutch in the big game and if he does not make the helmet catch then the Patriots likely would have been undefeated Super Bowl champs. Tyree never had a game before or after the Super Bowl that where he made as much of an impact as he did in that game.
5. Brad Johnson
During his 16-year career Brad Johnson was never looked at as an elite quarterback that could carry his team to a Super Bowl. He was more seen as a game manager who could maintain ball security and execute an offence. He won the Super Bowl in 2003 with Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it was mainly their defence that carried them to a championship. Tampa Bay had a great defence for many years under Tony Dungy and after he was fired Jon Gruden came in to help a struggling offence. In his first year with the team Gruden took the Bucs to the Super Bowl and they played the team he coached prior the Oakland Raiders. Since Gruden knew so much about the Raiders, his new team including Johnson walked all over them in the big game. Not only did Johnson benefit from an all time great defence, but he had an X’s and O’s advantage as well.
4. Derek Loville
Derek Loville was played in the NFL as a back up running back, and when he played back up running backs did not get as many carries as they do today with almost every team using a shared backfield. When he played with the 49ers he backed up Ricky Waters who was a workhorse for them, so he did not get to see much playing time. He played with them in 1994 when they had a tremendous squad that included hall of famers Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Deion Sanders. Loville somehow then lucked his way on to the Broncos after that who were one of the best teams in the NFL and had Terrell Davis who was a bell cow running back for them. He was on the team when the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1999 and 1998.
3. Trent Dilfer
Trent Dilfer is always referred to as one of the worst quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl. That may be a little harsh, but Dilfer never did anything in his career outside of winning that one Super Bowl to prove that statement wrong. The biggest reason why he won the Super Bowl in 2001 with the Ravens is because he was playing alongside one of the greatest defenses in the history of football. The stars on that defense included Ray Lewis and Ed Reed both in their prime and Tony Siragusa up front. Dilfer has obvious football talent because he was drafted sixth overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1994 draft. His football knowledge was also very evident during his time as an analyst with ESPN. The Ravens might have still won the Super Bowl without Dilfer, but he was definitely a step up from Tony Banks who started the season as the number one quarterback.
2. Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson found himself in the right place at the right time playing with the San Francisco 49ers from 1981-1990. Playing alongside legends like Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, and Steve Young made it easy for Wilson to ride their coat tails to four Super Bowl championships. There are barely any players that have won four Super Bowls and Mike Wilson proves that not all of them are legends. He won Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV and his crowning moment was in the 1983 NFC Championship game when he caught 2 touchdowns replacing the injured Dwight Clark. He only caught 15 touchdowns in his career and compared to his counterparts Jerry Rice’s 197 touchdowns it is easy to see why he found a spot on the list.
1. Marv Fleming
Marv Fleming was a tight end during the 60s and 70s and he was fortunate to be on some of the best teams of all-time. A big reason why were the coaches that he played for, both his coaches Vince Lombardi and Don Shula helped shape the game of football and are legends. Fleming was remarkably the first player in NFL history to play in five Super Bowls. He played in Super Bowl I and II with the Green Bay Packers and he played in Super Bowls VI, VII, and VIII with the Miami Dolphins. He was also a part of the Miami Dolphin team that went undefeated. The reason why he makes the list is because he only averaged a little over a touchdown a season in his career. The NFL was not throwing to tight ends as much as they are now, so he did not have much production throughout his career.
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