Four Decades of Super Bowl Stats
By Sean Lind
Slip & Tackle
With the NFL and its players having finally come to an agreement, football fans can start getting stoked for the 92nd NFL season.
With the lockout officially over we’ve decided to celebrate by taking a look at the stats of the every quarterback to have ever played in a Super Bowl. We’ve tried to sort the data in the most informative and accurate way possible.
The main portion of data comes from combining the career stats of every Super Bowl quarterback by the decade in which they played. Players spanning multiple decades were put into the group where the majority of most crucial seasons lay.
Obviously the majority of the QB’s from the 2000’s are still active, so keep in mind that their numbers are for a partial career vs. the completed careers of the previous generations of players. Finally all players from 1960’s Super Bowls are included in the 70’s figures.
Without further ado, the infographic (click on the teaser below for the full-sized infographic):
NFL Rule Changes
In addition to the evolution of talent, some of the changes in stats across the decades can be attributed to changes in the game, most notably rule changes. Below you’ll find all of the rule changes as pertaining to quarterbacks circa 1974. As you’ll see they are almost all designed to increase a player’s career length and open up the passing game.
1974: Sweeping rules changes were adopted to add action and tempo to games: one sudden-death overtime period was added for preseason and regular-season games.
Roll-blocking and cutting of wide receivers was eliminated; the extent of downfield contact a defender could have with an eligible receiver was restricted.
The penalties for offensive holding, illegal use of the hands, and tripping were reduced from 15 to 10 yards; wide receivers blocking back toward the ball within three yards of the line of scrimmage were prevented from blocking below the waist.
1977: Rule changes were adopted to open up the passing game and to cut down on injuries.
Defenders were permitted to make contact with eligible receivers only once; the head slap was outlawed; offensive linemen were prohibited from thrusting their hands to an opponent’s neck, face, or head; and wide receivers were prohibited from clipping, even in the legal clipping zone.
1978: The NFL continued a trend toward opening up the game. Rules changes permitted a defender to maintain contact with a receiver within five yards of the line of scrimmage, but restricted contact beyond that point. The pass-blocking rule was interpreted to permit the extending of arms and open hands.
1979: NFL rules changes emphasized additional player safety. The changes prohibited players on the receiving team from blocking below the waist during kickoffs, punts, and field-goal attempts; prohibited the wearing of torn or altered equipment and exposed pads that could be hazardous; extended the zone in which there could be no crackback blocks; and instructed officials to quickly whistle a play dead when a quarterback was clearly in the grasp of a tackler.
1980: Rules changes placed greater restrictions on contact in the area of the head, neck, and face.
Under the heading of “personal foul,” players were prohibited from directly striking, swinging, or clubbing on the head, neck, or face. Starting in 1980, a penalty could be called for such contact whether or not the initial contact was made below the neck area.
1988: At the NFL annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, a 45-second clock was also approved to replace the 30-second clock. For a normal sequence of plays, the interval between plays was changed to 45 seconds from the time the ball is signaled dead until it is snapped on the succeeding play.
1995: Quarterbacks may now receive communication from the bench via a small radio transmitter in their helmets. This proposal was originally run on a test basis last year during the preseason, but was scrapped.
1996: The five-yard contact rule will be enforced more stringently.
Hits with the helmet or to the head by the defender will be flagged as personal fouls and subject to fines. This is being done to protect the offense, particularly the quarterback.
1999: Instant replay returns with a challenge system.
2001: Protecting the passer will be emphasized even more.
2002: It is illegal to hit a quarterback helmet-to-helmet anytime after a change of possession.
2005: Unnecessary roughness would be called for blocks away from the play on punters or kickers, similar to the same protection quarterbacks have after interceptions.
2006: Defenders are prohibited from hitting a quarterback in the knee or below unless they are blocked into him. This rule was enacted in response to the previous season’s injuries to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Brian Griese.
2007: Roughing-the-passer penalties will not be called on a defender engaged with a quarterback who simply extends his arms and shoves the passer to the ground.
A completed catch is now when a receiver gets two feet down and has control of the ball. Previously, a receiver had to make “a football move” in addition to having control of the ball for a reception.
2009: The initial contact to the head of a defenseless receiver is also prohibited.
A defensive player on the ground may no longer lunge or dive at the quarterback’s lower legs.
Complete Super Bowl Quarterback Stats:
|QB – Quarterback||DYR – Draft Year||DP – Draft Position||DTM – Draft Team|
|PTM – Primary Team||S – Seasons||PB – ProBowls||AP – All-Pro|
|G – Games||SW – Super Bowls Won||SL – Super Bowls Lost||YDS – Yards|
|TDP – Touchdown Passes||I – Interceptions||PA – Pass Attempts||PC – Pass Completions|
|YPA – Yards/Attempt||PCR – Pass Completion Rate||PR – Passer Rating|
|Aaron Rodgers||2005||24||Green Bay||Green Bay||6||1||0||54||1||0||12723||87||32||1611||1038||7.90||64%||98.4|
|Bart Starr||1956||200||Green Bay||Green Bay||16||4||4||196||2||0||24718||152||138||3149||1808||7.85||57%||80.5|
|Brad Johnson||1992||227||Minnesota||Tampa Bay||15||2||0||177||1||0||29054||166||122||4326||2668||6.72||62%||82.5|
|Brett Favre||1991||33||Falcons||Green Bay||20||11||6||302||1||1||71838||508||336||10169||6300||7.06||62%||86|
|Daryle Lamonica||1963||168||Green Bay||Oakland||12||2||0||151||0||1||19154||164||138||2601||1288||7.36||50%||72.9|
|Doug Williams||1978||17||Tampa Bay||Washington||9||0||0||88||1||0||16998||100||93||2507||1240||6.78||49%||69.4|
|Drew Bledsoe||1993||1||New England||New England||14||4||0||194||0||1||44611||251||206||6717||3839||6.64||57%||77.1|
|Drew Brees||2001||32||San Diego||New Orleans||10||5||3||138||1||0||35266||235||132||4822||3145||7.31||65%||91.7|
|Eli Manning||2004||1||San Diego||N.Y.Giants||7||1||0||105||1||0||22646||156||113||3332||1932||6.80||58%||80.2|
|Jim Plunkett||1971||1||New England||Oakland||15||0||0||157||2||0||25882||164||198||3701||1943||6.99||52%||67.5|
|Joe Namath||1965||12||St. Louis||N.Y.Jets||13||1||1||140||1||0||27663||173||220||3762||1886||7.35||50%||65.5|
|Matt Hasselbeck||1998||187||Green Bay||Seattle||12||3||1||170||0||1||29579||176||128||4279||2572||6.91||60%||82.2|
|Rich Gannon||1987||98||New England||Oakland||17||4||3||157||0||1||28743||180||104||4206||2533||6.83||60%||84.7|
|Ron Jaworski||1973||37||Los Angeles||Philadelphia||15||1||0||188||0||1||28190||179||164||4117||2187||6.85||53%||72.8|
|Stan Humphries||1988||159||Washington||San Diego||8||0||0||88||0||1||17191||89||84||2516||1431||6.83||57%||75.8|
|Steve Young||1984||1||Tampa Bay||S.Francisco||15||7||6||169||1||0||33124||232||107||4149||2667||7.98||64%||96.8|
|Tom Brady||2000||199||New England||New England||11||6||3||145||3||1||34744||261||103||4710||2996||7.38||64%||95.2|
|Tony Eason||1983||15||New England||New England||9||0||0||90||0||1||11142||61||51||1564||911||7.12||58%||79.7|
|Trent Dilfer||1994||6||Tampa Bay||Baltimore||13||1||0||130||1||0||20518||113||129||3172||1759||6.47||55%||70.2|
|Vince Ferragamo||1977||91||Los Angeles||Los Angeles||9||0||0||75||0||1||11336||76||91||1615||902||7.02||56%||70.1|
*Note: Both Earl Morrall and Kurt Warner went to the Superbowl with two separate teams.