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Not-so-Super Bowl QBs

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Friday January 19, 2001 11:59 AM
Updated: Sunday January 21, 2001 9:20 AM

 
Not so high five
'69 Vikings 

Joe Kapp
 
'79 Rams 

Vince Ferragamo
 
'82 Dolphins 

David Woodley
 
'85 Patriots 

Tony Eason
 
'94 Chargers 

Stan Humphries
 
 
By John Donovan, CNNSI.com

No one is going to confuse Trent Dilfer and Kerry Collins with, say, John Elway and Terry Bradshaw. Dilfer and Collins are probably closer to, say, Craig Morton and Vince Ferragamo.

Still, you don't have to be a great quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. Morton did it. Twice. Ferragamo did. So did David Woodley and Earl Morrall and Neil O'Donnell. Mark Rypien, for goodness sakes, won the MVP in the 1992 Super Bowl.

There are all sorts of ... lesser known ... quarterbacks who have played in the NFL's biggest game [see chart]. Some played OK. Some even won.

On Jan. 28, Dilfer and Collins get their shot at the NFL's brass ring when the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants play in Super Bowl XXXV. And already, Dilfer and Collins are hearing how they may be the worst to ever play in the game.

"I don't know how good I am," Dilfer admitted after the Ravens manhandled the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship Game, "but I'm the right quarterback for this football team now, and that's the best I can be."

CNNSI.com recently asked users to nominate the Worst Quarterbacks to Make the Super Bowl. Some gave us their ideas on the Worst Performance by a Quarterback in the Super Bowl (Pittsburgh's Neil O'Donnell, in the 1996 version against Dallas, was a popular choice), some just nominated the Worst Quarterback of All Time.

But we've stuck to it and picked the five Worst Quarterbacks to Make the Super Bowl. Here they are, with some comments from users who agreed with us.

Tony Eason
Tony Eason His story: One of the famed members of the quarterback class of '83, Eason never quite threatened to make valedictorian. But he was a starter in New England for the first part of his career, often in a deep competition with Steve Grogan. He has a career passer rating of 79.7.

You say: "Tony Eason is to Super Bowl quarterbacks [what] Geraldo Rivera is to journalistic integrity," says Gary of Chelmsford, Mass.

"I say Tony Eason, but it wasn't all Eason's fault," says John Alden of Washington, D.C. "The Pats had the option to start Steve Grogan, who took them to the dance in the first place. Also, don't forget Stanley Morgan's drop at the Bears' 5-yard line on a quick-hit sideline route. By the time Eason did get pulled, Grogan was behind the 8-ball and that Bears defense. Hampton, Dent, and the Fridge are still scarier than what the Ravens and Ray Lewis bring to the table."

Says Kevin Black of Washington, D.C.: "Worst I ever saw was Tony Eason of the Patriots. He literally did zero to help his team."

And Derek Scott, of Washington, D.C.: "The Super Bowl is as much about courage and toughness as it is about talent. The most gutless award goes hands down to ... Tony Eason, who cowered against the Bears' defense. I have never seen a player more afraid. Instead of being irate, Eason was visibly relieved when he was benched."

The last word: Eason was pulled from Super Bowl XX and the Chicago Bears went on to win in a rout, 46-10.

Tony Eason Comp/Att. Yds. TDs Ints.
During 1985 season
168-299
2,156
11
17
In 1986 Super Bowl
0-6
0
0
0
Career
911-1,564
11,142
61
51

Vince Ferragamo
Vince Ferragamo His story: A sporadic starter in his nine years with the Rams, Bills and Packers, Ferragamo's best year was 1980, when he threw 30 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions as the Rams went 11-5.

You say: "Vince Ferragamo," says Bob Cowan of Ontario, Canada. "He even looked bad in Canada."

Says Adil Sayeed of Toronto: "Ferragamo was so bad he was even a bust in the Canadian Football League."

The last word: The Pittsburgh Steelers beat Ferragamo's Rams 31-19 in Super Bowl XIV in Pasadena, Calif.

Vince Ferragamo Comp/Att. Yds. TDs Ints.
During 1979 season
53-110
778
5
10
In 1980 Super Bowl
15-25
212
0
1
Career
902-1,615
11,336
76
91

Stan Humphries
Stan Humphries His story: A big, strong-armed passer, Humphries threw for more than 14,000 yards in his five seasons with the Chargers. His best year probably was his Super Bowl season, when he had a passer rating of 81.6.

You say: "How can you compare Stan Humphries with the likes of Bart Starr, Joe Montana or Terry Bradshaw? Humphries sounds like an elementary school librarian," says Jeff of Berlin, N.J. "Be prepared to add Kerry Collins to the above list."

From Terry Edwards from Dallas: "Mr. Stan Humphries had to be the worst QB to ever play in a Super Bowl. In all actuality, he truly sucked. He was never healthy and he could not run to save his life. He was lucky for that one season."

And from Steve Voorhees of Dillsburg, Pa.: "Whoever the QB was for the Chargers. Man, he was pitiful. 'Nuff said, I think. He was so bad, I put him out of mind."

The bottom line: San Francisco quarterback Steve Young threw six touchdown passes in the 49ers' 49-26 Super Bowl XXIX win.

Stan Humphries Comp/Att. Yds. TDs Ints.
During 1994 season
264-453
3,209
17
12
In 1995 Super Bowl
24-49
275
1
2
Career
1,310-2,291
15,703
84
78

Joe Kapp
Joe Kapp His story: A guy who threw everything into his work, he lasted only four years in the NFL, throwing 19 touchdown passes (and 13 picks) in the 1969 season. In his younger days, he was a threat when he ran, rumbling for 6.2 yards a carry in '67.

You say: "How can you lump Joe Kapp in with the rest of these stiffs? Kapp was one of the toughest SOBs to play the game," says Joel Larson of St. Paul, Minn. "Sure, he may not have had the quarterback skills of Montana, but he could kick the crap out of all of these pretty boys."

Says Chuck Rancourt of Elmhurst, N.Y.: "Joe Kapp. Far and away the worst of the bunch of losing quarterbacks in the Super Bowls. He was of such inclination toward invincibility (because of the surrounding Purple People Eater fame) that he failed to use logic. This was really a case of brawn instead of brain. ... He failed miserably."

The bottom line: In a fairly forgettable Super Bowl, Jan Stenerud kicked three field goals and the Chiefs got a 46-yard touchdown pass from Len Dawson to Otis Taylor to beat Kapp's Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV.

Joe Kapp Comp/Att. Yds. TDs Ints.
During 1969 season
120-237
1,726
19
13
In 1970 Super Bowl
16-25
183
0
2
Career
449-918
5,911
40
64

David Woodley
David Woodley His story: Maybe the model for stopgap QBs, Woodley was serviceable but hardly spectacular in his four years with the Dolphins and, later, two more with Pittsburgh. His best full season may have been 1980, and even then he threw more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (14).

You say: "David Woodley was most likely the worst QB to buckle up a chinstrap because he never should have been an NFL QB in the first place," says Tom Daly of Tampa, Fla. "He rarely threw for over 125 yards in a game in his entire career (at least with the Dolphins)."

John Gagliotti of Meadville, Pa., says "Woodley had no career after the Super Bowl year and Marino came in halfway through the next year as the starter. He is by far the worst of the quarterbacks in this list."

And Toby Srebnik of Tallahassee, Fla., says: "David Woodley is Jay Fiedler 20 years ago. Woodley was the bridge between Bob Griese (injured midway through the 1980 NFL season) and Dan Marino's 1983 rookie season. Woodley got the keys to the castle for a few years, and the best thing he did was not get in the way of Miami's ferocious Killer B's defense in 1982 on the way to the Super Bowl. He performed so poorly in Super Bowl XVII that Don Strock replaced him for most of the second half, and I don't even think the Dolphins completed a second-half pass against Washington that day. Woodley was eventually traded to Pittsburgh in 1985 and disappeared from football shortly thereafter."

The bottom line: The Washington Redskins wiped out Woodley's Dolphins 27-17 in Super Bowl XVII as Redskins running back John Riggins rumbled for 166 yards.

David Woodley Comp/Att. Yds. TDs Ints.
During 1982 season
98-179
1,080
5
8
In 1986 Super Bowl
4-14
97
1
1
Career
687-1,300
8,558
48
63


Off (Under) Center
Worst QB ratings on Super Bowl rosters (minimum 100 attempts)
Rank  Player  Yr.  Team  C-A  Yds.  TD  Int.  Rtg. 
1.  M. Tomczak  '95  Pit.  65-113  666  44.3 
2.  V. Ferragamo *  '79  Rams  53-110  778  10  49.0 
3.  T. Bradshaw *  '74  Pit.  67-148  785  55.2 
4.  J. Gilliam  '74  Pit.  96-212  1,274  55.4 
5.  S. Fuller  '85  Chi.  16  53-107  777  57.3 
6.  D. Pastorini  '80  Oak.  66-130  932  61.4 
7.  D. Woodley *  '82  Mia.  98-179  1,080  63.5 
8.  B. Starr *  '67  G.B.  14  115-210  1,823  17  64.4 
9.  J. Unitas *  '70  Colts  14  166-321  2,213  14  18  65.1 
10.  M. Livingston  '69  K.C.  84-161  1,123  67.4 
11.  T. Eason *  '85  N.E.  16  168-299  2,156  11  17  67.5 
12.  P. Haden  '79  Rams  10  163-290  1,854  11  14  68.1 
13.   T. Banks   '00   Bal.   11   150-274   1,578   8   20   69.3  
23.   T. Dilfer   '00   Bal.   11   134-226   1,502   12   11   76.6  
25.  J. Kapp *  '69  Min.  13  120-237  1,726  19  13  78.5 
32.  S. Humphries *  '94  S.D.  15  264-453  3,209  17  12  81.6 
35.   K. Collins   '00   NYG   16   311-529   3,610   22   13   83.1  
* -- started in Super Bowl
 

 
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