Saints QB Brees looks to join list of Super Bowl repeat quarterbacks
Without question, repeating as Super Bowl champion is a very difficult but hardly impossible task. What has been impossible is winning three consecutive Super Bowl championships. It has never been done.
As the New Orleans Saints get ready for the 2010 season, they can take comfort in knowing that there have been eight repeat champions in NFL history.
That translates into 16 of 44 winners (36.3%) reigning as repeat winners of the NFL's top prize. That is encouraging to the Saints and Who Dats everywhere.
Perhaps more revealing and encouraging is the fact that of the eight repeat champions, all back-to-back champions, were quarterbacked by NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
Bart Starr led the Packers to NFL titles in Super Bowls 1 and 2. He was the Most Valuable Player in both games, victories over Kansas City and Oakland.
Bob Griese guided the Dolphins to victory in Super Bowls 7 and 8 though he hardly threw the football as Jake Scott and Larry Csonka were the MVP's. Still, Griese's leadership cannot be undervalued in their wins over Washington and Minnesota.
Louisiana Tech's Terry Bradshaw quarterbacked the Steelers to back-to-back titles in both Super Bowls 9 and 10 and Super Bowls 13 and 14. Franco Harris and Lynn Swann earned MVP honors in the first two wins over Minnesota and Dallas while Bradshaw, who had matured into a star, was the MVP in each of the latter victories over Dallas and the Rams.
Joe Montana directed the 49ers to consecutive NFL titles in Super Bowls 23 and 24. Jerry Rice was the MVP in the first victory though Montana led a last quarter drive to win the game over Cincinnati while Montana earned MVP honors in the second win over Denver in New Orleans. Montana and the 49ers won a third title in Super Bowl 16 over the Bengals in which Montana was the MVP.
Troy Aikman led the Cowboys to consecutive championships in Super Bowls 27 and 28. He was the MVP in the first title while Emmitt Smith earned MVP honors in the second victory, both over Buffalo.
John Elway took the Broncos to titles in Super Bowls 32 and 33. Terrell Davis won MVP honors in the win over Green Bay while Elway was the MVP in the second title game, a convincing victory over Atlanta.
Tom Brady guided the Patriots to championships in Super Bowls 38 and 39. He was the MVP in the first win, a shootout victory over Carolina, while Deion Branch was the MVP in the win over Philadelphia.
That's 8 Super Bowl teams, 16 Super Bowl victories, all led by quarterbacks either in the NFL Hall of Fame or certain to be (Brady).
There is little doubt that Drew Brees is well on his way to becoming an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback. Of course, another Super Bowl championship on his resume would make him a lock-cinch to reach the hallowed Hall in Canton, Ohio.
Even without another Super Bowl win, Brees should reach the Hall of Fame. He is among the most accurate passers in NFL history.
He set an NFL record with 440 completions in 2007. He nearly had a record-setting season for completion yardage in 2008 with 5,069 yards passing.
He was tremendous in 2009, setting an NFL record with an amazing 70.62 completion percentage and won Super Bowl MVP honors and was second in the regular season MVP voting. He tied a Super Bowl record with 32 completions in the 31-17 Super Bowl 44 win over the Colts.
Brees was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and has won the NFC Offensive Player of the Year three times. He was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2004. He is even a cover-boy for John Madden's video game. Brees has reached four Pro Bowls, including one with the Chargers and three with the Saints. He has been named All-Pro three times.
Brees has a career quarterback rating of 91.9. His postseason quarterback rating is 103.7. He has the highest completion percentage in NFL postseason history (66.7%). He has the lowest interception percentage in NFL postseason history (0.89%).
Brees has 215 career touchdown passes and just 112 interceptions. Amazingly, Brees has 13 career postseason touchdown passes and just 2 interceptions.
If he accomplishes nothing else, Brees is already an NFL Hall of Famer when you weigh his accomplishments. Fortunately for Saints fans, Brees is just 31 years old and showing no signs of slipping in form. He is at the top of his game.
That's the case for Brees and the NFL Hall of Fame. The case for the Saints repeating as NFL champions is strong as well.
When you examine Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, 23 of the Super Bowl champions were quarterbacked by NFL Hall of Famers (52.27%). Roger Staubach led Dallas to a pair of Super Bowl titles in the 1970's.
Other NFL Hall of Famers leading their teams to Super Bowl victories include Joe Namath, Len Dawson, Johnny Unitas and Steve Young.
Among the still active NFL quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger (twice), Peyton Manning and Brett Favre have guided teams to Super Bowl victories. Kurt Warner just retired and he led the Rams to a championship as well. Brady was listed above.
All five seem virtually certain to attain NFL Hall of Fame status. That would be 27 of the 44 Super Bowls to be led by Hall of Fame quarterbacks (61.3%). In addition, Eli Manning has a chance to attain Hall of Fame honors if he can take the Giants to another Super Bowl title.
Among other quarterbacks to lead teams to Super Bowl titles, Jim Plunkett (twice) is the only two-time winner not to reach the NFL Hall of Fame. He was good. Ken Stabler was very good and did not reach the Hall of Fame. Phil Simms was very good and is not in the Canton Shrine. Joe Theismann led the Redskins to a pair of Super Bowl appearances.
Other Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks included Earl Morrall, Doug Williams, Brad Johnson, Jeff Hostetler, Jim McMahon, Mark Rypien and Trent Dilfer.
Of that group, Dilfer and Williams were likely the weakest but the Ravens were so good defensively that they easily won Super Bowl 35 over the Giants while Williams had a career game and a second quarter to remember in Super Bowl 22. Both had their numbers skewed a bit by playing with Tampa Bay early in their careers.
All were serviceable, solid quarterbacks in the league. Morrall split time with Unitas in Super Bowl five and was a solid player who was part of a pair of Super Bowl teams, one with the Baltimore Colts and one with Miami. He played 21 years in the league.
Williams had the same number of touchdown passes (73) as interceptions (73) and completed just 49.5 percent of his passes.
Johnson completed nearly 62 percent of his passes in 15 seasons. Hostetler completed 58 percent of his passes in a 12-year career. McMahon completed 58 percent of his passes.
Rypien tossed 115 touchdown passes in an 11-year career. Dilfer threw more interceptions (129) than touchdown passes (113) in a 13-year career.
Bottom line--while it is very tough to win consecutive Super Bowls in today's NFL, much more difficult than when the Packers did so with fewer NFL teams in 1967 and 1968, the Saints have the talent and coaching to do so.
Avoiding significant injuries is a key. Matching the intensity of opponents intensity is of paramount importance. Improving up front on defense is essential.
Having an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback in the prime of his career is encouraging. Hall of Fame quarterbacks win Super Bowls. Only Hall of Fame quarterbacks have won consecutive Super Bowls. With Brees, the Saints have a genuine shot at doing so.
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