The Denver Broncos undoubtedly have the experience edge when it comes to Super Bowl quarterbacks, especially with young signal callers struggling on the NFL’s biggest stage.
Peyton Manning, at age 37, is making his third Super Bowl appearance in his 16th season in the NFL, while his counterpart, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, is in just his second year in the pros.
Wilson, at age 25 years and 65 days when he takes the field in MetLife Stadium on February 2, will be the sixth youngest Super Bowl quarterback in history, bumping his rival, San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (25 years, 91 days) to seventh youngest.
Kaepernick threw for 302 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and rushed for 62 yards and score in a losing effort against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII last February. The 49ers fell 34-31 as 4.5-point favorites.
Here’s a look at the five QBs ahead of Wilson on the list and how they performed in their respective Super Bowl debuts as youngsters. None of the previous QBs racked up anything close to mind-blowing numbers in their first appearances.
1) Dan Marino - 23 years 127 days
Super Bowl XIX - San Francisco vs. Miami (+3.5)
Result: Dolphins lose 38-16 and fail to cover.
Marino and the Dolphins squared off against the San Francisco 49ers and Joe Montana in Super Bowl XIX. The Dolphins, who had 74 rushing attempts in the previous two weeks, ran the ball only eight times in this game. Marino finished with 29 completions out of 50 attempts for 318 yards, throwing one touchdown pass and two picks in what would be his only Super Bowl appearance.
2) Ben Roethlisberger - 23 years 340 days
Super Bowl XL - Pittsburgh vs. Seattle (+4)
Result: Steelers win 21-10 and cover.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious over the Seattle Seahawks. But Roethlisberger had one of the worst passing games of his career, completing just nine of 21 passes for 123 yards and two interceptions. His atrocious passer rating of 22.6 was the lowest in Super Bowl history by a winning quarterback. Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback to win the Super Bowl, a record previously held by New England’s Tom Brady.
3) David Woodley - 24 years 97 days
Super Bowl XVII - Washington vs. Miami (-3)
Result: Dolphins lose 27-17 and fail to cover.
The Dolphins had a tough matchup against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII. At the time, Woodley was the youngest Super Bowl starting quarterback in NFL history when he took the field. Despite starting the game well with a 76-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Cefalo, Woodley and the entire offense struggled after that, going 0-for-8 passing in the second half.
4) Tom Brady - 24 years 184 days
Super Bowl XXXVI - New England vs. St. Louis (-14)
Result: Patriots win 20-17 and cover.
The Patriots were listed by Las Vegas oddsmakers as 14-point underdogs against the NFC champion St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. Brady was named MVP in the Patriots victory while throwing for 145 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions, becoming the then-youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl.
5) Drew Bledsoe - 24 years 347 days
Super Bowl XXXI - Green Bay vs. New England (+14)
Result: Patriots lose 35-21 and earn bettors a push.
Bledsoe completed 25 of 48 passes for 253 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions in the loss.
* The O/U is 3-2 in these five games.