Young QBs struggle in Super Bowl debuts

Jan 28, 2013 |
Young QBs struggle in Super Bowl debuts
History suggests Colin Kaepernick won't put up mind-blowing numbers Sunday.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
History suggests Colin Kaepernick won't put up mind-blowing numbers Sunday.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will join some elite company when he takes the field for Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3.

The Nevada product will have been on this Earth for exactly 25 years and 91 days this Sunday when he takes his first Super Bowl snap and become the sixth-youngest QB to ever play in the big game.

Here’s a look at the five QBs ahead of Kaepernick 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.

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