The OG List returns and we have a complete list of all the starting quarterbacks from every Super Bowl including the first one with Bart Starr from the Green Bay Packers defeating Len Dawson from Kansas City Chiefs, to the current matchup in Super Bowl 56 featuring Joe Burrow from the Cincinnati Bengals versus Matthew Stafford from the LA Rams in a battle of #1 picks at quarterback.

Len Dawson Super Bowl starting QB quarterback quarterbacks list
Len Dawson trots off the field at the first Super Bowl after the Kansas City Chiefs lost to Bart Starr and the Green Bay Packers. (Image: Getty)

In case you were wondering, Tom Brady recently retired but the so-called GOAT holds the record with seven victories and 10 appearances as a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl. Brady won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and was the starting quarterback in nine with the Pats. He won his seventh championship and made a tenth appearance with the Tampa Bay Bucs in Super Bowl 55. At this point, those 10 starts in the Super Bowl at QB might be a record that Brady holds for a very long time.

John Elway was the starting quarterback in the Super Bowl five times, but he lost his first three trips before winning in his final two in back-to-back seasons with the Denver Broncos in the late 1990s.

Jim Kelly holds the record most starts in the Super Bowl without winning one. Kelly started for the Buffalo Bills during four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl in the early 1990s, but the Bills were the runner-up all four times.

Joe Namath Super Bowl 3 New York Jets QB
Joe Namath guided the New York Jets to a huge upset over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl 3. (Image: Sports Illustrated)

Super Bowl: Early Days

The Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls with Hall of Famer Bart Starr under center. He defeated Len Dawson in the inaugural Super Bowl.

A lot of people incorrectly think Joe Namath and the New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl 3 with Johnny Unitas as the starting QB, but it was actually Earl Morral who was the starter that day. He got pulled in favor of Unitas after throwing a third interception, and Unitas finished the game.

Super Bowl 1 Bart Starr (Green Bay Packers) Len Dawson (Kansas City Chiefs)
Super Bowl 2 Bart Starr (Green Bay Packers) Daryle Lamonica (Oakland Raiders)
Super Bowl 3 Joe Namath (NY Jets) Earl Morral (Baltimore Colts)
Super Bowl 4 Len Dawson (KC Chiefs) Joe Happ (Minnesota Vikings)
Super Bowl 5 Johnny Unitas (Baltimore Colts) Craig Morton (Dallas Cowboys)
Super Bowl 6 Roger Staubach (Dallas Cowboys) Bob Griese (Miami Dolphins)
Super Bowl 7 Bob Griese (Miami Dolphins) Bill Kilmer (Washington)
Super Bowl 8 Bob Griese (Miami Dolphins) Fran Tarkenton (Minnesota Vikings)

Unitas would finally get a Super Bowl victory as the starting QB in Super Bowl 5 against the Dallas Cowboys,

Bob Griese lost his first start with the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl 6 against Roger Staubach and the Dallas Cowboys. Griese he won back-to-back starts in the next two years including leading the Dolphins to a perfect season in 1972.

Terry Bradshaw Pittsburgh Steelers
Terry Bradshaw from the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass against the LA Rams in Super Bowl 14. (Image: Getty)

1970s: Terry Bradshaw and the Steel Curtain

The late 1970s were defined by the Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty. Terry Bradshaw led the Steelers to four championships between 1974 and 1979. He defeated Staubach and the Dallas Cowboys twice during their run, which is how those two deeps developed a deeply-rooted rivalry.

Super Bowl 9 Terry Bradshaw (Pittsburgh Steelers) Frank Tarkenton (Minnesota Vikings)
Super Bowl 10 Terry Bradshaw (Pittsburgh Steelers) Roger Staubach (Dallas Cowboys)
Super Bowl 11 Ken Stabler (Oakland Raiders) Fran Tarkenton (Minnesota Vikings)
Super Bowl 12 Roger Staubach (Dallas Cowboys) Craig Morton (Denver Broncos)
Super Bowl 13 Terry Bradshaw (Pittsburgh Steelers) Roger Staubach (Dallas Cowboys)
Super Bowl 14 Terry Bradshaw (Pittsburgh Steelers) Vince Ferragamo (LA Rams)
Super Bowl 15 Jim Plunkett (Oakland Raiders) Ron Jaworski (Philadelphia Eagles)

Fran Tarkenton was the starting quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings, but he could not lead the Purple People Eaters to a championship. Tarkenton was the losing quarterback in three different Super Bowls between 1973 and 1976.

The Vikings were good enough to advance to the Big Game, but could never get over the hump against three stellar teams. Tarkenton lost in the Super Bowl against Griese and the Dolphins, Bradshaw and the Steelers, and Kenny “The Snake” Stabler and the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl 11.

Joe Montana Super Bowl quarterback San Francisco 49ers
Joe Montana from the San Francisco 49ers unleashes a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 23. (Image: Sports Illustrated)

1980s: Joe Montana and the 49ers Dynasty

A lot of old-school NFL fans will go to their graves stating that Joe Montana is the GOAT and that Brady is only the second-best starting quarterback in the Super Bowl history. Montana won the Super Bowl four times as the starting quarterback. He beat the Cincinnati Bengals twice against Ken Anderson in Super Bowl 16 and Boomer Esiason in Super Bowl 23. Montana also defeated Hall of Famers Dan Marino and John Elway in his other two Super Bowl victories.

Super Bowl 16 Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) Ken Anderson (Cincinnati Bengals)
Super Bowl 17 Joe Theismann (Washington) David Woodley (Miami Dolphins)
Super Bowl 18 Jim Plunkett (LA Raiders) Joe Theismann (Washington)
Super Bowl 19 Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) Dan Marino (Miami Dolphins)
Super Bowl 20 Jim McMahon (Chicago Bears) Tony Eason (New England Patriots)
Super Bowl 21 Phil Sims (New York Giants) John Elway (Denver Broncos)
Super Bowl 22 Doug Williams (Washington) John Elway (Denver Broncos)
Super Bowl 23 Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) Boomer Esiason(Cincinnati Bengals)
Super Bowl 24 Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) John Elway (Denver Broncos)

During the 1980s, Joe Theismann went 1-1 as a starter in the Super Bowl with the Washington Football Team. Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl with the 1987 WFT.

Elway could not get over the hump in the 1980s. He led the Denver Broncos to a berth in the Super Bowl three times inside a four-year stretch, but he lost all three times.

Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills runner-up
Jim Kelly was the starting quarterback in four consecutive losing trips to the Super Bowl with the Buffalo Bills. (Image: UAS Today Sports)

1990s: Troy Aikman Wins Three, Jim Kelly Zilch

In the 1990s, the Buffalo Bills could not win the Super Bowl to save their lives. Kelly started in four-consecutive trips to the Super Bowl, but lost to Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys twice. He also lost to NY Giants backup QB Jeff Hostetler in Super Bowl 25, and against Mark Rypien in Super Bowl 26.

Super Bowl 25 Jeff Hostetler (NY Giants) Jim Kelly (Buffalo Bills)
Super Bowl 26 Mark Rypien (Washington) Jim Kelly (Buffalo Bills)
Super Bowl 27 Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys) Jim Kelly (Buffalo Bills)
Super Bowl 28 Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys) Jim Kelly (Buffalo Bills)
Super Bowl 29 Steve Young (San Francisco 49ers) Stan Humphries (San Diego Chargers)
Super Bowl 30 Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys) Neil O’Donnell (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Super Bowl 31 Brett Favre (Green Bay Packers) Drew Bledsoe (New England Patriots)
Super Bowl 32 John Elway (Denver Broncos) Brett Favre (Green Bay Packers)
Super Bowl 33 John Elway (Denver Broncos) Chris Chandler (Atlanta Falcons)
Super Bowl 34 Kurt Warner (St. Louis Rams) Steve McNair (Tennessee Titans)
Super Bowl 35 Trent Dilfer (Baltimore Ravens) Kerry Collins (NY Giants)

Elway finally broke his losing streak with back-to-back victories in Super Bowl 32 and 33. Elway denied Brett Favre and the 1997 Green Bay Packers to win his first Super Bowl.

The last time the Rams won the Super Bowl, they played in St. Louis with Kurt Warner as the starter against Steve McNair from the Tennessee Titans.

Tom Brady New England Patriots Panthers Super Bowl
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots win their second championship against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 38. (Image: Getty)

21st Century: Brady and Big Ben

Brady kicked off the new century with three trips to the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. Brady won the championship in his first three appearances as a starter. He denied Warner another victory, and held off Jake Delhomme from the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 38, and Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 39.

Super Bowl 36 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Kurt Warner (St. Louis Rams)
Super Bowl 37 Brad Johnson (Tampa Bay Bucs) Rich Gannon (Oakland Raiders)
Super Bowl 38 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Jake Delhomme (Carolina Panthers)
Super Bowl 39 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles)
Super Bowl 40 Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) Matt Hasselbeck (Seattle Seahawks)
Super Bowl 41 Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts) Rex Grossman (Chicago Bears)
Super Bowl 42 Eli Manning (NY Giants) Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
Super Bowl 43 Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals)
Super Bowl 44 Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts)
Super Bowl 45 Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Ben Roethlisberger led the Pittsburgh Steelers back to their glory days with two victories in Super Bowl 40 and 43. He was the starter in Super Bowl 45 when Aaron Rodgers won his only Super Bowl with the 2010 Green Bay Packers

Drew Brees defeated Peyton Manning in Super Bowl 44, which was a huge emotional victory for the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina ravished the area a couple years prior.

Peyton Manning Colts Bears
Peyton Manning throws a jump pass for the Indianapolis Colts against the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl 41. (Image: USA Today Sports)

2010s: Manning Brothers and More Brady

Peyton Manning won his first championship with the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 41. Eli Manning followed his brother’s victory with a huge upset for the New York Giants over Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl 42.

Eli won a second Super Bowl before Peyton with another upset win against the Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl 46. Peyton had to switch teams before he finally won a second championship with the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

Super Bowl 46 Eli Manning (NY Giants) Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
Super Bowl 47 Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers)
Super Bowl 48 Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)
Super Bowl 49 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)
Super Bowl 50 Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos) Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers)
Super Bowl 51 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)
Super Bowl 52 Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles) Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
Super Bowl 53 Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Bucs) Jared Goff (LA Rams)
Super Bowl 54 Patrick Mahomes (KC Chiefs) Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers)
Super Bowl 55 Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Bucs) Patrick Mahomes (KC Chiefs)
Super Bowl 56 Matthew Stafford (LA Rams)
Joe Burrow (Cincy Bengals)

Brady won four more championships in the most recent era, including three more with Belichick and the Patriots. Just when everyone thought he was washed up, Brady led the Tampa Bay Bucs to an upset victory in Super Bowl 55 against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Check out more OG’s Lists including a complete list of Super Bowl winners. Also, check out our list of Super Bowl MVPs.

Similar Guides On This Topic