Week 5 takeaways and large questions: Falcons winners in London, Rams boost to 4-1 as Seahawks shed Russell Wilson
What Dak Prescott"s gruesome injury was favor for the Cowboys, Giants who were there: "It just was surreal"

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Barnwell previews divisional weekend (3:34)Bill Barnwell joins SVP to look front to the an essential storylines that the divisional ring of the NFL playoffs. (3:34)


The Dallas Cowboys room trying to perform something this January the hasn"t however been accomplished in NFL history. Nobody has actually made it come the Super key -- allow alone won the huge game -- with a rookie quarterback under center. ~ 50 at sight Bowls, we obviously have seen 100 starting quarterbacks, and while there have been players who were virtually rookies (like Tom Brady in 2001), no passer has actually finished his debut season in the NFL taking snaps on the game"s best stage.

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If i were a Cowboys fan, I"d more than likely hear that and be both worried and hopeful. Hey, 50 years of history is a lengthy time and also a pretty great sample size, and also there have been a lot of of fantastic quarterbacks to come up brief without one future hall of Famer even eking his way through. I"d also probably be suggesting Dak Prescott isn"t your typical rookie quarterback, v the phenom"s premium performance make him an ext like a third- or fourth-year star 보다 a mere agree freshman.

Dak Prescott is just one of the best rookie QBs we"ve ever before seen, and also he"s around to attempt the unprecedented.Tim Heitman/USA this day SportsBoth those sentiments space fair. To figure out why Prescott"s regime would be unprecedented, we"ve gained to take it a look at what has actually happened throughout the Super bowl era to watch why rookie quarterbacks are 0-for-50. Let"s ask and answer a few questions and get ago to Prescott afterward.

Is it weird or how amazing that we haven"t checked out a rookie quarterback in the Super key by now?

Actually, yeah. That is.

I went through every season because the AFL-NFL merger of 1970, which leaves out the very first four super Bowls, return they likewise don"t have any type of rookie quarterbacks. I picked the end all the quarterbacks who started at least seven games (so a minimum of half the season going ago to the 14-game slate) and threw at least 105 passes (for an mean of 15 passes per game) and split them all up by the years of experienced experience they had actually under their belt in ~ the start of the campaign. For this reason Prescott is a rookie, while Marcus Mariota has actually one experienced season under his belt.

For every year of players through a offered level the experience, I identified how numerous quarterback periods it took to commonly get a passer come the super Bowl. There have actually been 152 qualifying second-year seasons due to the fact that 1970 -- that would certainly be someone prefer Mariota this season -- and six the those guys have made it to the at sight Bowl, most recently Russell Wilson in 2013. That"s a price of just under 4 percent, or one Super bowl appearance for every 25.3 seasons.

Most every various other experience level is in between 10 and 20, with a pair of weird exceptions regarded the relatively small samples. The numbers acquire smaller together players obtain into the teenagers of your careers, owing to an option bias: The quarterbacks who are playing in your mid-to-late 30s are usually extremely good and much more likely to do a super Bowl 보다 a typical rookie.

Russell Wilson had the Seahawks in place for a supervisor Bowl run as a rookie, however Atlanta gained in the way.Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesSetting the cutoff because that inclusion to 7 starts eliminates a many hopeless rookies that are just in the lineup due to the fact that the starter is hurt (even if that"s additionally how Prescott gained here). Yet that still pipeline us through 98 qualifying periods that have turned right into zero Super key appearances. That"s remarkable, and even if we assume rookies are everywhere the map in terms of performance, the difference in between rookies and second-year football player isn"t the dramatic.

A an extremely conservative calculation would imply that one rookie season in 30 must turn into a Super key appearance, which "should" have yielded three Super key starts through now. Yet, if Prescott comes up short, we"ll it is in looking in ~ our 99th continuous rookie project without a Super bowl berth. Kinda crazy, right?

Split an additional way, 22 rookies have actually thrown 15 or an ext passes in a playoff game, most recently Connor Cook, who was overmatched during an ugly loss come the Texans in the wild-card round. Those starters, likewise, are 0-for-22 in Super bowl trips. At other experience levels, usually in between five and 10 players make the playoffs because that every Super bowl trip; second-year starters, because that example, have made six Super key runs in 48 tries, an median of eight per expedition to the big dance.

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We"re not "due" for a rookie at sight Bowl operation -- that"s the gambler"s fallacy -- however it"s a surprised we haven"t had at least a pair by now.

Is it due to the fact that rookies pat worse in the postseason? perform they choke? They have to choke, right?

Well, sort of.

Everybody is worse in the postseason 보다 they were during the continuous season, thanks to the cold weather and also the likelihood of facing superior defenses. There space two sub-questions to keep in mind. One is even if it is rookie quarterbacks are worse than usual passers in the constant season, and the various other is even if it is they drop off further in the playoffs 보다 their much more experienced brethren.

The answer to both is yes. To acquire a general gauge that quality, I provided the pro-football-reference.com stat well-known as adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A), i beg your pardon is yards every attempt however with two other numbers included: passing touchdowns, which count for 20 yards, and also interceptions, which count for minus-45 yards. This season"s starting quarterbacks ranged from 10.1 AY/A (Matt Ryan) come 4.3 AY/A (Jared Goff).

Rookie quarterbacks, also the ones that qualify under the seven-start and also 105-attempt rule, are considerably worse during the constant season 보다 passers at any kind of other endure level. With an ext than 32,000 pass attempts, rookies have actually averaged simply under 5.5 AY/A when everybody else is above 6 adjusted yards every attempt. They"re additionally the only team that throws more interceptions 보다 touchdowns, as their collective interception rate is 3.9 percent.

We"re no adjusting for era, so our playoff group of rookies should more than likely be much better than we could think, provided that many of the playoff appearances have come end the past two decades as quarterback stats have risen. Offered that we"re likewise eliminating the truly dreadful rookie quarterbacks that weren"t may be to do it to the postseason, there"s additionally reason to think rookies can actually be an exception to the playoff rule.

That"s every wrong.

Rookies have been an pure mess in the playoffs. Their changed yards per attempt drops to a borderline-unplayable 4.3, and they litter interceptions top top 5.4 percent of their pass attempts. That"s favor Goff if the first overall pick threw four much more picks top top his 205 pass attempts this season. Once rookie passers are collectively performing like Goff in the postseason, they"re no doing very well.

Miami dolphin QB Dan Marino to be a very good rookie, yet it went south in the playoffs.AP Photo/NFL PhotosRelatively, rookies room seeing your postseason AY/A decline by 21 percent and their interception price skyrocket by 40.2 percent. I mentioned just how everybody appears to get worse in the postseason regardless of age, yet those transforms dwarf the competition. I"ve placed the comparisons together for quarterbacks v their very first 10 seasons in the league, and nobody drops turn off as far as rookies, even though rookies are beginning from the worst regular-season baseline:

The Rookie QB Playoff Drop-off

Experiencediff AY/adiff INT%
Rookies-21.0%40.2%
Second-Year-1.8%9.3%
Third-Year-4.7%25.7%
Fourth-Year-5.5%10.4%
Fifth-Year-2.4%7.6%
Sixth-Year-5.8%21.6%
Seventh-Year-7.2%18.3%
Eighth-Year-5.1%11.4%
Ninth-Year-8.7%25.1%
Tenth-Year-3.5%13.6%

Rookie quarterbacks likewise have the worst record in the playoffs, although it"s not by rather as far-ranging of a margin. Rookies cram 15 passes or an ext (as the starter or in reserve) room 11-21 (.344) in the postseason after ~ Cook"s loss critical week. That"s the shortest rate amongst players of any kind of experience level, however it"s no all that far off from third-year quarterbacks, who are 37-57 (.394), or eighth-year passers, who room 26-42 (.382). If Prescott makes it to the supervisor Bowl, rookies would certainly be in a dead warmth with those frauds who waited eight year to expose they couldn"t take care of the pressure of the postseason.

What around the superstar rookies?

Maybe through comparing that to all rookies we"re not developing an proper context because that Prescott. Making use of pro-football-reference.com"s table of contents statistics come scale and account for era, Prescott"s AY/A equates to a 123 AY/A+, i beg your pardon is the sixth-best rate because the closing under the aforementioned seven-start, 105-pass criteria. Let"s look in ~ the guys in his ballpark who made the playoffs and also see just how they go after the consistent season was over.

Pat Haden (1976 Rams, 134 AY/A+) simply qualifies because that this list, with exactly seven starts and 105 overcome to his name. He didn"t do lot in the playoffs, though. Los Angeles winner its divisional round video game 14-12 over Dallas, however Haden was 10-of-21 because that 152 yards with 3 picks prior to going 9-of-22 because that 161 yards v two an ext interceptions in a conference championship loss to the mighty Vikings pass defense.Dan Marino (1983 Dolphins, 123 AY/A+) took end the beginning job for great in mainly 5 and threw 20 touchdowns against six picks throughout a standout rookie campaign. He to be then in line because that a rosy playoff matchup versus the Seahawks and their lousy happen defense, however he struggled. Marino threw two picks, and also the Dolphins go out a 20-17 fourth-quarter lead to lose.The just other qualifying player v an above-average AY/A+ is CFL legend Dieter Brock, who invested his lone season in the NFL posting a 107 AY/A+ as a 33-year-old rookie through the Rams prior to going 10-of-31 because that 66 yards through a pick versus the "85 bear in the conference championship game, after which Brock retired through a ago injury. Following Brock is Joe Flacco, who posted a 99 AY/A+ (average is 100) in 2008 and then go 2-1 in the playoffs in spite of averaging all of 140.3 happen yards every game. The Steelers harassed him right into a three-interception work in the AFC Championship Game.

Many of this quarterbacks played prefer stars together rookies and also turned into franchise quarterbacks after their rookie campaign. Almost every one of them struggled to stop giveaways against the tougher competition of the postseason, and also it at some point sunk most of your teams, with Wilson the lone exception.

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Prescott has avoided giveaways for most of the year. The just quarterback by this criteria with a far better era-adjusted interception price (INT%+) is Marino, which represents very solid company. It seems unlikely the Prescott will have a three-giveaway day, something that didn"t happen also once come him as a rookie.