Ranking the QB Matchups for the Last 10 Super Bowls

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(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Sam Herder Aug 01, 2021, 8:31 PM

The GOAT versus the future GOAT. 

That’s how some are labeling this year’s Super Bowl as we get to see Tom Brady versus Patrick Mahomes. Super Bowl 55 odds suggest this will be a tight game, so expect a classic quarterback showdown.

We’ve had some great QB matchups, at least on paper, in the last 10 years: Tom Brady vs. Russell Wilson, Tom Brady vs. Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson vs. Peyton Manning.

But sometimes, hyped-up QB battles going into the game don’t live up to expectations.

Here are the best QB matchups from the last 10 Super Bowls, ranked from worst to best based on performances:

10. Peyton Manning vs. Cam Newton - Super Bowl 50 (2015 Season)

There weren’t many fireworks in this one as the Broncos defeated Carolina 24-10. The quarterbacks combined for only 31 completions while throwing zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

Newton: 18-41, 265 YDS, 1 INT
Manning: 13-23, 141 YDS, 1 INT

9. Russell Wilson vs. Peyton Manning - Super Bowl XLVIII (2013 Season)

A 43-8 Seattle win, this was one of the more boring Super Bowls. Wilson didn’t have to do too much, and Manning padded his passing numbers while playing from way behind.

Wilson: 18-25, 206 YDS, 2 TD
Manning: 34-49, 280 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

8. Tom Brady vs. Jared Goff - Super Bowl LIII (2018 Season)

This was the Super Bowl for you if you like defense. New England won 13-3. Brady was solid, but not great. And Goff looked like a young QB appearing in his first Super Bowl.

Brady: 21-35, 262 YDS, 1 INT
Goff: 19-38, 229 YDS, 1 INT

7. Patrick Mahomes vs. Jimmy Garoppolo - Super Bowl LIV (2019 Season)

The Chiefs won 31-20, with both teams shaking off first-half jitters. It was just 10-10 at halftime. Garoppolo and Mahomes combined for four interceptions.

Garoppolo: 20-31, 219 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT
Mahomes: 26-42, 286 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT

6. Joe Flacco vs. Colin Kaepernick - Super Bowl XLVII (2012 Season)

Flacco and Kaepernick had big moments in this game. After trailing 28-6, the 49ers came back and got the deficit to 31-29 with a 15-yard Kaepernick touchdown run with 9:57 to play. Flacco and the Ravens responded with a 10-play drive that ended with a field goal to seal the win.

Flacco: 22-33, 287 YDS, 3 TD
Kaepernick: 16-28, 302 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

5. Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady - Super Bowl XLVI (2011 Season)

No, this wasn’t the David Tyree “Helmet Catch” game. That was Super Bowl XLII. This was a low-scoring, grind-it-out game that saw New York erase a 17-9 third-quarter deficit to win 21-17.

Manning: 30-40, 296 YDS, 1 TD
Brady: 27-41, 276 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

4. Tom Brady vs. Russell Wilson - Super Bowl XLIX (2014 Season)

Brady was clutch in this 28-24 win. Down 24-14 entering the fourth quarter, he threw touchdown passes with 7:55 and 2:02 to play. Wilson responded and completed a few huge passes to get Seattle down to the 1-yard line. The Seahawks elected to throw one more time, a slant route that was intercepted with 26 seconds left to end the game.

Brady: 37-50, 328 YDS, 4 TD, 2 INT
Wilson: 12-21, 247 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

3. Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger - Super Bowl XLV (2010 Season)

Rodgers and Roethlisberger combined for five touchdown passes in this rollercoaster game. Green Bay held a 21-3 lead in the second quarter. Pittsburgh brought it back to 28-25 with a fourth-quarter Roethlisberger touchdown pass plus a two-point conversion. But it was too little too late as the Packers held on for a 31-25 win.

Roethlisberger: 25-40, 263 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rodgers: 24-39, 304 YDS, 3 TD

2. Tom Brady vs. Matt Ryan - Super Bowl LI (2016 Season)

Ryan was off to a hot start, tossing two touchdowns as the Falcons held a 28-3 midway through the third quarter. But here comes Brady, leading the Patriots all the way. They tied the game with 57 seconds left after a one-yard James White touchdown run and a two-point conversion pass from Brady. New England went on to win 34-28 in overtime.

Brady: 43-62, 466 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT
Ryan: 17-23, 284 YDS, 2 TD

1. Tom Brady vs. Nick Foles - Super Bowl LII (2017 Season)

Whoever would have guessed this No. 1 spot would include Nick Foles? This game was one of Brady’s best Super Bowl performances, but Foles’ magical postseason play was too much. He was named the game’s MVP after throwing for three touchdowns and catching the game-winning score with 2:21 remaining on the “Philly Special” play.

Brady: 28-48, 505 YDS, 3 TD
Foles: 28-43, 373 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

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About the Author

Sam Herder

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Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.