You couldn't ask for a much better quarterback matchup in Super Bowl LVII. Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are both MVP finalists, an award that will be handed out on Feb. 9, and both were recently named Associated Press All-Pro selections. Mahomes received 49 of the 50 first-team votes, a clear indication he will be awarded his second league MVP next week, while Hurts earned second-team honors.
The All-Pro selections essentially validate what we've seen all season. Mahomes and Hurts have been the two best quarterbacks in the league in 2022. Mahomes set an NFL record for total yards in a season while leading the league in touchdown passes and yards. Hurts was the MVP favorite before hurting his shoulder and put up video game numbers this year with 3,701 passing yards, 22 touchdown passes, 760 rushing yards and 13 touchdown runs.
What a treat it will be to see them square off for the game's biggest prize: a Lombardi Trophy. It's a rare treat, too. It's the seventh matchup in Super Bowl history between the AP first- and second-team All-Pro quarterbacks. And believe it or not, the second teamer won the previous six matchups.
Here's a look:
Super Bowl LI: Tom Brady (second team) def. Matt Ryan (first team)
Matt Ryan won MVP and was named first-team All-Pro in 2016 while leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl, where Atlanta infamously coughed up a 28-3 lead to Tom Brady (second team All-Pro) and the Patriots. Brady won Super Bowl MVP while throwing for 466 yards in the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. Ryan played a great game (17-for-23, 284 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions) in a losing effort.
Super Bowl XLIV - Drew Brees (second team) def. Peyton Manning (first team)
Peyton Manning and Drew Brees were seemingly on a collision course all season as the Colts started 14-0 and the Saints began 13-0. Manning won MVP and earned first team All-Pro honors while Brees was MVP runner-up and a second team All-Pro. The game turned in the fourth quarter when Tracy Porter returned a Manning interception 74 yards for a touchdown to give New Orleans a 14-point lead, delivering the franchise its first championship. Manning finished with 333 yards, a touchdown and an interception while Brees won Super Bowl MVP with two touchdown passes, and more importantly, zero turnovers.
Super Bowl XXVI - Mark Rypien (second team) def. Jim Kelly (first team)
The 1991 Washington team is one of the greatest teams in NFL history and had no problem handing Buffalo its second of four straight Super Bowl losses, jumping out to a 24-0 lead before winning, 37-24. Jim Kelly, who took home first team All-Pro honors, threw four interceptions, which tied a Super Bowl record at the time. Second-team selection Mark Rypien, who had by far the best season of his career in 1991 while leading the league with 14.3 yards per completion, outplayed Kelly with 292 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
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Super Bowl XIX - Joe Montana (second team) def. Dan Marino (first team)
Good luck finding a much better Super Bowl quarterback matchup than Dan Marino versus Joe Montana to cap the 1984 season. Both quarterbacks were early in their primes, as this was the youngest QB matchup in Super Bowl history (combined 51 years old). (Until next Sunday that is, when Mahomes and Hurts break their mark.) Marino shattered the NFL records for touchdown passes and passing yards in 1984 on his way to MVP and first-team All-Pro honors. He was held in check by the 49ers defense, though, throwing two interceptions while Montana had 331 passing yards, three touchdowns and no picks to win Super Bowl MVP in the 49ers' 38-16 blowout win.
Super Bowl XVI - Joe Montana (second team) def. Ken Anderson (first team)
Montana's first Super Bowl win came three years earlier when he was a second team All-Pro and MVP runner-up to the Bengals' Ken Anderson. San Francisco built a comfortable 20-0 halftime lead and never looked back in a 26-21 win, backed by an efficient performance from Montana (14-for-22, 157 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions). Cincinnati was plagued by four turnovers, including an interception by Anderson on the opening drive.
Super Bowl VI - Roger Staubach (second team) def. Bob Griese (first team)
This was quite the matchup to cap the 1971 season. Two Hall of Fame QBs (Roger Staubach vs. Bob Griese) and two Hall of Fame head coaches (Tom Landry vs. Don Shula) in a game dominated by Dallas, 24-3. Staubach threw touchdown passes to Hall of Famers Lance Alworth and Mike Ditka en route to Super Bowl MVP, while Dallas' run game and defense did the rest. Staubach finished the season a perfect 13-0 as the Cowboys' starter and won his first Super Bowl title, while Griese and company would bounce back with a perfect season in 1972.