Patrick Mahomes will be fifth youngest QB to start a Super Bowl; how the four youngest QBs fared
History hasn't been kind to uber-young quarterbacks making their first Super Bowl start
Patrick Mahomes has been setting NFL records since he first suited up for the Kansas City Chiefs, and now he's taking the franchise to its first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years, as Kansas City sits one win away from its first championship since the 1969 season. Mahomes -- who'll be 24 years, 138 days on Feb. 2 -- will become the fifth youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl; it's another big accomplishment for the 2018 NFL MVP, who has played just two full seasons in the league.
Mahomes' postseason run with the Chiefs has been nothing short of incredible. He's 46 of 70 for 615 yards with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions with a 131.6 passer rating. He's the first player in NFL history to start his postseason career with 10-plus touchdown passes before his first interception. Mahomes is the first player in NFL history with 250-plus passing yards and 50-plus rushing yards in back-to-back playoff games, and joined Joe Montana (1984) as the only players with 250-plus pass yards, 3-plus pass touchdowns, and 50-plus rush yards in multiple career playoff games.
In the 53 prior installments of the Super Bowl, the championship game hasn't been kind toward young quarterbacks. Mahomes has an opportunity to rewrite the history books, but has an uphill mountain to climb in changing the narrative of the youngest quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl. Here's a look at how the four who were younger than Mahomes fared.
Dan Marino (23 years, 127 days): Super Bowl XIX (1985)
Marino had what was the greatest regular season for a quarterback in NFL history when he took the Miami Dolphins to the Super Bowl in that 1984 season. Marino became the first player to throw for 5,000 passing yards that season (and the only player to do so in the 20th century) in winning the league MVP award.
Marino threw for seven touchdowns in two postseason games as the Dolphins blew out the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers to advance to Super Bowl XIX. The San Francisco 49ers defense switched to dime personnel to contain Marino, who threw for 318 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions (66.9 rating) in a 38-16 defeat. The 49ers controlled the clock for 37 minutes and held the Dolphins to just 25 rushing yards in the loss, putting the game on Marino's shoulders. Marino would never play in another Super Bowl.
Ben Roethlisberger (23 years, 340 days): Super Bowl XL (2006)
The only quarterback on this list to win his first Super Bowl start, Roethlisberger did not play well in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 21-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Roethlisberger was 9 for 21 for 123 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, finishing with a 22.6 passer rating (the lowest rating for a winning quarterback in Super Bowl history).
Roethlisberger did have a rushing touchdown in the win (there was controversy about whether he actually scored, but the call was eventually upheld after review). He did complete a third-and-28 pass to Hines Ward (the Super Bowl XL MVP) for 37 yards, which was the longest third down conversion in Super Bowl history.
David Woodley (24 years, 97 days): Super Bowl XVII (1983)
Woodley had one of the worst performances in Super Bowl history, but his game didn't start out that way. On Woodley's third pass of the game, he fired a 76-yard strike to Jimmy Cefalo for a touchdown to give the Miami Dolphins a 7-0 lead over the Washington Redskins in the first quarter. Woodley's final completion came with 10:23 left in the second quarter, and he finished just 4 of 14 for 97 yards with a touchdown, interception and a fumble in a 27-17 Dolphins loss.
Woodley had just five touchdowns and eight interceptions in the strike-shortened 1982 season, so his performance wasn't particularly surprising. The Dolphins had just two first downs and no completions in the second half, which led to the franchise drafting Dan Marino that April.
Jared Goff (24 years, 112 days): Super Bowl LIII (2019)
Goff's performance in last year's Super Bowl is one to forget, as the Los Angeles Rams scored just three points in a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots (after averaging over 30 points in the regular season). Goff went just 19 for 38 for 229 yards with an interception and was sacked four times as the Rams failed to advance past the Patriots' 27-yard line in the entire game (which was where Goff threw his interception just short of the end zone).
The Rams punted on their first eight possessions and nine of their first 10, yet still were in a one-score game until seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Goff threw for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns in the regular season, but was far from that quarterback in his Super Bowl debut.
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