USA Today

Fittingly, Super Bowl LVI will be played in Greater Los Angeles, not too far from where Phil Simms made Super Bowl history 35 years earlier. 

In Super Bowl XXI, Simms went 22-of-25 for 268 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Giants to the franchise's first Super Bowl win, a 39-20 victory over John Elway and the Denver Broncos. Simms' 88.0 completion percentage inside the Rose Bowl that day remains a Super Bowl record -- a record that he hasn't spent too much time thinking about. 

"I don't think about it, but my kids do," Simms told CBS Sports during the 2021 season. "They keep an eye on it, but I'm not worried about it. So much time has passed. It was like another lifetime ago. But it was a good day, I will say that." 

"Magnificent" was among the words former Giants head coach Bill Parcells used to describe Simms' performance. Simms out-dueled Elway, whose rushing touchdown gave the Broncos an early 10-7 lead. Simms countered with touchdown passes to Zeke Mowatt, Mark Bavaro and Phil McConkey as the Giants scored 30 second-half points. Simms, who won the game's MVP award, was a perfect 10 of 10 passing in the second half. 

"He really was spectacular that day," Parcells said in an NFL Films documentary. "He was just really an unconquerable guy. No matter what you did to him, no matter what kind of beating that he took, he was getting you the next time." 

Simms said that he did think about his record during Super Bowl LIV, when 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 18 of his first 20 passes. But Garoppolo was unable to maintain that level of accuracy down the stretch. 

A CBS Sports NFL analyst, Simms has given similar praise to the two quarterbacks who will be starting in Super Bowl LVI. He compared Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to 49ers legend Joe Montana before Burrow led Cincinnati to road wins over the Titans and Chiefs in the playoffs. 

"Joe (Montana) is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. … Joe Burrow's a little quicker, probably a little more athletic, and maybe a little bit of a stronger arm than Joe Montana," Simms said. "And just the uncanny ability to just know how to play the game, and I think that that comes from Joe Burrow's background that he was just an all-around athlete growing up. It shows when you watch him play. ... His movement in the pocket and just buying time has been really, really good for him so far this year."  

When it comes to Stafford, Simms said that the 13-year veteran does not need to win a championship to prove that he is a big game quarterback. Stafford, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Monday, won his first three career postseason games during the Rams' current playoff run. 

"I hear it all the time. All the quarterbacks that used to play in the NFL love Matt Stafford, and really, a lot of the media doesn't and people that talk about him," Simms said prior to the Rams' win over the 49ers in the NFC Championship game. "I followed his career and all these guys close. He lifted the team up to the playoffs because he was better than the team and he made the comebacks to get them in that position. Then they lose the game, and it's, 'Matt Stafford can't win the big one.' Please. 

"Now maybe if it happened this year, if he had lost the first game, we could say that … because it is different, playoff football. But I think he's answered that question."

Either Stafford or Burrow will join Simms as a Super Bowl-winning starting quarterback on Sunday, even if they don't break his long-standing record.