Who's the better QB: 4-0 in Super Bowls or 4-1?

Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio have been arguing this and inquiring about this for the past couple of days. One side thinks that getting to 5 Super Bowls is the better accomplishment, while the other sides with the cachet that being undefeated brings.

What say you?

Since the quarterback can’t control the defense (on either side) a loss is not always his fault.

Whole different story if he throws a couple of INTs that result in scores.

My attitude is that getting to “The Big Game” (can’t they come up with a better euphemism?) and losing is better than not getting there at all.

First off, Mike and Mike are idiots. QBs do not play against each other - they play against the opposing defense. This constant discussion about QBs “winning” games by themselves is complete nonsense. Why don’t they ever talk about the RB who has 4 Super Bowl rings? Or the cornerback?

If you cannot discuss a quarterback’s Super Bowl history without having to boil it completely down to win/loss record, you’re better off just talking about the weather.

Going by the “On any given Sunday” rule, and after seeing some spectacular throws turn into interceptions when the receiver let the ball bounce off their chest, the loss could just be one of those that were meant to be.

Who gives a shit? Super Bowls are hard to get to. The Buffalo Bills’ run of four straight appearances is amazing and some legendary players never even sniff a Super Bowl.

The conversation is just fodder to fill time.

It’s much better. Rephrase the question to what it actually is:

Would you rather win 4 super bowls and lose in the 5th, or win 4 super bowls and lose in the wildcard?

4-1 is better. Being a finalist trumps being an also-ran.

A 1.000 winning % is better than .800.

So by your logic, going 1-0 is better than 24-1. Interesting.

Or even win 4 hyperboles and lose in the conference championship game in the 5th year?

Would you rather win 5 conference championships, or 4?

And Doug Williams is better than Brady.

pretty funny autocorrect.

But in the salary cap era, a top QB is much more important to a team’s success than any other position. A Brady, Manning, Brees or Rodgers are paid a salary that equates to 10% or more of an entire team’s payroll. So there’s more credit/blame on the QB after a SB win/loss. It’s not Brady’s fault that the Pats defense choked vs the Giants last minute drive in 2008, but the Giants D was successful in preventing Brady from controlling the game, and thus were in position to take advantage of a lucky catch by Tyree.

Still, Brady’s career portfolio is better at 3 SB wins and 2 SB losses than if he’d never gotten back to the big game after Feb. 2005. But since he started out 3-0, and 10-0 in playoff games (8-8 since), his aura has been tarnished. If his career had ended due to injury in 2006, he’d have retired as the biggest legend in the game.

Comparing 4 games to 25 is silly, but I think you know that. I stand by my apples-to-apples comparison.

This is a really good point - there’s a big difference between “who’s better between A and B” and “who’s a legend based on X”. In the hypothetical “Brady’s hit by a bus after Super Bowl XXXIX” you can reminisce and play “what if?” all day long, but 3-2 Brady is always going to be better than 3-0 Brady.

Nonsense - there are plenty of arguments against that in this thread that you’ve conveniently ignored, because it would require more than 10 words on your part. Sure - 25 games is silly, but at some point, it’s not. What about 10-1? What about 7-1? They’re all better than 4-0 in the very same way that 4-1 is better - because it shows that the QB put himself in a position to advance to the Super Bowl, which is infinitely better than all those seasons in which he failed to get that far.

Other things being equal, which we’re assuming they are here, I agree. They’ve both won four championships and one guy is helped his team get a shot at a fifth.

So John Q. Quarterback and Joe S. Quarterback both go to and win 4 Superbowls. John Q. never makes it to another one, but Joe S. make it to a fifth and loses.

So now John Q. is better than Joe S. by virtue of his (John Q.'s) failure to advance to another Superbowl? If Joe S. had lost in the conference championship, he would be better than he is in advancing to and losing in the Superbowl?

John Elway is 2-3 in SB games. The first 3 times he managed to carry an inferior team to the ultimate game, where they were promptly crushed by their NFC opponents. His last 2 SB’s, at the end of his career, he wasn’t quite the QB of his youth but fronted a much better team. I give more credit to Elway for his first 3 AFC championships than I do for his 2 SB wins.

Assuming that they represent the same number of years playing, I’d say that a 4-1 championship game record is better than 4 and 0.

If you’re talking about over only the years involved (thus comparing an average over 5 years to an average over 4,) then the 4-0 perfect record is of course better.

If 4-0 is over an 8 year ‘career’ and 4-1 is over a 13 year career, then once again 4-0 is a better average performance, by an even greater margin.