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.
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.
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.
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.
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.