How Many Second-Year Quarterbacks Have Made the Super Bowl?

Which second-year quarterbacks have made it to a Super Bowl, who fell just short, and which have lifted the Lombardi Trophy?

San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy will join an exclusive group when he takes the field in Super Bowl 58. Purdy will become just the eighth quarterback to start in the Super Bowl in his second year — and the second in the past three years. Let’s take a look at who Purdy will be joining on the list and which of those QBs went on to win the Super Bowl in their second season.

Which Second-Year Quarterbacks Have Started in a Super Bowl?

The list of quarterbacks to have started a Super Bowl in their second year contains two Hall of Famers and at least two likely future Hall of Famers. Those seven names are Dan Marino (1984), Kurt Warner (1999), Tom Brady (2001), Ben Roethlisberger (2005), Colin Kaepernick (2012), Russell Wilson (2013), and Joe Burrow (2021).

The name that really stands out is Warner. While the other six all achieved the feat within two years of being drafted, Warner had to wait a little longer.

After going undrafted in 1994, Warner signed with the Green Bay Packers. Yet, he never played a snap after getting cut in training camp.

Following stints in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe, Warner was signed by the St. Louis Rams and subsequently led them to a Super Bowl in his second official season in the NFL.

With Warner not being drafted, Purdy will technically become the lowest-drafted QB to start a Super Bowl in his second season.

Which Second-Year QBs Fell Short of Winning a Conference Title?

The opposing quarterback to Purdy in Super Bowl 58, Patrick Mahomes, narrowly failed to achieve the feat of making a Super Bowl in his second season in the NFL.

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs lost in the AFC Championship Game in his second NFL season. However, in his second season as the full-time starter, he took the Chiefs to the Super Bowl, which they won against the 49ers.

Other QBs on the list of players to play in a Conference Championship in their second year include Bernie Kosar (1986), Kerry Collins (1996), and Daunte Culpepper (2000).

One other quarterback whose team went to the Super Bowl in his second campaign was Carson Wentz. However, Wentz is somewhat of an asterisk here because he had started 13 games before his season ended due to injury.

Technically, he helped his team to a Super Bowl in his second season, but he didn’t finish it. Instead, it was journeyman QB Nick Foles who guided the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory.

Has a Second-Year Quarterback Ever Won the Super Bowl?

Four of the seven second-year quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl in their second season managed to lift the Lombardi Trophy. Those four are Warner, Brady, Roethlisberger, and Wilson.

Warner’s Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in the game that ended with “The Tackle.” Brady, meanwhile, led the Patriots to a 20-17 victory over Warner and the Rams two years later, having replaced Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 of the 2001 season. In Super Bowl XL, Roethlisberger and the Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-10.

MORE: How Many NFL Teams Have Won Back-to-Back Super Bowls?

The only QB in NFL history to start all 32 games in his first two seasons and win a Super Bowl is Wilson. The Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 in an extremely one-sided game.

Again, you could consider Wentz the fifth member of this group. He has a Super Bowl ring from the Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl 52, but he didn’t take a snap after Week 14.

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