Super Bowl bluff: Why having a franchise QB isn't always a deal breaker

01/10/16 by Rennie Detore

Analysts that call themselves experts in all things National Football League or even the local radio show host who's had his fair share of interviews with players and coaches will argue that the only path to an NFL Super Bowl championship is through the arm of what would be considered an elite NFL quarterback.
When you look at the history of the NFL and the champions that have taken home the Lombardi Trophy, you don't always have any sort of guarantee that having a quarterback of that ilk means you'll be cashing in on championship hardware as a result.
Plenty of journeymen quarterbacks have pioneered and orchestrated runs to the Super Bowl, but they were hardly predicted on their arms exclusively.

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Most NFL quarterbacks with a Super Bowl ring relied on another aspect of the team as a whole as the main piece of the puzzle, the entity that ultimately brought them the success the team is in the midst of experiencing.
Take for instance, the Baltimore Ravens on 1999 and 2000; their defense was lights out, with the likes of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in their prime, and that unit is the reason why the Ravens claimed the title. The quarterback for the Ravens at that time was Trent Dilfer, whose tasks was to not so much win games but rather not lose them.
The ultimate compliment for quarterbacks like Dilfer is referring to them as a "game manager," they don't go out there and put the team on their shoulders, but rather don't make mistakes that give the game away.
The Ravens ran the ball and played defense, so Dilfer did his job well.
You also can look at the Redskins team in 1987, and the quarterback was hardly a household name. Doug Williams won't be in the Hall of Fame any time soon, but his Redskins team showed up to play and won hands down against the then winless Super Bowl Denver Broncos. Williams did an outstanding job in the game itself and really played above his ability, almost as if he channeled his counterpart in that game, John Elway. While Elway struggled, Williams played out of his mind. He threw four touchdowns and over 300 yards passing, which isn't too shabby from a guy who only started two games up until that point.
Williams and Dilfer are just two of more than just a handful of quarterbacks whose names aren't Elway, Montana, Brady, Manning and Favre. The quarterback position certainly is by far the most important one on the team; they get the most attention when you win and lose, but while having one is nice, you can't always depend on that arm and pedigree to produce a title.

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