Tom Brady has played in 6 Super Bowls. Peyton Manning will be playing in his 4th on Sunday. Other guys like Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson have played in 3 and 2 respectively. We know about what Eli did in his 2 Super Bowl appearances. Out of all the active quarterbacks, you know which names are missing? Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, both with one lone appearance. Rodgers still has time to make another one but Brees probably is probably never sniffing one again. It’s quite remarkable that Brees has only made one appearance, same for Rodgers.
Remember the season after the Packers win the Super Bowl they went 15-1 and Rodgers had that crazy ass season? They lost in the playoffs of course. Something they have done every year since to be exact. But this applies to many quarterbacks and teams over the course of NFL history.
Dan Marino broke 6 NFL passing records in 1984 including passing yards (5,084) and touchdowns (48) and led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl. Despite the fact they were blown out 38-16 by the San Francisco 49ers, many assumed this could be the start of something legendary since this was only Marino’s second season. Despite making it to the AFC Championship in 1985 and again in 1992, Marino would never make it back to the Super Bowl.
Many hoped that Marino and the Dolphins would make it back to the Super Bowl in 1985 so they could get a rematch with the Chicago Bears, the team they defeated on Monday Night Football back in December of that season. Instead, the Bears would go on to out score their 3 playoff opponents 91-10, including a 46-10 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. The Bears won only go on to win one playoff game again during the 1980s.
It’s honestly a never ending story.
Brett Favre won 3 straight MVPs and led the Packers to the Super Bowl in 1997 and 1998, winning it all in ’97. Favre was dominating the position in such a way at the time that it’s crazy to believe he never got close to getting back to the Super Bowl again until he reached the NFC Championship in 2007 and again in 2009 with the Minnesota Vikings.
That 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team had one of the greatest defense’s of all time. Tony Dungy basically built that team up into a contender only to be fired and replaced by Jon Gruden, who would coach the team to a Super Bowl victory that season. The Buccaneers haven’t won a playoff game since that Super Bowl.
While teams such as the Saints and Bucs have made the most of their lone Super Bowl appearance, other teams such as the Titans and Cardinals suffered heartbreaking losses in their lone appearance. The San Diego Chargers honestly had no business in the Super Bowl and it showed, getting blown out by 49ers and allowing Steve Young to throw 6 touchdowns in the process. Also the Cincinnati Bengals who made two Super Bowl appearances in the 1980’s only to lose to the 49ers. They haven’t been back since. How unfortunate?
It’s a shame the Buffalo Bills of the early 1990s don’t get the respect they deserve. For all the examples of tams and players that never made it back to the Super Bowl, they made it 4 straight. Unfortunately they lost all 4, the last 3 to superior teams. It’s just not easy to get back. So much can change in one offseason, it’s hard.