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Correlation Study: Super Bowl Winners And 1st-Team All-Pro QBs

So as it turns out, I completely forgot to write the third part of the study that I have been working on that explores the correlation between Super Bowl champions and first-team All-Pro performances from the most important offensive positions.

The idea for the study was the product of a number of arguments that have been presented against the idea of committing heavy investments to the running back position, arguing that there had not been a Super Bowl champion with a first-team All-Pro running back since 1999.

If that is the case, then what, then, is the value of the running back position at all? This is why I became interested in looking into how this reasoning fared with the wide receivers and quarterbacks as well. My research has found that only 11 Super Bowl winners have benefited from a first-team All-Pro performance from running back, and only 15 have had a first-team All-Pro season from a wide receiver, but only two wide receivers have done it since 1999, and the 1990s were far better for running backs than wide receivers, with, surprisingly, the 1970s being excellent correlative fodder for wide receivers.

So how about the quarterbacks?

Year Super Bowl Champions 1st-Team All-Pro QB
2016 Patriots Tom Brady
2009 Saints Drew Brees
1999 Rams Kurt Warner
1996 Packers Brett Favre
1994 49ers Steve Young
1993 Cowboys Troy Aikman
1989 49ers Joe Montana
1986 Giants Phil Simms
1978 Steelers Terry Bradshaw
1976 Raiders Ken Stabler
1972 Dolphins Earl Morrall
1968 Jets Joe Namath
1966 Packers Bart Starr

In my digging I have learned that the quarterback position falls squarely in the middle between the running backs and wide receivers. While 11 running backs and 15 wide receivers have won the Super Bowl during a first-team All-Pro campaign, 13 quarterbacks have achieved a similar feat.

And only three quarterbacks have done it going back to 1999, which is the same year that the last running back and the second-to-last wide receiver did it. That was the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ offense that included Kurt Warner at quarterback, Isaac Bruce at wide receiver, and Marshall Faulk at running back. Two of the three are already in the Hall of Fame.

The most recent quarterback to do it has been quite recent, though. Tom Brady did it in 2016 with the New England Patriots, yet that is the only Super Bowl he has won while a first-team All-Pro. Of course, the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl wins came early in Brady’s career before he was an elite player.

Drew Brees with the New Orleans Saints in 2009 is the only other quarterback to have won the Super Bowl as a first-team All-Pro since Warner did it in 1999. But there is relative consistency beyond that point if you keep going backward.

Between the 1993 and 1996 seasons, a first-team All-Pro won the Super Bowl three times, starting with Troy Aikman and Steve Young in consecutive years, and then Brett Favre. Four years separated Aikman in 1993, though, and Joe Montana in 1989. Prior to Phil Simms in 1986, there was not a first-team All-Pro Super Bowl winner at quarterback since Terry Bradshaw in 1978.

The game did start off on the right foot, however. Bart Starr was a first-team All-Pro when the Green Bay Packers won the first Super Bowl. Joe Namath was as well in the third, and then Earl Morrall in Super Bowl VII, and Ken Stabler in Super Bowl XI.

But the bottom line is that only two of the past 18 Super Bowl winners have included a first-team All-Pro performance from the quarterback position.

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