The Myth of the Great Quarterback
"Conventional Wisdom" says you need to have a great quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
This is why the Indianapolis Colts are a 7 point favorite to beat the Chicago Bears Sunday in Super Bowl XLI in Miami. No one would argue that Rex Grossman is a better quarterback than Peyton Manning, not even Rex's mom.
Rex's mom, however, might point out that the Bears have a better running game and a better defense than the Colts. Rex's mom would be correct.
Of course, having a great quarterback helps in any given game, but it is not a necessity.
I give you Mr. Bob Greise. Mr. Greise won two Super Bowls. He passed for a total of 161 yards in those two games.
I give you Joe Theisman. He passed for 143 yards, although he managed to do it in only one game.
I give you Jim McMahon, a better rapper than he was a quarterback. His Bears team always had the superior running game and the superior defense whenever they played. How often did they have the superior quarterback? Not a lot.
I give you Doug Williams. Granted, Doug had a great Super Bowl game. He was not a great quarterback. He is in no danger of getting into Canton without a ticket.
I give you Jeff Hostettler. 'Nuff said. (Although Jeff made the porn star mustache popular well before Jeff Kent ever washed a truck.)
Take, for example, Mark Rypien. Please.
And while you are at it, take Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson, too.
Despite an inexplicable love fest with young Ben Roethlisberger, he earned his Super Bowl ring by completing nine of 21 passes for 123 yards and two interceptions.
I will not sully the waters by suggesting that neither Bart Starr nor Len Dawson nor Ken Stabler nor Jim Plunkett nor Phil Simms were outstanding quarterbacks. I do not have to. Messers Hostettler, et al. make the point sufficiently.
Of course, a team can rely on Joe Montana or Brett Favre to win the Super Bowl, but it is only one way to do so.
A superior defense and running game is another.
The Bears will so demonstrate on Sunday.
Chicago 27, Indianapolis 24.
And about that conventional wisdom? Nobody ever went broke betting against the public.