Now that football season is just around the corner—getting all sports fans out of a rut already waiting for next season—we’re taking a look back at some of the things that the game itself gave us. On top of a major blowout in the Superbowl, it also gave us a championship quarterback who won in his second season in the league. And thanks to some history, here are the other signal-callers who did the same—which isn’t a bad list to be a part of.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
While the reigning Super Bowl-winning QB might not have been a first-round selection, a guy who was hyped coming into the league and fails to even reach six-feet in height, he’s got something that other guys who were talked more about from his draft class something that they don’t have—a Super Bowl ring. Sure, Wilson might not blow up the stat sheet with eye-popping numbers like Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck have done the past two seasons, but he’s a winner, a leader and one of the most polished passers because of what he knows he can and can’t do on the football field. Those are just a few reasons why the Hawks will be defending their championship next season.
3. Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams
Remember when Kurt Warner was just entering the league after a successful career in the Arena Football League, where he was once a stock boy at a grocery store just trying to hold onto his dreams of playing in the NFL? It might seem like a long time ago now, but back then, it was one of the most unbelievable storylines the media had ever read. Taking over for Trent Green after a preseason injury, Warner didn’t just fill-in and hand the job back to the incumbent starter when healthy, he went berzerk on the football field, leading the “Greatest Show on Turf” to a Super Bowl title over the Tennessee Titans, and, possibly, beginning a Hall of Fame career.
2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Although he didn’t go to a major college, Roethlisberger remained one of the most talked about quarterbacks heading into the 2004 Draft which featured Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. When selected as the No. 11 overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, no one knew what kind of player the Steel City would be getting. It turns out that it was a pretty good one, as “Big Ben” went 15-1 in his first 16 career starts, and led the Steelers to their fifth Super Bowl title in 2005. He may not always look pretty out there when throwing the ball around, but No. 7 is one of the toughest competitors in all of football, which makes him one of the most respected—and frustrating—guys for opposing defenses.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Who else but “Tom Terrific” would head our list? After slipping to the No. 199th overall pick in the 2000 draft following an up-and-down career at Michigan, Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in the middle of the second game of the 2001 season, with the rest being what they call history. All Brady did was go 11-3 in the team’s remaining games, closing the season on a nine-game winning streak which ended with a Super Bowl victory over the heavily-favored St. Louis Rams. With Peyton Manning’s most recent Super Bowl loss—and Brady sitting at 3-2 in his five trips to the big game—it’s starting to look as if he may top the list of the greatest quarterback in the past 15 years.
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