Top Oldest Quarterbacks in a Super Bowl

Here is a list of the top oldest quarterbacks who have appeared in a championship game.

Peyton Manning, Super Bowl 50 - 39 years, 10 months

Photo: cbssports

Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is a retired American football quarterback who spent 18 seasons in the NFL. He spent 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four with the Denver Broncos and is regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. 

Manning is also one of the most well-known players in the NFL, having earned the moniker "The Sheriff" for his proclivity for audibly signaling before the snap. He is the second son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the older brother of former NFL quarterback Eli Manning. He is a part of the Manning football dynasty.

John Elway, Super Bowl XXXIII - 38 years, 7 months

Photo: bleacherreport

John Albert Elway Jr. (born June 28, 1960)currently serves as the president of football operations for the Denver Broncos.

Elway spent his entire 16-year professional career with the Denver Broncos after playing collegiate football at Stanford. Elway earned the most victories by a starting quarterback and was statistically the second most prolific thrower in NFL history when he retired in early 1999.

Johnny Unitas, Super Bowl V - 37 years, 8 months

Photo: americanfootball

John Constantine Unitas (1933–2002) spent 18 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Baltimore Colts. He was consistently ranked as one of the finest NFL players of all time during a career that lasted from 1956 to 1973.

Unitas was awarded Most Valuable Player three times in 1959, 1964, and 1967, as well as receiving ten Pro Bowl and five first-team All-Pro awards. He was a part of the Colts winning four championships: three in the pre-merger period (1958, 1959, 1968), and one in the Super Bowl era (Super Bowl V).

His first championship triumph is recognized as one of the finest in NFL history, and it is credited with popularizing the league. He set the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown throw with 47 between 1956 and 1960, which he held for 52 years.

Unitas, sometimes known as "Johnny U" and "Golden Arm," was the prototypical headline quarterback of the contemporary era. In 1979, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kurt Warner, Super Bowl XVIII - 37 years, 7 months

Photo: sbnation

Kurtis Eugene Warner (born June 22, 1971) played for the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals for twelve seasons. His journey from undrafted free agent to two-time Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl MVP is regarded as one of the most incredible Cinderella stories in NFL history.

Warner is the only undrafted athlete to be both NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP, as well as the only undrafted quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl triumph. He is also the only undrafted quarterback to lead his club to a Super Bowl victory.

He's also the only quarterback in NFL history to win the Super Bowl in his first year as the starter. Warner was inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Arena Football Hall of Fame in 2017, making him the only player to be inducted into both.

Rich Gannon, Super Bowl XXXVII - 37, 1 month

Photo: xgames

Richard Joseph Gannon (born December 20, 1965) was a professional football player for eighteen years. He then spent sixteen years as a sports analyst for CBS Sports.

In 1993, Gannon was a member of the Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs from 1995 through 1998, and the Oakland Raiders from 1999 to 2004. 

He had his greatest success with the Raiders, including four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances (1999–2002), three consecutive postseason appearances for the Raiders (2000–2002), two All-Pro selections (2000, 2002), one MVP, and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII, which was held on January 26, 2003, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.

Gannon, on the other hand, missed much of his final two seasons (2003 and 2004) due to injury, and the Raiders went on to lose both seasons. Gannon launched a career in sports broadcasting after retiring from football before the 2005 season. Until the 2020 NFL season, he worked as a sports analyst for NFL on CBS.

Tom Brady, Super Bowl XLIX - 37 years, 6 months

Photo: essentiallysports

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is a former NFL quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From 2001 to 2019, he spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, where he was a key part of the franchise's success. Brady is largely recognized as the all-time greatest quarterback.

In addition to the most Pro Bowl choices, Brady holds nearly every major quarterback record, including passing yards, completions, touchdown passes, and games started. He is the NFL's all-time leader in career quarterback wins, regular season quarterback wins, playoff quarterback wins, and Super Bowl MVP trophies, as well as the only Super Bowl MVP for two separate franchises.

Brady is the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl in three different decades, and he is known for his consistency. At the age of 40, he is the oldest NFL MVP, the oldest Super Bowl MVP, and the oldest quarterback selected to the Pro Bowl. Brady is the only quarterback in NFL history to be named to two all-decade teams (the 2000s and 2010s), as well as the 100th Anniversary All-Time Team in 2019.

Fran Tarkenton, Super Bowl XI - 36 years, 11 months

Photo: vikings

Francis Asbury Tarkenton (born February 3, 1940) played eighteen seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings. He was a two-time first-team All-SEC selection at the University of Georgia before being drafted in the third round of the 1961 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He became a television celebrity and a computer software executive after quitting football.

Tarkenton was a member of the Vikings for thirteen non-consecutive seasons, spending six with the team from 1961 to 1966 and then seven with the franchise from 1972 to 1978. Tarkenton spent five seasons with the New York Giants in between his time in Minnesota. Tarkenton had many quarterback records when he retired. In 1986, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and in 1987, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Roger Staubach, Super Bowl XIII - 36 years, 11 months

Photo: bleacherreport

Roger Thomas Staubach (born February 5, 1942) played for the Dallas Cowboys for 11 seasons, earning the nicknames "Roger the Dodger," "Captain America," and "Captain Comeback."

He was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he earned the 1963 Heisman Trophy and served in the United States Navy following graduation, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. Staubach joined Dallas in 1969 and spent his whole 11-year career with the team. He was the starting quarterback for four of the team's five Super Bowl appearances.

He led the Cowboys to Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII triumphs. Staubach, along with Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen, and Desmond Howard, was named Super Bowl VI's Most Valuable Player, making him the first of four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP award.

During his 11-year NFL career, he was named to the Pro Bowl six times. Until his retirement in 2018, he was the executive chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

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