Which Non-Elite QB’s Can Win A Super Bowl?


We are all aware of the quarterbacks that have already have Lombardi Trophies on their resumes, but how many others in the league have the ability to win their first? Of those QB’s, who is the “worst” of the best group of QB’s that could still lead his team to a Super Bowl victory in coming seasons?

Tony Romo, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Carson Palmer, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford and Phillip Rivers are that talented group of quarterbacks that all need to add an NFL title to lift their legacies to new heights.

The 49ers won’t be good enough to win it all, but Kaepernick is young enough to endure the low years and still emerge as an elite player down the road; but will need management to put some pieces in place for his dreams to come true.  In fact, every QB needs things to come together around him to get there.  Think John Elway and Trent Dilfer.  Elway was great enough to get there, but failed until the twilight of his career when the other pieces (a great running game) enabled him to ride off into the sunset as a two-time winner.  Dilfer, a former first rounder, was surrounded by one of the best defenses in NFL history at the time and was also able to get over, although nowhere near as talented as Elway.

Prior to this past season, I predicted that Cam Newton would not lift his game and I think I was proven correct.  I actually think he has already peaked and will never get his current team to the mountaintop.

Before he was injured, Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals looked poised to dethrone the defending champions and may have been able to make a run.  It’s difficult to know at his age with multiple injuries just how he and his team will come back, but as his coach piles up individual awards, the Cardinals may be that team if they can get to the end half-way healthy.

If things fall right for both Alex Smith and Tony Romo, they still have the ability to lead their teams in their respective conferences into that final game and one of them end victorious.  It’s not likely, but still possible.  Matthew Stafford is both talented and tough, and has the best receiving threat in the game.  The Lions just lost their top defender, with Suh moving to South Beach.  So, this may limit a franchise that hasn’t had great success in late January and that may have sealed Stafford’s fate.

The San Diego Chargers have been teasing their fans over the past few years with delusions of grandeur, but they really are a team with a quarterback that will continue to show some potential without any real chance at anything more than a wildcard berth and an early exit from the playoffs at best.  Phillip Rivers is only 32 years old, but he is over the hill and makes me wonder if the Chargers will look to invest in another quality QB in this year’s draft.  His lack of mobility makes him dump the ball off too often and just can’t extend plays like the Ben Roethlisberger’s of the world.  Anyone watching objectively knows he doesn’t have the weapons around him to take San Diego anywhere significant.

So, of the QB’s still in search of becoming a champion, I think Alex Smith might be the worst of this high quality three-horse-race.  Tony Romo and Carson Palmer are probably considered better quarterbacks by most standards, but even after a decade of experience, Smith still maintains a lot of athleticism that can make plays, extend plays and with his strong running game intact, still possesses a quality chance of reaching the pinnacle.  And with the relatively weak AFC West and a little luck, the Kansas City Chiefs could emerge as challengers for the crown soon.

About Jeff Carlson

Jeff Carlson

Former NFL quarterback, training youth QB's in Tampa, Florida. Football Analyst for Bright House Sports Network and Football Insiders.