On Thursday, Steve Young said the 49ers may have missed their best opportunity to win a Super Bowl with Colin Kaepernick. Young believes NFL defenses will adjust to the Pistol formation and the read-option plays which Kaepernick executes so well.
Is there anything to Young’s comments? NFL defenses may or may not adjust to the Pistol – we’ll find out next season – but history seems to support Young in a general sense.
Very few quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl after losing one. There are only four: John Elway (lost in ’86, ’88 and ’89, won in ’97 and ’98), Roger Staubach (lost in ’75, won in ’77), Bob Griese (lost in ’71, won in ’72) and Len Dawson (lost in ’66, won in ’69).
Here’s a list of great quarterbacks who never won a Super Bowl after losing for the first time: Tom Brady (won in ’01, ’03 and ’04, lost in ’07 and ’11), Peyton Manning (won in ’06, lost in ’09), Ben Roethlisberger (won in ’05 and ’08, lost in ’10), Kurt Warner (won in ’99, lost in ’01 and ’08), Brett Favre (won in ’96, lost in ’97), Dan Marino (never won, lost in ’84) and Jim Kelly (never won, lost in ’90-’93).
I have one more thing to point out. The 49ers’ probably will be the preseason favorite to win the next Super Bowl, but the last time a Super Bowl loser came back to win it the next season was the Miami Dolphins – they lost the Cowboys in ’71 and beat the Redskins in ’72.
Since 1980, only one head coach has won a Super Bowl after losing one – Joe Gibbs, the former head coach of the Redskins. He lost in ’83 with Joe Theismann at QB, and won in ’87 with Doug Williams at QB. It took Gibbs four years and a new QB to get back to the Super Bowl and win it.
The last head coach-QB duo to win a Super Bowl after losing one was Tom Landry and Roger Staubach in the ’70s.
Why do you think this trend exists? Is losing the Super Bowl a bigger blow to a franchise than not making the Super Bowl at all?
Why do you think the 49ers can buck this trend?