Has a rookie QB ever won a Super Bowl? Brief history of first-year quarterbacks to reach conference championships

One of the most compelling storylines in this year’s NFL postseason is 49ers rookie Brock Purdy being are a win away from a Super Bowl appearance.

Purdy, the final selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, is the 49ers’ third starting quarterback this season. Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo were sidelined by injuries, leaving Purdy to take the reins.

Beginning with Week 14 in mid-December, the 49ers are 7-0 with Purdy as the starter (regular season and playoffs combined), with an average margin of victory of 15.1 points. In that time, Purdy has completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,644 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Purdy will make his third postseason start Sunday when he faces the Eagles in the NFC championship game. He will become just the fifth rookie quarterback to start a conference title game. Previous participants are 0-4, which answers the question of whether a rookie QB has won a Super Bowl. In fact, no rookie quarterback has even started a Super Bowl.

Has a rookie QB ever won a Super Bowl?

The short answer is, no, no rookie quarterback has won, or even started, a Super Bowl.

Myriad factors contribute to this. Rookie quarterbacks getting playing time used to be rare, and in the modern game, teams tend to try to find their quarterbacks first. Few rookies, therefore, are in a position to win the way Purdy has been this season.

There is, however, a fun twist to Purdy being Mr. Irrelevant and possibly starting a Super Bowl. Tom Brady was in his second season when he led the Patriots to a Super Bowl win over the Rams, jump-starting a Patriots dynasty. He sat behind Drew Bledsoe for almost all of his rookie year.

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Which rookie quarterbacks have started conference championships games?

Five quarterbacks have started conference championship games. The first was Shaun King with the Buccaneers in 2000. No rookie has done it since 2010.

Ben Roethlisberger started for the Steelers in 2005. Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez did it in 2009 and 2010, respectively, while Purdy started for the 49ers in 2023 but played only briefly before getting injured.

Year Player Team Opponent Comp/Att Yds TD INT Result 2000

Shaun King

Buccaneers Rams 13/29

163

0

2

L, 11-6

2005

Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers Patriots 14/24

226

2

3

L, 41-27

2009

Joe Flacco

Ravens Steelers 13/30

141

0

3

L, 23-14

2010

Mark Sanchez

Jets Colts 17/30

257

2

1

L, 30-17

2023

Brock Purdy

49ers Eagles 4/4

23

0

0

L, 31-7

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