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Changed my mind.
We have witnessed LIV Super Bowl quarterback matchups where one of them was the best in the league.
But never has the best in the league faced a GOAT, much less a 43-year-old GOAT, with six rings, still playing at an elite level.
After first giving the nod to the Joe Montana-John Elway battle, now Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes ranks No. 1 on Serby’s Super Bowl quarterback matchup rankings.
The list of 1-55 is based more on what the quarterbacks had accomplished at the time they met:
Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes, Super Bowl LV: Getcha popcorn ready.Terry Bradshaw vs. Roger Staubach II, Super Bowl XIII: Bradshaw (4 TDs) captured his third Lombardi Trophy with a 35-31 win that kept Captain America (3 TDs) from winning his third.Joe Montana vs. John Elway, Super Bowl XXIV: Joe Cool (5 TDs) tied Bradshaw with his fourth Super Bowl crown while Elway (18 TDs, 18 INTs in regular season) fell to 0-3 with two interceptions and a fumble.Eli Manning II, Super Bowl XLVI: Another clutch last-minute drive and another Super Bowl MVP for Lil’ Brother to deny Brady his fourth championship.Terry Bradshaw vs. Roger Staubach I, Super Bowl X: Bradshaw (2 TDs) had won Super Bowl IX and Captain America (3 INTs) was left stuck on his Super Bowl VI triumph.Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino: Super Bowl XIX: Marino was the first QB to throw for over 5,000 yards in only his second season, but Montana (3 TDs) out-dueled him for his second Super Bowl crown.John Elway vs. Brett Favre, Super Bowl XXXII: Elway was the sentimental favorite after three previous Super Bowl defeats and denied Favre a repeat.Peyton Manning vs. Drew Brees, Super Bowl XLIV: Brees (122 TDs against 55 INTs in four years with Sean Payton) denied Manning his second championship and wins his one and only crown.Bart Starr vs. Len Dawson, Super Bowl I: Vince Lombardi’s Ice Bowl survivor upheld the honor of the NFL against Dawson (26 TDs, 10 INTs) and the AFL upstarts.Tom Brady vs. Russell Wilson, Super Bowl XLIX: Malcolm Butler’s end-zone INT cost Wilson a repeat as four-time champ Brady won for the first time in a decade.Tom Brady vs.Matt Ryan, Super Bowl LI: Matty Ice was league MVP and QB of the highest-scoring offense, but he lost a 28-3 third-quarter lead as Brady won his fourth Super Bowl in overtime.Troy Aikman vs. Jim Kelly II, Super Bowl XXVIII: Emmitt Smith carried Aikman to his back-to-back wins over poor Kelly (0-4 on Super Sunday).Peyton Manning vs. Cam Newton, Super Bowl 50: Manning won his second Super Bowl largely because Von Miller and Demarcus Ware hounded the NFL MVP (6 sacks) in his first and only Super Bowl.Joe Montana vs. Boomer Esiason, Super Bowl XXIII: Esiason won league MVP honors, but Montana (3 TDs) won his third championship in the last minute.Ben Roethlisberger vs. Kurt Warner, Super Bowl XLIII: A clash of one-time Super Bowl champs won by Big Ben’s last-minute TD pass to a toe-tapping Santonio Holmes.Tom Brady vs. Donovan McNabb, Super Bowl XXXIX: McNabb (31 TDs, 8 INTs) was a regular-season sensation, but three picks gave Brady his third championship.Peyton Manning vs. Russell Wilson, Super Bowl XLVIII: Wilson in his second season (26 TDs, 9 INTs) as starter out-dueled a jittery Manning (2 INTs, 1 fumble), who fell to 1-2 on Super Sunday.Aaron Rodgers vs.Daryle Lamonica, Super Bowl II: Lombardi’s defense defused The Mad Bomber (13-1 with 30 TDs), and Starr won back-to-back championships.Bob Griese vs. Fran Tarkenton, Super Bowl VIII: Don Shula’s poised game manager (seven completions) defended the perfect 17-0 championship season and spoiled Scramblin’ Fran’s return to the Vikings.Troy Aikman vs. Jim Kelly I, Super Bowl XXVII: Super Bowl MVP Aikman’s first of three championships and Kelly’s third of four championship losses in four tries.Tom Brady vs. Jared Goff, Super Bowl LIII: Goff (32 TDs, 12 INTs) saw more ghosts against Bill Belichick than Sam Darnold did. The Joy of Six for Brady.Terry Bradshaw vs. Fran Tarkenton, Super Bowl IX: The first of Bradshaw’s four championships, and the second of Tarkenton’s three losses in four years.Roger Staubach vs. Bob Griese, Super Bowl VI: They adorned the cover of Time Magazine in the lead-up. Super Bowl MVP Captain Comeback won his first title.Tom Brady vs. Kurt Warner, Super Bowl XXXVI: The Dynasty began when the 24-year-old Brady coolly led a last-minute FG drive to shock The Greatest Show on Turf.Joe Montana vs.Fran Tarkenton, Super Bowl XI: The Snake, 41-9-1 as Raiders starter, rode a 266-yard ground assault to leave Tarkenton with an 0-3 record.Patrick Mahomes vs. Jimmy Garoppolo, Super Bowl LIV: Mahomes met the moment in the fourth quarter for his crown. Jimmy GQ (27 TDs, 13 INTs) did not.Troy Aikman vs. Neil O’Donnell, Super Bowl XXX: O’Donnell (17 TDs, 7 INT) was intercepted twice by MVP Larry Brown and Aikman had his third Super Bowl ring.Brett Favre vs. Drew Bledsoe, Super Bowl XXXI: Favre’s 39 TDs marked his third 30-plus TD season and Bill Parcells couldn’t deny him his first championship with his QB (27 TDs, 15 INTs) throwing four picks.John Elway vs. Phil Simms, Super Bowl XXI: The Other Quarterback had the game of his life in Pasadena for his first and only crown and Elway’s first loss.Joe Flacco vs. Colin Kaepernick, Super Bowl XLVII: Flacco (102:56 TD:INT ratio over his first five seasons) weathered Kaepernick’s arm and legs with three TDs.Kurt Warner vs. Steve McNair, Super Bowl XXXIV: SB MVP Warner won NFL MVP for his one and only title as a young Air McNair (12 TDs, 8 INTs) came up 1 yard short of overtime.Jim Plunkett vs.Matt Hasselbeck, Super Bowl XL: Young Big Ben was brutal (9-21, 123 yards, 1 rushing TD, 2 INTs), but a 181-yard Steelers rushing attack wasted a career year from Hasselbeck (24 TDs, 9 INTs).Jim Plunkett vs. Ron Jaworski, Super Bowl XV: Al Davis rode his journeyman’s MVP performance (3 TDs) over The Polish Rifle, the UPI NFL Player of Year.John Elway vs. Doug Williams, Super Bowl XXII: Historic because Super Bowl MVP Williams started (and lost) two games in the regular season before he became the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl (4 TDs) as Elway threw three INTs and dropped to 0-2 on Super Sunday.Joe Namath vs. Earl Morrall, Super Bowl III: Although he is arguably the best backup QB in NFL history, nobody ever called him Broadway Earl. Guarantee it.Tom Brady vs. Nick Foles, Super Bowl LII: Brady eyed his sixth championship, but never counted on Philly Special (5 TDs, 2 INTs after replacing Carson Wentz).Jim Kelly vs. Jeff Hostetler, Super Bowl XXV: The K-Gunslinger couldn’t overcome Phil Simms’ backup (3 TDs, 1 INT in two regular-season starts) because he had the ball for only 19:27 in his first and Wide Right SB.Len Dawson vs.Jake Delhomme, Super Bowl XXXVIII: The scrappy undrafted Panthers QB (19 TDs, 16 INTs) and former NFL Europe afterthought never backed down with three TD passes before Brady’s last-minute FG drive earned him his second championship.John Elway vs. Chris Chandler, Super Bowl XXXIII: Elway rides off into the sunset with a back-to-back against a journeyman who enjoyed a career year (25 TDs, 12 INTs).Johnny Unitas vs. Craig Morton, Super Bowl V: The Great Johnny U was 12 years removed from The Greatest Game Ever Played and was knocked out of the game in favor of Morrall, who won thanks to Morton’s three INTs.Jim Kelly vs. Mark Rypien, Super Bowl XXVI: Kelly’s second of four Super Bowl losses to a QB who enjoyed a career year (28 TDs, 11 INT) for Joe Gibbs.Roger Staubach vs. Craig Morton, Super Bowl XII: Rodger The Dodger coasted to his second championship past his faded former teammate (4-15, 4 INTs).Kerry Collins vs. Trent Dilfer, Super Bowl XXXV: Dilfer started only eight games, but his ravenous Ravens defense intercepted Collins, in his second season as starter, four times.Jim McMahon vs.Young Eason (11 TDs, 17 INTs) did.Joe Theismann vs. David Woodley, Super Bowl XVII: NFL MVP used John Riggins’ 166 rushing yards to beat youngest (24) QB (5 TDs against 8 INTs during strike-shortened season) to start the game.Brad Johnson vs. Rich Gannon, Super Bowl XXXVII: Johnson wins The Battle of Journeymen for the Jon Gruden Bucs as Gannon tosses five INTs.Terry Bradshaw vs. Vince Ferragamo, Super Bowl XIV: A mismatch with Bradshaw capturing his fourth championship against a quarterback with seven career starts.Bob Griese vs. Billy Kilmer, Super Bowl VII: Griese needs only eight completions for Perfect Dolphins as journeyman Kilmer throws three INTs.Steve Young vs. Stan Humphries, Super Bowl XXIX: Young rid his back of the Montana monkey with six TD passes against a QB with an 89:84 career TD:INT ratio.Peyton Manning vs. Rex Grossman, Super Bowl XLI: Think Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks (20 INTs for Wrecks). Peyton’s first championship..