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Was Peyton Manning's performance the worst ever by a Super Bowl winner?

When the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on Sunday, Peyton Manning became the first quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two teams. He won his first when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007. [Getty Images]

When the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on Sunday, Peyton Manning became the first quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two teams. He won his first when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007. [Getty Images]

Peyton Manning's a sure-fire Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. But on Sunday night, the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 despite him, not because of him.

Was his performance the worst ever by a Super Bowl-winning quarterback? Let's find out.

In Friday's Super Bowl preview, we used a statistic — adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) — to discuss the disparity between the Panthers' passing offense and the Broncos' passing offense. In that piece, we suggested that even though Manning was awful in 2015, the Broncos could overcome his low ANY/A.

Why ANY/A? It's a statistic that rewards quarterbacks for touchdown passes and penalizes them for interceptions and sacks. Quarterback rating also factors in touchdown passes and interceptions, but it does not factor in sacks. Also, while the average quarterback rating has risen steadily in recent years as quarterbacks settle for shorter, higher percentage throws, the average ANY/A has remained relatively consistent.

ANY/A is simple to calculate. Here's the formula: (passing yards + 20*(passing touchdowns) - 45*(interceptions thrown) - sack yards) / (pass attempts + sacks).

On Sunday, Manning attempted 23 passes, completing 13 for 141 yards. Only five quarterbacks have gained fewer than 141 passing yards in a Super Bowl win (minimum 10 attempts).

The Panthers also sacked Manning five times for 37 yards. Ultimately, he finished with 2.11 ANY/A. Cam Newton, by the way, finished with 3.32.

While 2.11 yards is exceptionally low, it's not the worst, or even the second-worst. Ben Roethlisberger gained only 1.14 yards in the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl XL win, and Johnny Unitas gained 2.00 yards in the Baltimore Colts' Super Bowl V win. (A rib injury forced Unitas out of the game in the second quarter. The Colts were losing 13-6.)

Quarterback Super Bowl Comp % Yards TD INT Sacks ANY/A
Ben Roethlisberger 2006, Steelers 21, Seahawks 10 42.86 123 0 2 1 1.14
Johnny Unitas 1971, Colts 16, Cowboys 13 33.33 88 1 2 0 2.00
Peyton Manning 2016, Broncos 24, Panthers 10 56.52 141 0 1 5 2.11
Joe Theismann 1983, Washington 27, Dolphins 17 65.22 143 2 2 3 2.85
Bob Griese 1973, Dolphins 14, Washington 7 72.73 88 1 1 2 3.38
John Elway 1998, Broncos 31, Packers 24 54.55 123 0 1 0 3.55
Len Dawson 1970, Chiefs 23, Vikings 7 70.58 142 1 1 3 4.85
Trent Dilfer 2001, Ravens 34, Giants 7 48.00 153 1 0 3 5.46
Peyton Manning 2007, Colts 29, Bears 17 65.79 247 1 1 1 5.48
Troy Aikman 1994, Cowboys 30, Bills 13 70.37 207 0 1 2 5.48

By ANY/A, Manning's performance Sunday was the third-worst by a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. He was unremarkable in his other Super Bowl win as well. His 247-yard, one-touchdown, one-interception outing against Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI ranks as the ninth-worst.

Among all quarterbacks to play in the Super Bowl, Manning turned in the 10th-worst performance (minimum 10 pass attempts). His boss, two-time champion John Elway, holds the dubious distinction of being one of only two quarterbacks to finish a game with negative ANY/A. (In the table below, winners are in bold.)

To Tampa Bay fans' delight, the Buccaneers are responsible for one of the all-time worst performances. In their 48-21 pillaging of the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, the Bucs defenders absolutely mauled Rich Gannon, sacking him five times and forcing an NFL-record five interceptions, three of which they returned for touchdowns.

Quarterback Super Bowl Comp % Yards TD INT Sacks ANY/A
John Elway 1990, 49ers 55, Broncos 10 38.46 108 0 2 4 -0.40
Craig Morton 1971, Colts 16, Cowboys 13 46.15 127 1 3 2 -0.07
Ben Roethlisberger 2006, Steelers 21, Seahawks 10 42.86 123 0 2 1 1.14
Rich Gannon 2003, Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21 54.55 272 2 5 1 1.32
Norris Weese 1978, Cowboys 27, Broncos 10 40.00 22 0 0 2 1.33
Drew Bledsoe 1997, Packers 35, Patriots 21 52.08 253 2 4 5 1.40
Jim Kelly 1992, Washington 37, Bills 24 48.28 275 2 4 5 1.41
Neil O'Donnell 1996, Cowboys 27, Steelers 17 57.14 239 1 3 4 1.74
Johnny Unitas 1971, Colts 16, Cowboys 13 33.33 88 1 2 0 2.00
Peyton Manning 2016, Broncos 24, Panthers 10 56.52 141 0 1 5 2.11

Twelve quarterbacks have played in three or more Super Bowls. Manning ranks in the middle of the pack.

Quarterback Super Bowls Record ANY/A
Fran Tarkenton VIII, IX, XI 0-3 2.38
Jim Kelly XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXXVIII 0-4 2.94
Bob Griese VI, VII, VIII 2-1 3.71
John Elway XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXXII, XXXIII 2-3 4.34
Ben Roethlisberger XL, XLIII, XLV 2-1 4.64
Peyton Manning XLI, XLIV, XLVIII, 50 2-2 4.77
Roger Staubach VI, X, XII, XIII 2-2 4.84
Tom Brady XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, XLVI, XLIX 4-2 6.22
Kurt Warner XXXIV, XXXVI, XLIII 1-2 7.94
Troy Aikman XXVII, XXVIII, XXX 3-0 8.56
Terry Bradshaw IX, X, XIII, XIV 4-0 9.50
Joe Montana XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV 4-0 10.41

Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.

Was Peyton Manning's performance the worst ever by a Super Bowl winner? 02/08/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 11, 2016 6:31pm]
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