The Case for Marino: Marino is perhaps the most scrutinized quarterback on the face of the earth. It would be expected that the NFL’s all-time leader in most passing categories (until Favre passed him) would have a Super Bowl ring to his name. He doesn’t. Then again, in Marino’s 10 postseason losses, his team rushed for an average of 53 yards per game, while the defense surrendered an average of 34.5 points per game. No one could win with that support.
The Case Against Marino: He will always be known as the best quarterback in history to never win a Super Bowl. His numbers (29-of-50, 318, 1, 2) in the game weren’t great, and he led the Dolphins to just 16 points. In each of his first five playoff losses, he threw two interceptions and posted a passer rating under 80. His career passer rating in the playoffs (77.4) is almost 10 points lower than his career rating in the regular season.
Bottom Line: An 8-10 career playoff record and just a single Super Bowl appearance are certainly less than spectacular, but Pro Football Reference did a detailed study analyzing a quarterback’s rushing and defensive support. The result of this study showed Marino should have won 5.6 playoff games in his career. This means he actually overachieved—significantly—in winning an additional 2.4 games. Put Marino on the Montana 49ers, and they still would have been a dynasty.
The fact that Marino is viewed as a poster boy for guys who couldn’t win the big one rather than one of the five greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game is unfortunate.