Earl Morrall was a backup in two Super Bowls, both after Johnny Unitas was injured. He lost both games (one in overtime) as the Baltimore Colts beat him and the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 27-17 and 24-7, respectively.
Morrall played well enough in those games to earn MVP votes from his peers. He finished with 143 passing yards, one touchdown, and an interception in the first game and 92 yards, no scores, and an interception in the second game. The 49ers used the free agent pickup Doug Williams instead of giving the starting job to Morrall, who had been their backup the previous season when Unitas broke his hand.
Williams went on to start for the 49ers in both Super Bowls that year, winning one and losing one. He was also the starter in 1986 when the 49ers defeated Miami Dolphins by a score of 49-26.
After graduating from high school in Richmond, Virginia, Earl Morrall dropped out of college to work as a freight train driver so he could play football for money. In three seasons as a starter at Virginia Tech, he passed for 3,071 yards with 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Which NFL backup quarterback has the most Super Bowl rings? - Quora. Earl Morrall has three points. During the 1970 Super Bowl, he began as Johnny Unitas' backup, but took over midway through the game. Then he was Bob Griese's backup in Miami for the team's two victories in 1972 and 1973. Griese went on to win the MVP award that year.
Earl Morrall played in only four games during his first season with the Steelers in 1968, but then started every game for five straight seasons. In 1974, he threw for 2,010 yards while leading the Steelers to a 12-2 record. That same year, he also led all quarterbacks in scoring with 103 points.
Morrall finished his career with the Dolphins in 1977, when he lost his starting job to Dan Marino after one season. The two were reunited in Pittsburgh, where they both ended up with the same team. Marino was the No. 1 pick in the 1983 NFL draft and Morrall was not even picked by any team. He decided to retire at the end of that season.
During their careers, Morrall made more than 100 passes and completed nearly 60 percent of them. He also ran for six touchdowns and returned seven kicks for another touchdown. His career passer rating is 75.3 while playing in 48 games with 36 wins, two losses and two ties.
The Colts' offense would be led by backup quarterback Earl Morrall. Morrall was voted the 1968 MVP after leading the Colts to a league-best 13-1 record. Despite a great season and Unitas' comeback during the game, the Colts were defeated in the Super Bowl by the AFL's New York Jets and their quarterback, Joe Namath.
Earl Morrall was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the second round of the 1968 NFL Draft. He spent two seasons with the team as their backup quarterback before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1970. In nine games played during his two years with the Colts, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,176 yards with seven touchdowns vs. five interceptions.
During his time with the Colts, Earl Morrall became a starter when Unitas suffered injuries. In fact, Morrall started in three of the four games Unitas missed due to injury during his comeback year in 1968. Although the Colts lost all four games, they were able to finish first in the AFC East with a perfect 12-0 record.
In 1969, Jim Kiick replaced Unitas as the starting quarterback. During his only season as a Colt, Morrall finished with 2,004 passing yards while completing 60 percent of his passes. In October 1970, the Colts traded Morrall to the Philadelphia Eagles for offensive lineman Ron McDole. The trade sent an ominous sign that the Colts might be looking to move on from their backup quarterback role.
NFL backup quarterbacks' finest games
At least one team in this year's Super Bowl will start a backup quarterback, as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles is one win away from joining a tiny club of second-string signal callers who have won it all. Here are the quarterbacks that came off the bench to help their teams win...
Foles, 26, played his first full season as the Eagles' starter in 2016 after replacing an injured Michael Vick. The former No. 2 overall pick has started 87 games in his career and has a 45–42 record as a starter. He has 4,353 yards passing with 28 touchdowns against 21 interceptions.
He got his chance when Vick suffered a knee injury in 2015 and responded by helping the Eagles reach the NFC Championship Game. Foles went 8–4 as a starter that season while throwing for 1,046 yards with nine touchdowns vs. five interceptions.
The Eagles made him their starting quarterback this past offseason after signing Vick to be their replacement for Derek Anderson. Foles ended up winning the job back from Vick, who had been the starter since 2004 when he arrived in Philadelphia via trade from Atlanta. Foles started the final six games of the regular season and led the Eagles to a 3–3 finish. He also threw for two touchdowns without an interception in the last three games of the season.