|Top 10 single-season performances by backup quarterbacks
|1. Tom Brady
||The NFL’s No. 1 overall pick in 1993, Drew Bledsoe had started 123 of 124 games in New England. Then one hit by Jets linebacker Mo Lewis in Week 2 of the 2001 season pushed a somewhat unknown QB into the starting role. Former Michigan star Tom Brady -- a sixth-round pick in the 2000 draft who did not play his rookie season -- led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
|2. Kurt Warner
||When Trent Green went down with a season-ending knee injury in the 1999 preseason, journeyman Warner -- who had 11 career NFL pass attempts to his credit -- became his replacement. A veteran of the Arena League and NFL Europe, Warner went from football footnote to NFL and Super Bowl MVP that season, throwing 41 touchdown passes.
|3. Jeff Hostetler
||Phil Simms had been in control of the Giants’ offense since 1984, leading the team to a win in Super Bowl XXI. With another title in reach, Giants fans winced as Simms suffered a sprained foot in Week 14 of 1990. In stepped Hostetler, who had started only two previous games. Five wins later, the Giants had a second Super Bowl triumph.
|4. Earl Morrall
||Morrall is the only man on this list with two memorable backup performances. Stepping in for an injured Johnny Unitas in 1968, Morrall proceeded to lead the Colts to a 13-1 record, an NFL championship and a berth in Super Bowl III. He earned NFL MVP honors along the way. In 1972 with the Dolphins, Morrall took over for the injured Bob Griese and was at the helm for 11 wins during the Perfect Season.
|5. Doug Williams
||In 1987, Doug Williams made only two regular-season starts for the Redskins, losing both. But he came on in relief three other times, winning all three games. Before the playoffs, he replaced Jay Schroeder as the team’s starter and led Washington to Super Bowl XXII. Despite missing two plays with a knee injury, Williams was named MVP with a then-Super Bowl record 340 pass yards.
|6. Jim Plunkett
||In the 1971 NFL draft, the New England Patriots made former Stanford star Jim Plunkett the first overall selection. But by 1980, Plunkett had been let go by two teams and was sitting on the bench for the Raiders. In the fifth game of the year, starter Dan Pastorini suffered a broken leg. Plunkett won nine of his 11 regular-season starts, then led the Raiders to a win in Super Bowl XV, the first for a wild-card team.
|7. Trent Dilfer
||After six years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, five as a starter, Trent Dilfer signed with the Ravens as a free agent in 2000. But four weeks without a touchdown in the middle of the season forced Ravens coach Brian Billick to sit Tony Banks and insert Dilfer. Dilfer lost his first start, but won the next 11, including Super Bowl XXXV.
|8. Jake Delhomme
||Former NFL Europe QB Delhomme enjoyed some success with the New Orleans Saints before signing with the Panthers as a free agent in 2003. After Rodney Peete proved ineffective in the first half of the season opener, Delhomme took over in the second half trailing 17-0. Not only did he lead the Panthers to a comeback win in that game, he won the starting job. His Cinderella season ended with the Panthers’ first Super Bowl berth, a last-minute loss to the New England Patriots.
|9. Vince Ferragamo
||The Los Angeles Rams were unable to find two things for most of the 1970s: playoff success and quarterback stability. In 1979, Pat Haden started the first 10 games, going 5-5 before breaking a finger on his throwing hand. Starting the final five games of the season, Vince Ferragamo went 4-1, and then won two playoff games to lead the Rams to their first Super Bowl appearance.
|10. Norm Van Brocklin
||With two eventual Hall of Famers, it's no wonder the 1951 Rams sought to get both Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin into games. As the season progressed, Waterfield was starting the games, including the 1951 NFL Championship. But in that one, it was Van Brocklin who supplied the game-winning 73-yard touchdown pass to Tom Fears.