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Survey says quarterbacks might be less hot than you think they are

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Survey Says Quarterbacks Might Be Less Hot Than You Think They Are

According to a new survey, quarterbacks aren't the most attractive guys on the football field, contrary to popular belief.

"It's Tom Brady at the highest level, but it's also the good-looking high school kid who's dating the cheerleader," the executive editor of Sports Illustrated told Good Morning America.

SEE ALSO: Behold ancient high school yearbook photos of Super Bowl heroes

The executive editor of Sports Illustrated and a professor at Tufts University surveyed 100 people as part of their book, "This is Your Brain on Sports."

Using official media photos, researchers concealed the players' team names and asked participants to rate each player's attractiveness on a scale from 1 to 10.

Out of the three groups shown in the experiment -- quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs -- quarterbacks, on average, got the lowest scores on attractiveness, while defensive backs got the highest.

Researchers even did the study two more times -- one time using NFL players again (but switching linebackers for defensive backs) and another time with college players. Same findings.

A few of the QBs deserve honorable mentions. Among their lowest-performing group, these three came in first: Alex Smith, Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill.

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Survey says quarterbacks might be less hot than you think they are

10. Eli Manning – Super Bowl XLII,  Super Bowl XLVI

The narrative sure has changed for former first-overall selection out of Ole Miss, Eli Manning who was considered a near bust for the New York Giants. Covered in the giant shadow of his brother Peyton Manning, Eli entered the 2007 season with 54 touchdown passes and 45 interceptions in three seasons while completing just about 55 percent of his passes.

He had moments where he looked sharp, but threw interceptions at an alarming rate and that only got worse in 2007. Manning completed 56.1 percent of his passes for 3,336 yards with 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

Then Eli got hot in the playoffs and found himself winning his first of two Super Bowls, both against the heavily-favored New England Patriots. What people seem to forget in their praise of Eli is he never would have won that first if not for a miraculous catch by receiver David Tyree. Manning threw a desperation pass up for grabs and being a third-and-5 play, it could have ended the comeback drive that led to the win.

The Giants defense stifled the Pats in that game and even had a great stand in the second quarter after an Eli pick that helped keep New England from putting their foot on the Giants throats. If not for that defense, a miraculous play by Tyree and dropped passes by New England in their rematch at Super Bowl XLVI Manning would be seen in a different light.

Without any rings, Eli would be harshly criticized for throwing an average of 16.5 interceptions per season, including an embarrassing three seasons of more than 20. In 2007 he threw 23, 201o he tossed 25 and in 2013 he had a ridiculous 27 interceptions.

Football is the ultimate team sport, but a team victory gives a quarterback immunity for the rest of his life apparently.


9. Mark Rypien – Super Bowl XXVI

A sixth-round selection of the Washington Redskins in 1986, Mark Rypien was actually an overachiever and did have a really good season in 1991 when he ascended from backup quarterback to a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

In that championship season, Rypien had 3,564 yards passing with 28 touchdowns to 11 picks. He then won the Super Bowl MVP after throwing for 292 yards and two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills as the ‘Skins won the game 37-24.

That season wasn’t what lands Rypien on this list, but rather the rest of his career does. After the big win, Rypien lasted just two more seasons in Washington which included a 1992 season where he threw 13 touchdowns and 17 picks. He was worse the next year with just four touchdowns and 10 picks in 10 games. After going 3-7 in 1993 his time as a full-time starter was over.

Rypien bounced around the league as a backup after that and was 2-4 as a starter when called upon.

(AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

8. Terry Bradshaw – Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV

Sure, everyone enjoys the fun-loving Terry Bradshaw. He’s a perfect fit on Fox NFL Sunday as he makes everyone laugh with his great personality. Also, he’s a four-time Super Bowl winning quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and even won the MVP in two of those four wins over a six year period.

So how does he land on this list? Simple, for his career he simply wasn’t the reason his team won and put up some rather pedestrian numbers.

In his 14 NFL seasons, Bradshaw completed just 51.9 percent of his passes and had five seasons where he was under 50 percent. This included his rookie season where he hit on only 38.1 percent of his passes and had six touchdowns to 24 interceptions. That wasn’t even his highest amount of interceptions in a year. He threw in a season as Bradshaw hit more than 20 five separate years with 25 being the most in 1979.

When the time came to hang up his cleats, the Steelers passer had 212 touchdowns to 210 interceptions. If not for the “Steel Curtain” defense Bradshaw probably would have never won any Super Bowls which makes it strange to think of what Sunday mornings may have ended up looking like without him.

(AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

7. Ken Stabler – Super Bowl XI

Much like Rypien who landed on this list earlier, Ken Stabler won a Super Bowl for his Oakland Raiders team after having one of his better NFL seasons. The Raiders went 13-1 that year and 11 of those wins came with Stabler under center.

For the season the lefty threw for 2,737 yards while completing a career-best 66.7 percent of his passes. He also had another career high with 27 touchdown passes, but he still showed what landed him on this list by tossing 17 interceptions.

“The Snake” had a bad habit of throwing to the wrong team and for his career he wound up with more picks, 222, than touchdowns, 194.

Stabler had five seasons with more than 20 interceptions, including an awful 1978 season that saw him nearly have a 2:1 interception to touchdown ration. Completing just 58.4 percent of his throws that season, Stabler had just 16 touchdowns and a disastrous 30 interceptions.

The quarterback had the luxury of working with legendary coach John Madden (seriously, he isn’t just the video game guy kids!) and Hall of Fame receiver Fred Biletnikoff. Both surely aided him during his peak years that resulted in the championship. Still, for his career there were too many down seasons for Stabler to avoid this list.

(AP Photo/George Brich, File)

6. Jim McMahon – Super Bowl XX

Jim McMahon was the fifth-overall selection by the Chicago Bears in the 1982 NFL Draft and he was as interesting as they come at the position. As a player, he was never necessarily a bad quarterback, but he also was never really that good.

McMahon had the luxury of being on the right team at the right time as he worked with legendary coach Mike Ditka and running back Walter Payton. Defensively the Bears were one of the best groups ever during much of McMahon’s time in Chicago as they featured future Hall of Famers like linebacker Mike Singletary and defensive end Richard Dent.

The quarterback did enjoy his best season in 1985, preceding their Super Bowl XX win. He threw for 2,392 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

In his 15-year career, McMahon barely managed to get to triple digits in touchdown, hitting exactly 100 while posting 90 interceptions. He finished his career once again going to the right place at the right time as McMahon was a member of the 1996 Green Bay Packers team that saw starting quarterback Brett Favre win his lone Super Bowl.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

5. Jeff Hostetler – Super Bowl XXV

New York Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler wouldn’t even be on this list if not for a an injury to the Giants staring quarterback and a missed kick heard around the world.

Things looked bleak for the 1990 Giants, who went 14-2 during the regular season but in a loss to the Buffalo Bills (the same team they beat later in the Super Bowl) starting quarterback Phil Simms went down with a broken bone in his foot.

Hostetler, who had only played in two games in his whole career before then had to finish the year out and was able to keep the power football team on track just long enough to win it all, but that still wasn’t a given. The Bills kicker, Scott Norwood missed a field goal attempt that would have defeated the Giants. Instead, with a backup orchestrating the offense, the Giants squeaked by with a narrow win.

After a couple more seasons backing up Simms, Hostetler went on to start for the Raiders and finished his career with the Redskins.

He never became a franchise style quarterback but posted decent career stats. He competed 58 percent of his passes and had 94 touchdowns to 71 interceptions. Hostetler wasn’t a terrible quarterback, but he definitely wasn’t one of the best to ever win a Super Bowl, especially given his lack of playing experience when he did manage to get that ring.

(Photo by Rich Pilling/Sporting News via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 22: Jim Plunkett #16 of the Los Angeles Raiders turns to hand the ball off to a running back Marcus Allen #32 against the Washington Redskins during Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984 at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Raiders won the Super Bowl 38 - 9. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

3. Brad Johnson – Super Bowl XXXVII

What an interesting Super Bowl it was in San Diego on the 26th of January, 2003. The Oakland Raiders were playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coached by Jon Gruden who was coaching Oakland the season before. The Raiders were coached by Gruden’s former assistant, Bill Callahan and were favored to take the title. Then the Bucs defense showed everyone what happens when you underestimate a tough defensive unit as they thumped the Raiders by a score of 48-21.

Lost in all that was the sensational season Gruden got out of the journeyman quarterback Brad Johnson who had completed 62.3 percent of his passes and threw 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions. This season was sandwiched by a season with 13 touchdowns and 11 picks and one with 26 touchdowns and 21 picks. Johnson was good in spurts, and his best moments as a passer were in relief of an injured starter.

Still, Gruden managed to get one really good season out of him and the defense led by defensive tackle Warren Sapp did the rest.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

2. Joe Namath – Super Bowl III

Broadway Joe Namath was quite a character for the New York Jets and is most famous for his guaranteed victory against the Baltimore Colts before Super Bowl III. Namath and his team were pretty big underdogs before the game, so naturally his proclamation raised some eyebrows.

He became a legend though when his team wound up winning by a score of 16-7 and Namath never even had to throw a pass in the fourth quarter of the game they won easily. The defense forced three interceptions but the MVP was given to Broadway Joe, most likely due to his guarantee rather than his play which resulted in zero touchdown passes.

During the regular season of their Super Bowl run, Namath struggled as he completed just 49.2 percent of his passes and had a lowly 15 touchdowns to 17 picks. For his career he had a terrible 50.1 percentage on his passes and threw only 173 touchdown passes to a terrible 220 interceptions.

His guarantee seems to be the only real reason he is famous as Namath recorded 20-or-more interceptions five times in his career and connected on less than 50 percent of his passes in seven of his 13 NFL seasons.

(AP Photo)

1. Trent Dilfer – Super Bowl XXXV

How can you tell when a Super Bowl winning team wins in spite of, rather than because of their quarterback? One way to tell is when said quarterback isn’t even on the roster the following season.

That’s exactly what happened with the man who is now synonymous with the term “game manager.” Just before the 2000 season, Trent Dilfer signed with the Baltimore Ravens to backup Tony Banks, but eventually found his way to the starting lineup. Dilfer was able to play mistake-free football and help the team with one of the best defenses ever win the Super Bowl on Jan. 28, 2001 in Tampa, Fla.

Dilfer went 7-1 as the starter that season while throwing for 1,502 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Not only was he never supposed to start for Baltimore, but he also became the only starting quarterback to be let go after winning a Super Bowl.

To further cement Dilfer’s status, he wasn’t even signed to start for anyone after the 2000 season as the Seattle Seahawks brought him in to back up Matt Hasselbeck. He never again threw more than 11 touchdown passes in a single season. He was 5-12 in his final two NFL seasons as a starter during stints with the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

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