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Early Bird Special: Winning a Super Bowl early in career spells good signs for repeat

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QBs to win a Super Bowl in first 5 years have won an average of more than 2 career championships

it just looks ... right
it just looks ... right
Otto Greule Jr

I'm previewing the upcoming season at RollingStone.com all week, so please take a look at those if you haven't already. Monday - Top 5 QBs in the NFL. Tuesday - Top 5 at WR, RB, and TE (Lynch at 4)

It's important for fans, especially Seattle fans who have never experienced what it's like to win a Super Bowl championship until this year (six months later that still doesn't make any sense to me) to have perspective and not be the annoying guy or gal on the internet that thinks their team is now going to win all the titles. Is Russell Wilson going to win a record five Super Bowls as a quarterback???

I mean, yeah, sure, probably. It would be weird if he didn't. But we have to at least entertain the notion, humoring the idea like a mother humors her own son into believing that they will go to Blockbuster after she's off the phone. "BUT YOU SAID WE'D GO, MOM. BUT YOU SAID IT!" I wept, not knowing she really just wanted to finish her phone call and not listen to me about how "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is going to be all rented out if we don't go soon!"

A team hasn't repeated as champions since the 2003-2004 New England Patriots. Since then, only two quarterbacks have won multiple Super Bowls, while greats like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers did not repeat like many should have expected them to do. It used to be that the defending NFL champion was more like "prime Tiger Woods versus the field" to win, and now it's more like "current Tiger Woods versus the field."

The Seahawks are the best team in the NFL. This is something that I do not doubt for a second, but "Best teams win always they do not Carroll Pete" is something Yoga once said it Space Battles.

However, I still think that Seattle has the best chance to win it this year of any team, sort of like a half-lap headstart in a four-lap race, and I believe that Wilson will win multiple Super Bowls in his career with the Seahawks. The historical evidence also supports this.

Quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl in the first five years of their career

Jim McMahon, Bears, 1985, fourth year

Troy Aikman, Cowboys, 1992, fourth year

Roger Staubach*, Cowboys, 1971, third year (Spent five years on military leave)

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, 2005, second year

Terry Bradshaw, Steelers, 1974, fifth year

Joe Namath, Jets, 1968, fourth year

Kurt Warner, Rams, 1999, second year

Joe Montana, 49ers, 1981, third year

Tom Brady, Patriots, 2001, second year

Joe Flacco, Ravens, 2012, fifth year

Eli Manning, Giants, 2007, fourth year

Russell Wilson, Seahawks, 2013, second year

The majority of these players won another title in their careers, even when you count Flacco and Wilson. That's seven out of 10 quarterbacks when you don't include them, and I think it's fair to say that the other three have a mostly-decent legacy.

The players who did not win it a second time were players like McMahon, who was not that good of a quarterback but played with an all-time defense. Namath, who led the league in interceptions twice before winning a Super Bowl and was a fairly unimpressive player by age 27. Flacco, who won it in his fifth year, and still has plenty of time left to try and win another. And finally Warner, who was hurt in 2000, made the Super Bowl in 2001, spent most of the next five years injured, then returned to the Super Bowl again with the Arizona Cardinals in 2008.

Warner should be the only player on that list that should be a surprising one-time winner based on his abilities as a quarterback. And he came razor thin to winning a trio of championships, despite not getting started until later in his 20s than most players.

Players above to win a second Super Bowl

Troy Aikman

Roger Staubach

Ben Roethlisberger

Terry Bradshaw

Joe Montana

Tom Brady

Eli Manning

IT took Staubach six years to win his second and final championship, but most don't take that long to get back to the Super Bowl.

Aikman won three in four years. Roethlisberger won two in four. Bradshaw ended up repeating twice, first in 74-75, then again in 78-79. Montana won four over nine seasons, and repeating in 88-89. Brady won three in four seasons. Manning won two Super Bowls in five seasons by doing the football equivalent of slowly backing up without looking to take a picture and then falling backwards off a ledge into a party at the Playboy Mansion.

By winning a Super Bowl in year two, Wilson has that much more time to extend his window of opportunity into something that could resemble Bradshaw or Montana, but still have that "Brady opportunity" right now to win three in four years.

Players to win a third Super Bowl

Troy Aikman

Terry Bradshaw

Joe Montana

Tom Brady

It seems funny to say this but just look at the four most successful quarterbacks in NFL history and check out their stats. Aikman and Bradshaw are noteworthy for how unspectacular their numbers are for players to win that many titles, but even Montana and Brady didn't blow you away when they won the Super Bowl.

Brady's past as a game manager is viewed from one of those telescopes that identifies tiny dots in the universe that are apparently supernovas and gaseous giants (how the fuck they know that, I'll never understand) but that's exactly what he was when New England was most successful. That doesn't mean the Patriots couldn't have or shouldn't have won their fourth and fifth championships when Brady was breaking passing records, but they didn't.

Montana was a master of accuracy and efficiency, not volume. He led the league in pass attempts only once in his career: 1982, which was a strike-shortened nine game season. He never led the NFL in yards and he threw more than 30 touchdowns only once. Things were slightly different over his 23-game postseason career, in which he was almost always an example of how to be the perfect quarterback, but for the most part Bill Walsh did not ask Joe Montana to be the "Joe Montana" we picture in our heads.

It was a team effort, and that's something that will help Wilson and the Seahawks win multiple titles during their window to be a potential NFL dynasty.

Players above to win a fourth Super Bowl

Terry Bradshaw

Joe Montana

Wilson, by himself, will not win another Super Bowl. Wilson, by himself, has not won a single game. Wilson, by himself, would be beaten to a disgusting degree if ever asked to play an entire 53-man roster all by his lonesome with our only comfort as fans being the chuckle we get from the big board playing the video of Ralph Wiggum crying, "He's already dead."

Seattle is in a prime position to win two, three, or more titles with Wilson, because they're one of the most talented teams I've ever seen in my 15 years of being entirely too obsessed with football. (I just want to clear up that I'm not 15-years-old, but I will go to your prom.) Bradshaw, Montana, Aikman, Brady all played on really damn good teams, with some really damn good coaches. Because of that Wilson is in an enviable position of being on a Super Bowl team, and the Seahawks are lucky to have Wilson as the leader.

And that's why he'll win more rings than he has feet. (In height, that is.)

*an earlier version of this article said that the solar system was the universe, and for that I deeply apologize. To be honest, football is my only universe, and the Seahawks are my galaxy, and Pete Carroll is the solar system, and Russell Wilson is the world, and you're still you, but that tree over there is A.J. Jenkins, so you can understand why I made that mistake. Thanks for understanding.