Posted 01/21/2013 at 06:35 PM
In a playoff season that began with legendary quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady poised to line up in the AFC Championship as well as big name stars Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan fighting for top teams in the NFC, we end up with a Super Bowl match-up with two far lesser known leaders and for a change the quarterbacks will not be the major storyline in the days leading up to the big game. Colin Kaepernick’s story is pretty amazing, having only started seven regular season games but he presents a rare dynamic at the position given his size and speed. His ceiling is incredibly high and we may look back in a few years as just the beginning of a great career, or perhaps this game will come to define him as it did to several other young quarterbacks that received an early shot at glory.
Joe Flacco has been a solid player in the league for several years but despite more road playoff wins than any quarterback ever it took last week’s win, and perhaps a Super Bowl win to earn to universal respect. Flacco will be the second starting quarterback in the Super Bowl that played college football at Delaware (Rich Gannon), something that is hard to believe considering no quarterbacks from several prestigious programs including Texas, USC, nor Ohio State have ever started in the NFL’s biggest game. Kaepernick will be the first Nevada player to start the Super Bowl. Five quarterbacks younger than Kaepernick have started in the Super Bowl, with two of them emerging victorious (Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady). Dan Marino and David Woodley got there for the Dolphins but would never win one. Drew Bledsoe lost when he started at age 24 but he would eventually win one behind Brady, sitting in a role similar to that of Alex Smith this season.
The last Super Bowl in New Orleans was New England’s win over St. Louis 20-17 in a substantial upset led by Brady, who surpassed Bledsoe that season. Expect to see many comparisons brought up between that situation and this year’s 49ers team, though those Patriots were two touchdown underdogs while Kaepernick will lead the favored 49ers despite his limited experience.
Some of the highest scoring Super Bowl games ever have been played at the Superdome. There were 56 points scored in Super Bowl XXXI as the Packers beat the Patriots, 65 points were scored in Super Bowl XXIV a blowout for the 49ers over the Broncos, and 56 points were scored in Super Bowl XX as Chicago trounced the Patriots.
The underdog has covered in eight of the last 11 Super Bowls and the ‘under’ has hit in six of the last eight Super Bowls for recent trends for the big game. The NFC has also won four of the last five. Baltimore won its only Super Bowl appearance while San Francisco is a perfect 5-0 in Super Bowls. This will actually be the first time ever in which two teams that have previously won a Super Bowl but have never lost the Super Bowl will face off as every other Super Bowl has featured at least one team that has never been there or has previously lost in the big game. Franchises that won in their first Super Bowl appearance are 4-1 in their second appearance. Best of Luck, on to this week’s slate…