One of the 2013 Super Bowl quarterbacks has had a ton of success but has received little respect. The other starting signal-caller has become an overnight sensation in his second season.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has one of the NFL’s strongest arms. The Ravens offense may still be considered run-first, but that’s mainly because Ray Rice is so dynamic. Over the last four years, Rice has rushed for 5,066 yards and 33 touchdowns on 1,109 carries (4.56 YPC) and added 278 receptions for 2,440 yards and six scores through the air.
While Rice has clearly been a pivotal part of the passing game, which finished the regular season ranked 15th in the NFL (Ravens were 11th in rushing offense), Flacco doesn’t receive enough credit.
Flacco’s completion percentage (59.7 during the regular season; 54.8 during the postseason) hasn’t blown anyone’s socks off, but he takes shots down field. Because he makes big plays and protects the football, Flacco maintains a solid passer rating.
He threw just 10 interceptions to 22 touchdowns during the regular season and his TD-to-INT ratio has improved through the playoffs, as the 6-6, 245-pound quarterback has completed 51 of 93 passes for 853 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in wins over the Indianapolis Colts (24-9), Denver Broncos (38-35) and New England Patriots (28-13).
With an underrated assortment of weapons, Flacco should be able to have another solid playoff game.
Due to the threat of his legs, the edge goes to Kaepernick.
While he was limited to 21 rushing yards in the win over the Atlanta Falcons, he set the all-time quarterback single-game rushing record with 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers.
In addition, he doesn’t seem to be intimidated by the big stage. In nine games as the starter (including the postseason), he has already defeated the likes of Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
You can’t overlook the fact that Flacco took down Peyton Manning and Brady in successive weeks or that he’s found a way to win in the playoffs every year since he was drafted out of Delaware as the 18th overall pick in 2008.
Though the Ravens defense has come on strong as of late, it looks like Kaepernick will face a slightly less daunting defense on Super Sunday. Ultimately, though, it is his ability to make plays with his feet that makes me lean towards youth prevailing in Super Bowl XLVII.