Monday, January 13, 2014

Manning or Brady vs Kaepernick or Wilson, Old School New School Super Bowl XLVIII

This is what NFL fans want: the best teams and QBs heading into the league championships fighting for a spot in the Super Bowl. And now we have it with a guarantee of a classic pocket passer vs a young and mobile superstar.
Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady is arguably the best QB match-up in league history. If Manning plays another season, he'll easily break Brett Favre's all-time touchdown record (in 3 fewer seasons), plus he could also break the passing yards record if he plays 2 more seasons. At age 37, he's having his best year ever in touchdowns, points and passer rating with one goal in mind.
Brady trails Manning in passing stats, but will likely retire with more head to head victories and Super Bowl rings among other accolades. If Brady wins this year's Lombardi Trophy, that would make 4 total and cement his name in the Greatest Ever conversations (even though he's already there, along with Peyton). Brady has a chance to make his 6th trip to the Super Bowl and win his 3rd SB MVP, and would be the only QB to make those claims.
Does the Colin Kaepernick vs Russell Wilson match-up pack the same punch? Not yet, but it has potential. The 49ers and Seahawks have teams that should be contenders for years to come. Both QBs have played 2 full seasons (not counting Kaep's back-up role to Alex Smith in 2011). Neither of these young QBs are poised to put up the career passing stats of Manning-Brady, but they will easily dwarf them in rushing stats in just a few years, assuming they stay healthy. (Hey, pocket passers get hurt too.) In the event that the Seahawks or 49ers win it all, Kaepernick or Wilson will also have a fair chance at more Super Bowl rings than Peyton Manning (as will little brother Eli).
What do I love most about Super Bowl XLVIII? Old school vs new school--pocket passers vs mobile QBs. Manning or Brady vs Kaepernick or Wilson is intriguing to say the least. If it's Wilson, we know he'll run some even if it's to create space to throw around a taller line. If it's Kaepernick, we hope he'll run, knowing on any play he could bust a move of any distance to the end zone. Manning probably won't run more than 10 yards if he has to, but he might throw 7 touchdowns. Brady won't run more than 5 yards, but if it's 1st and goal on the 1-yard line, expect the QB sneak at least two, maybe three times. That's happened. Forget the run with the old-timers, and watch the passing clinic of "Dilfer dimes" both of these future Hall Of Famers will conduct.
All of these teams hope to establish a running game with good reason. LeGarrette Blount, Marshawn Lynch, Frank Gore or Knowshon Moreno each could be the deciding factor in these final games, as could a long list of potential receivers.
Back to the old school-new school question. Can a running QB really make it in the league? Fran Tarkenton, John Elway and Warren Moon were all pretty mobile and had HOF careers, though they were not nearly as mobile as Kaepernick and Wilson. Michael Vick had the mobility and then some, but probably not quite the level of success these young QBs are striving for. RG3? We'll see. Kaepernick has a strong and accurate arm, so that should help immensely. Wilson is playing with poise and intelligence to match his athleticism, and a passer rating even higher than Manning-Brady.
How to pick a winning team this year? Obviously there are at least 100 other players who will have a say in Super Bowl XVIII. For some reason, it seems tough to get past the big 4.
Who's your pick to win it all?
Home Page of author Jason Matthews.
Jason Matthews on Google Plus

add me to your Google Plus circles