Friday, January 10, 2014

How Much is Super Bowl Quarterbacking Experience Worth?

Each of this weekend's four NFL Divisional Round playoff games pits one team which has a quarterback with Super Bowl experience versus a team without a quarterback who has Super Bowl experience.

The afternoon game on Saturday features Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, MVP of Super Bowl XLIV, versus Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.  Later on Saturday night, the Indianapolis Colts, led by Andrew Luck, play the New England Patriots with Tom Brady in charge, a three-time Super Bowl winner.

The early game on Sunday has virgin playoff quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers up against Collin Kaepernick, last season's losing Super Bowl starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.  The late game Sunday brings together journeyman quarterback Phillip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers up against veteran Super Bowl winning and losing quarterback, Peyton Manning, representing the Denver Broncos.

So, what's it all mean?  In many ways, it's a combination of young studs versus elder statesmen.  But, there is the exception of Kaepernick, who has the Super Bowl experience as a young stud.

Can all the games go one way or the other?  Could Super Bowl experience prevail in all the games or could it end up backfiring?

There is a revenge factor of sorts for three of the Super Bowl experienced quarterbacks.  Peyton Manning had his two worst offensive outputs this season versus the Chargers and lost one of those games.

Kaepernick and the Niners took a hard loss at home to the Panthers this season, scoring only nine points in a one point loss, 10-9.

The Saints and Drew Brees still remember a couple seasons back losing as the favorite on the road to an under .500 Seahawks team in the playoffs.

Predictions:  Super Bowl experience prevails all the way.  I'm a sucker for seeing guys who have been there do it again.  AFC Championship-Patriots at Broncos.  NFC Championship-Saints at Niners (this potential matchup has significant history from a five-six seeds perspective and as an additional 'unplanned' last game at Candlestick Park)

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