Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At Least 1 Quarterback Will Be in Super Bowl for First Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At Least 1 Quarterback Will Be in Super Bowl for First Time

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

They range from a 13-year veteran who owns three Super Bowl rings to a second-year player who started just seven regular season games this year.

The quarterbacks who will start in the conference title games Sunday - Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers - will play the key roles in determining who plays in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

The only certainty is that at least one of the two quarterbacks in the Super Bowl will be appearing for the first time.

Brady has made five appearances and won three; the other three have never made it.

In passer ratings this year, Ryan and Brady were fifth and sixth at 99.1 and 98.7, and Flacco was 12th at 87.7. Kaepernick had a 98.3 quarterback rating, but didn't see enough action to qualify for the league stats. He became the starter after Alex Smith suffered a concussion.

In offensive yardage, New England was first, Atlanta 8th, San Francisco 11th and Baltimore 16th. In passing yardage, the Patriots were fourth, Atlanta sixth, Baltimore 15th and San Francisco 23rd.

Atlanta didn't play San Francisco in the regular season; Baltimore won at New England, 31-30 in Week 3.

This is the second year in a row that New England has hosted Baltimore in the AFC title game. The Patriots won 23-20 last year when Lee Evans of the Ravens dropped what could have been a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute of play and then Billy Cundiff missed a game-tying field goal.

Reputations for quarterbacks are made and lost in games like these. Only six quarterbacks have won the last nine Super Bowls: Brady (2), Ben Roethlisberger (2), Eli Manning (2), Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. …

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