This Sunday marks NFL Championship Sunday and what a day it should be. Not only are the four remaining teams battling for the Lombardi trophy the top seeds in each conference but there are story lines galore. My favorite story line will be Old School and New School.
In the span of seven hours we will get to witness the old and the new of the NFL quarterback position. In the first game we get to see the style of quarterback that has long dominated the NFL, the pocket passer. In game two we will witness the new-age, mobile quarterback.
What better way to start the day off than the NFL’s premiere rivalry over the past decade….Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. This is a battle between Manning, the prototype quarterback with NFL blood, and the over-looked, out of nowhere Brady. Sunday’s battle is between a human computer behind center and a quarterback that plays with his heart and raises up below average players. It is a battle between two aging quarterbacks and that quest for one last championship. Its a battle between the man who re-wrote NFL passing records and the man who broke those marks and upped them with his performance this year. These two quarterbacks have met 14 previous times with Brady holding a 10-4 edge. If you look at their head to head stats they are nearly identical. Yes football is a team sport but no player in any other sport gets as much blame or as much glory as the quarterback. So while this game, as all of their previous meetings, will likely come down to the other 52 players on the team; this game will be remembered as yet another chapter in the historic battle between two of the all-time greats.
The second game of the day features the new style of the QB position in the NFL. The mobile quarterback that is as much a threat of a 50-yard pass as they are a 50-yard run. Game two pits two divisional rivals against each other in Seattle and San Francisco. Two teams that are built upon the same ideals; rough, beat you down defense, a strong rushing attack, and led by mobile signal callers….Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. These two quarterbacks are complete opposites of the first games leaders. These two are just beginning their careers. They are not ones to sit in the pocket and pick apart defenses. Rather they put the pressure on defenses by moving the pocket, extending plays and creating breakdowns in coverage. Both of these quarterbacks were afterthoughts. Don’t buy the hype that the media or even the team GM’s will try and sell you about knowing they drafted their guy. If they were really set on them they wouldn’t have waited until the second and third rounds to take them and risk having them drafted by another team. These two quarterbacks fit their systems perfectly. While neither has truly impressed this post-season yet and both have struggled at times this year in their second full years; this is what is all the rage for the quarterback position now. A guy that puts pressure on defenses not only with their arm but with their legs.
Sunday’s games are great match-ups because it gives NFL fans everything they wanted from the preseason. The four teams that started as favorites. It features two older quarterbacks in search of one last moment of glory and two young quarterbacks in search of their first title. This Sunday is for the middle-aged NFL fan that grew up cheering for long touchdown passes as well as for the new social media savvy NFL fan that has grown up with the dual threat QB. This Sunday we will get to see old school and new school. This Sunday both the past and future will be present.