Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flaco and San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick could not be any more different in the breed of quarterbacks in the NFL. Flacco is the classic drop-back pocket passer, who prefers to be content to stand there and even take a crushing shot if it means waiting for his receiver to finally break open.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick will gladly take off and play catch-me-if-you-can with the opposing defense, rather than sit back and scan the field for the open guy. Both guys enjoyed success in the regular season but have stepped it up big time in the post season.
While some might say the career of a running QB may be exciting, it usually is a short-lived one, as this is the NFL, where the players are faster, bigger, stronger and hit a lot, lot harder. Ask Michael Vick and now Robert Griffin III. However, none of that matters to the 49ers signal-caller, who took over in the second half of the season and now has his team on the brink of immortality.
For a guy who has only started nine games in his NFL career, including playoffs, no one is now doubting whether Colin can keep this up, at least for one more game. In the regular season, Kaepernick was 136 for 218 (62%) for 1,814 yards, averaging 140 yards/game, with 10 TDs and 3 INTs, for a QB Rating of 98.3.
He added 496 more yards in the post season, on 33 for 52 (64%), upping his average to 248 yards/game, with 3 TDs and only one pick, for a QB Rating of 106. For comparison purposes, San Francisco only played two games so far in the playoffs, while the Ravens have played three.
Joe Flacco has not missed a start since he took over as the Ravens starter before the 2008 season. While the 2012 regular season was not nearly his best despite throwing for a career high in yardage, his post season has been one of the best of any QB in long time.
Flacco was 317 for 531 (60%) in the regular season, for a career-high 3,817 yards, averaging 239 yards/game, with 22 TDs and ten interceptions, for a QB Rating of 87.7 To say Flacco stepped it up in the playoffs is a gross understatement, as he has gone 51 for 93 (55%) for 853 yards (84 yards/game), eight TD passes with no interceptions, equating to a QB Rating of 115.
With time to throw, Flacco is content to sit back and utilize one of the strongest arms in the NFL, going for the big play with regularity and success. At the same time, he has proved to be content to hand the ball to Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, and then thread the needle on short, crisp passes for long, time-consuming drives as he did last week in the AFC Championship Game when the Ravens went on three back-breaking 80+ yard drives to dominate the New England Patriots in their 28-13 AFC Championship Game victory.
Kaepernick and the Niners were not panicking when they fell behind the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. Despite a fumble on the six-inch line and afield goal that clanked off the upright, Colin still remained cool and collected until the game was firmly in their hands.
Both quarterbacks have significantly different styles of play and while Flacco is now the experienced veteran of the two, Kaepernick seems unfazed by the lights of the big time stage. How they play next Sunday evening will be firmly etched into their respective legacies.
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