Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/23/13
If you'd predicted a Colin Kaepernick vs. Joe Flacco match-up for Super Bowl 47 in Week 10 of the NFL season, you might have been ridiculed as being ignorant or crazy. Or both. At the time it was virtually unthinkable.Colin Kaepernick was an inexperienced second-year backup to veteran Alex Smith who was sporting a lofty 104 quarterback rating.This coming on the heels of last year's drive to the NFC Championship game.On the other hand, Joe Flacco was so underachieving that a month later Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was dismissed and replaced by quarterback coach Jim Caldwell.Oh what a difference a day, or a few weeks, can make in today's NFL. On the eve of the world's greatest sporting event, further review of the 2012 season brings to light some stunning revelations: First Super Bowl in a decade that won't be won by a quarterback named Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees or Roethlisberger.Three rookie quarterbacks led their respective teams to the playoffs.Two second-year quarterbacks did the same.Superbowl 37 in 2003 was the last in which one of the aforementioned super elite did not participate. That contest was won by the Brad Johnson led Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Rich Gannon's Oakland Raiders.Johnson and Gannon had a lot in common. Both were seasoned veterans who bounced around the league before making their one and only Super Bowl appearance. Each will be primarily remembered as long-time journeyman quarterbacks. It doesn't seem like Brad Johnson's name is mentioned very often when Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks are being discussed. In the decade since that contest until now it is well within the realm of possibility, if not probability, that each Super Bowl will have been represented by a future Hall of Famer. This point is introduced in part to illustrate what we hear almost as a mantra - today's NFL is a quarterback-driven league.Johnson, as well as Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer of the 2001 Baltimore Ravens, seem to be viewed in history as having been carried by their defenses; both recognized amongst the greatest in NFL history. We may never see that again due to rule changes and player movement. Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 only 11 rookie quarterbacks had ever led their team to the playoffs, an average of one every four years. That is, until this season. This year there were three. Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Besides displaying incredible poise, talent and leadership qualities they have something else in common. All are very mobile and fleet of foot.So are Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco, although Flacco seems to have slowed some this season.This point too is made in reference to the game's changing landscape, as well as the extraordinary athleticism of today's new breed of quarterback.      Which raises the question, does this game represent a changing of the old guard?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jim Ross’ wife Jan dies from injuries due to Vespa crash

Report: Larry Brown to meet with LIU Brooklyn about coaching job

Report: Jay Cutler garnering 'zero' interest around NFL

Paul Millsap to opt out of contract, become free agent

Martellus Bennett calls out NFL to do more to build up communities

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA disciplines Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez for fighting

Jason Day tearfully withdraws from PGA event to be with ailing mother

Matt Barnes on Derek Fisher chants: ‘I’m sick of that s—’

Brent Musburger admits he once bet on a game he broadcasted

Jeff Hornacek: Knicks will run triangle ‘exclusively’ next season

Reese Witherspoon to speak to women’s gathering at NFL owners meetings

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Box Score 3/21: WBC semis are bat-flipping fun

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

NBA Western Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

MLB players most likely to break out in 2017

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Eat, Drink, Watch: A weekend of March Madness and more

The 'Who will ruin your glorious bracket this year?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker