The last two quarterbacks to beat their competition in the conference playoff games and earn the coveted chance to play in Super Bowl XLIX are New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady and Seattle Sehawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson.
Both quarterbacks, who vary vastly in age and experience, possess completely different styles, which then helps show us how their offenses succeed. Let’s delve into the profiles of each quarterback to see how they compare and differ with each other.
Tom Brady, 15th Year in the NFL (Age 37)
Brady has had one of the most prestigious careers for a quarterback in league history. Making his sixth Super Bowl appearance with already three championship rings in his possession, the two-time Super Bowl MVP will attempt to lead New England to the Lombardi Trophy yet one more time.
Helping the Patriots achieve a successful 12-4 record, Brady completed 64.1 percent of his passes while throwing for 4,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. He also tallied just nine interceptions in 16 regular season starts.
As far as Brady’s overall quarterback rating for 2014, he ranked fifth among his competition at 97.3 percent. When faced with pressure from the opposing team’s defense, Brady struggled just a bit this season, completing 45.5 percent of his passes with four interceptions. However, one of the things, Brady was so apt at during the regular year was pocket awareness and avoiding sacks. While New England’s offensive line ranked among the worst in the NFL in pass protection (via Pro Football Focus, subscription required), Brady was sacked just four time.
Brady knows he has to seize this chance to secure a fourth win because the opportunity to appear in a Super Bowl isn’t one that will come knocking at his door every season. There’s always been a dedicated fiery passion in Brady, which makes him one of the superior quarterbacks in the NFL.
While Brady’s success is orthodox in comparison to what other quarterbacks have done historically, Russell Wilson excels with mobility and production outside of the pocket.
Russell Wilson, 3rd Year in the NFL (Age 26)
Wilson boasts a fantastic NFL career over his three short years as a starting quarterback. With two NFC Championships under his belt, Wilson has to be considered one of the most successful young signal callers in the history of the league.
In Wilson’s three-year career, he has defeated some of the most elite quarterbacks in the NFL business. In fact, Wilson owns a perfect 10-0 record when it comes to outings against other Super Bowl champion quarterbacks. Should he remain victorious over Brady, that pristine record will continue.
In 2014, Wilson finished his season completing 63.1 percent of his passes for 3,475 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns. And while Wilson’s passing yards trailed those of Brady, he made up for it by rushing for a career-high 849 yards and scoring six of his 26 touchdowns on the ground. Not too bad.
When under pressure, Wilson’s strong point was remaining calm. He completed 56.9 percent of his passes while under duress. Although he prevailed in his ability to make an accurate pass while feeling the heat, that came at the price of undertaking 40 sacks compared to Brady’s 20.
When it comes to Wilson—who has a whole career ahead of himself—the sky is the limit for the young quarterback, who already tops so many other quarterbacks with his on-field smarts and decision making.
The upcoming Super Bowl matchup will have Brady going up against a Seahawks defense that allowed the fewest passing yards and second-fewest passing touchdowns to opposing quarterback all season. Wilson, who struggled immensely in the NFC Championship game, will face a Patriots’ defense that made a complete mockery out of Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck in the AFC Championship game.
Certainly a game that could go down as one of the most competitive in recent history, this matchup between Brady and Wilson will help decide who hoists the Lombardi when all is said and done.