The confetti has dropped, the players have departed and -- this time -- the power is being intentionally turned off at the Superdome. Now it's time to dissect Super Bowl XLVII. What better place to start than with the quarterbacks?
When the pressure was at its greatest, with his team in position to take the lead and perhaps win the game, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's age and inexperience showed and he wilted. At least that's the narrative. Truth is, so did Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.
Kaepernick was 2-for-7 for 56 total passing yards in the fourth quarter, but Flacco was just 4-for-6 for 35 total passing yards, the pair producing a putrid 91 yards of offense in the air during the final 15 minutes of play. No other quarter in the game had produced less than 120 passing yards (first quarter).
One of the tiresome story lines of the past two weeks involved the great arm of Flacco. And while no one is going to challenge that Flacco is indeed a strong-armed QB, he wasn't the only threat to throw in this game.
Though Flacco was constantly cited as a deep threat, capable of delivering a home run ball at any moment, he and Kaepernick were fairly equal when it came to long plays.
Kaepernick had nine passing plays that went for 10 or more real passing yards (in other words, no yards-after-catch attached) and three plays of 20 or more. His longest pass was a shot that went 32 total yards on his first attempt of the fourth quarter (26 actual passing yards, six yards after catch). Flacco, meanwhile, had eight passes that went for 10 or more real yards and three that went for 20 or more. His deepest was a strike that went for 56 total yards on his last attempt of the third quarter (47 real passing yards, nine after the catch).
Help on the way
Speaking of yards-after-catch, Flacco's receivers did a (slightly) better job of tacking on yardage than the 49ers' receiving group. Flacco threw for 183 real yards, and his receivers added 108 YAC. Kaepernick threw for 205 real yards, but the receivers added only 97 YAC.
Here's a comparison of the quarter-by-quarter stats of each starter:
1st – 2-for-4, 25 real yards, 18 YAC (43 total yards)
2nd – 6-for-8, 68 real yards, 28 YAC (96 total yards)
3rd – 6-for-9, 67 real yards, 40 YAC (107 total yards), TD
4th – 2-for-7, 45 real yards, 11 YAC (56 total yards)
8-for-12, 139 total yards in the first half
8-for-16, 163 total yards, TD in the second half
1st – 6-for-9, 63 real yards, 14 YAC, TD (77 total yards)
2nd – 7-for-11, 80 real yards, 39 YAC, 2 TDs (119 total yards)
3rd – 5-for-7, 21 real yards, 39 YAC (60 total yards)
4th – 4-for-6, 19 real yards, 16 YAC (35 total yards)
13-for-20, 196 total yards. 3 TDs in the first half
9-for-13, 95 total yards in the second half