Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has started more playoff games (12) than 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has started NFL games (7). Flacco has started every game for five seasons, and he has led the Ravens to the playoffs in each of those five seasons, the first starting quarterback in NFL history (since the 1970 merger) to accomplish that. Kaepernick has started less than half a season and has one road playoff win as a starter.
Given Flacco's decided edge in experience, Flacco would seem to have the edge when it comes to overcoming early-game jitters as each makes his first Super Bowl appearance.
Phil Simms, though, isn't buying that.
Simms, who will call the game on CBS alongside Jim Nantz, said on a conference call on Tuesday, "Someone asked me who would have an easier time getting into the game on Sunday."
"It is a strange game, the Super Bowl, the pacing of it, the crowd is different because it's for each team, and I think that kinda goes to Colin Kaepernick, because there's so many ways that Greg Roman, the offensive coordinator, can get him involved. He can get him involved right away with the run, let him get hit, whatever, they have so many different plays. The fact that he can run, short passes, screens, I think makes it easier for him.
"Joe Flacco runs a system that is very talented oriented," Simms added. "In other words, he just drops back, and they really rely on him to find somebody and make the throw, and a lot of times those are tough throws."
Both quarterbacks, it's worth noting, have maintained their composure in the face of daunting obstacles in these playoffs. Flacco and the Ravens trailed 35-28 against Denver with less than a minute left before he heaved that 70-yard Mile High Miracle touchdown to Jacoby Jones to force overtime. Flacco and the Ravens also had to come from behind at halftime to beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
Kaepernick's 49ers trailed Atlanta 17-0 early in the second quarter of the NFC Championship Game, and they, too, erased a halftime deficit to reach the Super Bowl.
But Simms said, "When I look at the game, even though Joe Flacco's been in the league longer, and Colin has very little experience, I think the transition into the game and getting involved could be a lot easier for Colin Kaepernick."