As we wait anxiously for the kickoff, I’ll be writing a few pre-game posts on things that make Super Bowl 50 unique.
Here’s No. 1: This is the first Super Bowl featuring two starting quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall.
Cam Newton of the Panthers went first overall in 2011, while Peyton Manning of the Broncos was drafted No. 1 by the Colts in 1998.
Leading a team to a Super Bowl is difficult, and being a high draft pick only increases the pressure. Only five active quarterbacks drafted in the first round have won a Super Bowl – Manning, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, and Ben Roethlisberger. Win or lose today, Newton and Manning have proven worthy of being a No. 1 pick.
Which got me to thinking: Who will be the next quarterback drafted in the first round to reach the Super Bowl for the first time?
I like Andrew Luck’s chances. But the choices include Luck, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Matt Ryan, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, and Robert Griffin III. That doesn’t even include other former first-round picks like Johnny Manziel, Michael Vick, Mark Sanchez, and E. J. Manuel who look very unlikely to lead any team to a Super Bowl.
Both Manning and Newton have handled the pressure of being picked No. 1. They’ve made it look a lot easier than it is.
Follow me on Facebook both pre-game, during the game, and post-game.