Matter of Facts: 49ers QB's Have 17 Touchdowns, Zero INT's In Five Super Bowls

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 24, 2013

By Russell S. Baxter 

Cold Hard Football Facts Silliness Scout

We referenced the film title “Back to the Future” in last week’s column in regards to the 2012 postseason for the Baltimore Ravens. In the same piece, we summarized the San Francisco 49ers simply as “Speed.”

Well, get ready for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?

In reality, I prefer “The Time Machine,” the H.G. Wells classic first made in 1960 with Rod Taylor and Alan Young.

While it’s been a dozen years since the Ravens were super, it’s been nearly two decades since the Niners got the monkey off Steve Young’s back in Miami.

How long?

The last time the 49ers were in the Super Bowl (1994), Bill Belichick was the head coach of the Brown, Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback with the Colts and the Baltimore Ravens didn't exist.

The last time and only time the Ravens were in the Big Game (2000), Bill was in the midst of his first season with the Patriots, the NFL had 31 teams and six divisions and the Houston Texans didn't exist.

But that was then and this is now and since we have that extra week to think about the game of games, here are a few odds and ends when it comes to the rich history of the Cecil B. DeMille of sporting events.

Having your numbers--Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco wears the No. 5. 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick wears the No. 7. San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh started 12 games at quarterback for the Ravens in 1998. His win-loss record that season was 5-7. What is the relevance of this intense research? Well, absolutely nothing. But we do know that the No. 5 has not been kind to quarterbacks in the Super Bowl, with the Giants’ Kerry Collins and Eagles’ Donovan McNabb a combined 0-2 in the Big Game. On the other hand, Kaepernick will be the seventh quarterback to wear No. 7 and start a Super Bowl, with the Broncos’ version of Craig Morton (0-1) as well as John Elway (2-3), the Eagles’ Ron Jaworski (0-1), the Redskins’ Joe Theismann (1-1), the Bengals’ Boomer Esiason (0-1) and the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger (2-1) going a combined 5-8…

Saved by Zeroes--As the 49ers get ready for their sixth appearance in the Big Game, there are two things that this proud franchise has never seen on Super Sunday: a loss and an interception by one of their quarterbacks. In five previous Super Bowls, Pro Football Hall of Famers Joe Montana threw for 11 scores and no picks and Steve Young threw a record six touchdown passes in Super Bowl XXIX without an interception. And even when Young (XXIV) and both Bill Musgrave and Elvis Grbac (XXIX) made mop-up appearances late in the game (and all attempted at least one pass), they weren’t picked off as well. It adds up to 17 touchdown passes and zero interceptions for 49ers’ signal-callers in their five Super showings…

Making a Point--Led by one of the great defensive units of all time, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, 34-7. Brian Billick’s team was just a 5-4 team at midseason and then ran the table through the Super Bowl to the tune of 11 straight wins. In 20 games that season, the Ravens allowed a total of 188 points. This season, the Seattle Seahawks gave up 245 points in 16 games, the fewest in the league in 2012. And remember Baltimore’s classic 38-35 double overtime win over the Broncos in the Divisional Playoffs a few weeks ago? The 35 points was the most ever allowed by a Ravens’ team in a playoff game and a dozen more than the ’00 Ravens allowed in four playoff games (23)…

Rush to Judgment--As we saw a few weeks ago, San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick set an NFL record, be it regular- or postseason, for rushing yards by a quarterback in a game by blistering the Green Bay Packers for 181 yards on the ground in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. But who owns the Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback? That would be the Tennessee Titans Steve McNair, who ran through the Rams’ defense for 64 yards in Super Bowl XXXIV. That includes a 23-yard run by the now late-great performer, the longest run by a quarterback in Super Bowl annals…

Stalled?--While we’re on the subject of the ground game, Super Bowl XLVII features a pair of the best in Baltimore’s Ray Rice and San Francisco’s Frank Gore. And those are just the starters. Rookies Bernard Pierce (Ravens) and LeMichael James (49ers) have also made their presence felt in the postseason. But running attacks have been less than sensational in the last five Super Bowls. Eight of the 10 teams failed to rush for at least 100 yards and the longest run by any player in those contests is just 26 yards, that by Colts’ running back Joseph Addai in Super Bowl XLIV…

Three Strikes and You’re In: After opening the season with a 9-2 mark, the Ravens lost three straight and four of their last five games entering the playoffs. And if recent history is any gauge, Baltimore’s recent skid all but ensures a win on Super Bowl Sunday. This marks the fourth time in eight seasons that one of the Super participants has lost at least three straight games during the regular season and the previous three all held the Lombardi Trophy by game’s end. The 2005 Steelers (3), 2009 Saints (3) and the 2011 Giants (4) all survived briefs slumps and won a title. By the way, the first team to ever lose three in a row and win the Super Bowl? The 2000 Baltimore Ravens…

Boxed In--The following figures are far from shocking but if you are inclined to obtain one of those little boxes with the numbers in them (for entertainment purposes only), here are the figures in terms of frequency using the final score of the previous 46 Super Bowls. Not surprisingly, the No. 7 has come up 20 times, followed by the Nos. 0 and 1 (12 each), the No. 4 (11) and the No. 6 (10). As far as the least frequent number, we haven’t seen enough of the No. 8 (3)…

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