Super Study Breakdown of Super Bowl XLVII, Part 4

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Feb 03, 2013



By Adam Dobrowolski (@tabsports)
Cold, Hard Football Facts Super-Powered Mathlete

 

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone! As we hit the final stretch of the 2012 season, we'll save the hangover for tomorrow to let the party hit its climax: Super Bowl XLVII. As we've discussed in the first three parts of this series, today's match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers continues a theme with an unlikely conference champion facing a well-qualified team.

The Ravens became the fifth team in the last six years to make the Super Bowl with a 10-6 record or worse. Meanwhile, the 49ers are ninth team in the last eight years with a top two seed to make the Super Bowl, but the other teams are 2-6 in that span.

As we look back to our epic Super Study to break down some key elements in today's match-up, we see how we got more of the same with this match-up. Overall, the study suggested the 2012 49ers had only two red flags that could prevent them from making a run to win Super Bowl XLVII. Meanwhile, the 2012 Ravens had six red flags, which suggested this run was indeed an unlikely and special one.

As this series concludes, we look at the important match-up of them all: the quarterback battle as it relates to postseason experience and passing efficiency. Does this finally give the 49ers a significant advantage, or will the Ravens actually prove to be the more likely champion?

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Obviously, we know in full detail here at Cold, Hard Football Facts, the passing battle matters the most. It's no different in the Super Bowl. Before we get to recap the power of the mother of all stats, Passer Rating Differential, let's look at playoff experience for the starting quarterbacks. Super Bowl history tells an interesting story about the starting quarterbacks.

The chart below looks at playoff record of Super Bowl quarterbacks at they started that playoff run.

Winners

Losers

SB

Team

Quarterback

W-L

 

SB

Team

Quarterback

W-L

I66 PackersBart Starr

4-1

 I66 ChiefsLen Dawson

1-0

II67 PackersBart Starr

6-1

 II67 RaidersDaryle Lamonica

0-0

III68 JetsJoe Namath

0-0

 III68 ColtsEarl Morrall

0-0

IV69 ChiefsLen Dawson

2-2

 IV69 VikingsJoe Kapp

0-1

V70 ColtsJohnny Unitas

2-1

 V70 CowboysCraig Morton

0-1

VI71 CowboysRoger Staubach

0-0

 VI71 DolphinsBob Griese

0-1

VII72 DolphinsBob Griese

2-2

 VII72 RedskinsBilly Kilmer

0-1

VIII73 DolphinsBob Griese

3-2

 VIII73 VikingsFran Tarkenton

0-0

IX74 SteelersTerry Bradshaw

1-2

 IX74 VikingsFran Tarkenton

2-1

X75 SteelersTerry Bradshaw

4-2

 X75 CowboysRoger Staubach

4-2

XI76 RaidersKen Stabler

3-3

 XI76 VikingsFran Tarkenton

4-3

XII77 CowboysRoger Staubach

6-4

 XII77 BroncosCraig Morton

3-2

XIII78 SteelersTerry Bradshaw

8-4

 XIII78 CowboysRoger Staubach

9-4

XIV79 SteelersTerry Bradshaw

11-4

 XIV79 RamsVince Ferragamo

0-0

XV80 RaidersJim Plunkett

0-0

 XV80 EaglesRon Jaworski

2-2

XVI81 49ersJoe Montana

0-0

 XVI81 BengalsKen Anderson

0-2

XVII82 RedskinsJoe Theismann

0-0

 XVII82 DolphinsDavid Woodley

0-1

XVIII83 RaidersJim Plunkett

5-1

 XVIII83 RedskinsJoe Theismann

4-0

XIX84 49ersJoe Montana

4-1

 XIX84 DolphinsDan Marino

0-1

XX85 BearsJim McMahon

0-0

 XX85 PatriotsTony Eason

0-1

XXI86 GiantsPhil Simms

2-2

 XXI86 BroncosJohn Elway

0-1

XXII87 RedskinsDoug Williams

1-3

 XXII87 BroncosJohn Elway

2-2

XXIII88 49ersJoe Montana

7-4

 XXIII88 BengalsBoomer Esiason

0-0

XXIV89 49ersJoe Montana

10-4

 XXIV89 BroncosJohn Elway

4-3

XXV90 GiantsJeff Hostetler

0-0

 XXV90 BillsJim Kelly

1-2

XXVI91 RedskinsMark Rypien

0-0

 XXVI91 BillsJim Kelly

3-3

XXVII92 CowboysTroy Aikman

0-0

 XXVII92 BillsJim Kelly

5-4

XXVIII93 CowboysTroy Aikman

3-0

 XXVIII93 BillsJim Kelly

6-5

XXIX94 49ersSteve Young

2-2

 XXIX94 ChargersStan Humphries

1-1

XXX95 CowboysTroy Aikman

7-1

 XXX95 SteelersNeil O’Donnell

1-3

XXXI96 PackersBrett Favre

4-3

 XXXI96 PatriotsDrew Bledsoe

0-1

XXXII97 BroncosJohn Elway

7-7

 XXXII97 PackersBrett Favre

7-3

XXXIII98 BroncosJohn Elway

11-7

 XXXIII98 FalconsChris Chandler

0-0

XXXIV99 RamsKurt Warner

0-0

 XXXIV99 TitansSteve McNair

0-0

XXXV00 RavensTrent Dilfer

1-1

 XXXV00 GiantsKerry Collins

1-1

XXXVI01 PatriotsTom Brady

0-0

 XXXVI01 RamsKurt Warner

3-1

XXXVII02 BucsBrad Johnson

1-3

 XXXVII02 RaidersRich Gannon

2-2

XXXVIII03 PatriotsTom Brady

3-0

 XXXVIII03 PanthersJake Delhomme

0-0

XXXIX04 PatriotsTom Brady

6-0

 XXXIX04 EaglesDonovan McNabb

5-4

XL05 SteelersB. Roethlisberger

1-1

 XL05 'HawksMatt Hasselbeck

0-2

XLI06 ColtsPeyton Manning

3-6

 XLI06 BearsRex Grossman

0-1

XLII07 GiantsEli Manning

0-2

 XLII07 PatriotsTom Brady

12-2

XLIII08 SteelersB. Roethlisberger

5-2

 XLIII08 CardinalsKurt Warner

5-2

XLIV09 SaintsDrew Brees

1-2

 XLIV09 ColtsPeyton Manning

7-8

XLV10 PackersAaron Rodgers

0-1

 XLV10 SteelersB. Roethlisberger

8-2

XLVI11 GiantsEli Manning

4-3

 XLVI11 PatriotsTom Brady

14-5

As playoff history shows, Super Bowl winning quarterbacks normally need to get a playoff win out of their system. Quarterbacks with a winless playoff record lost 12 of 14 games in the Super Bowl.  Meanwhile, quarterbacks without playoff starts own an 11-8 Super Bowl record, with the Super Bowl III and XXXIV match-ups features two starting quarterbacks with no previous playoff starts.

It's honestly surprising to see so many quarterbacks without previous playoff starts making the Super Bowl. Colin Kaepernick becomes the 20th such signal caller in the big game's history. Meanwhile, Joe Flacco's experience is certainly impressive, as this postseason he became fifth quarterback in league history to win a playoff game in five consecutive seasons.

  • Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco, 5-4 playoff record
  • San Francisco 49ers: Colin Kaepernick, 0-0 playoff record

Note that quarterbacks with at least five previous playoff wins own a 12-10 Super Bowl record. Meanwhile, the four other quarterbacks with playoff wins in five consecutive seasons did the following in their final year: Ken Stabler (lost in AFC Championship Game), Troy Aikman (lost in Divisional Round), Donovan McNabb (lost Super Bowl XXXIX), Tom Brady (lost Super Bowl XLII).

Add in the fact that well-experienced quarterbacks lost each of the last five Super Bowls, and Joe Flacco isn't going to walk over Colin Kaepernick despite the 4-1 record between the Flacco camp (5+ playoff wins) and the Kaepernick camp (no previous playoff starts). After all, Kaepernick will make only his 10th career start, and opposing defense are still trying to figure out the read option. This game should feature strong play from both quarterbacks. Advantage: Ravens (slightly)

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So who's going to win Super Bowl XLVII? Of the first eight match-ups we looked at through the Super Study, the 49ers own the advantage in four parts and the Ravens own the advantage in three parts (one part had a neutral advantage). Ultimately, this should come down to Passer Rating Differential, the mother of all stats. We've already detailed the week-by-week totals for each team in our Real and Spectacular Pick for Super Bowl XLVII.

Instead of detailing that again, let's look back to the past Super Bowl combatants.

Winners

Losers

SB

Team

PRD

 

SB

Team

PRD

I66 Packers

+56.0

 I66 Chiefs

+42.6

II67 Packers

+22.2

 II67 Raiders

+31.4

III68 Jets

+22.4

 III68 Colts

+36.5

IV69 Chiefs

+29.3

 IV69 Vikings

+33.9

V70 Colts

+13.0

 V70 Cowboys

+27.0

VI71 Cowboys

+32.9

 VI71 Dolphins

+21.6

VII72 Dolphins

+39.5

 VII72 Redskins

+26.5

VIII73 Dolphins

+35.3

 VIII73 Vikings

+35.5

IX74 Steelers

+4.6

 IX74 Vikings

+28.2

X75 Steelers

+43.9

 X75 Cowboys

+24.1

XI76 Raiders

+33.4

 XI76 Vikings

+34.7

XII77 Cowboys

+37.1

 XII77 Broncos

+18.4

XIII78 Steelers

+29.7

 XIII78 Cowboys

+29.4

XIV79 Steelers

+20.2

 XIV79 Rams

-3.3

XV80 Raiders

+8.2

 XV80 Eagles

+34.4

XVI81 49ers

+27.5

 XVI81 Bengals

+14.4

XVII82 Redskins

+24.1

 XVII82 Dolphins

+15.3

XVIII83 Raiders

+7.0

 XVIII83 Redskins

+27.4

XIX84 49ers

+36.3

 XIX84 Dolphins

+37.1

XX85 Bears

+26.1

 XX85 Patriots

+26.1

XXI86 Giants

+6.4

 XXI86 Broncos

+2.8

XXII87 Redskins

+11.4

 XXII87 Broncos

+14.6

XXIII88 49ers

+11.3

 XXIII88 Bengals

+27.4

XXIV89 49ers

+46.3

 XXIV89 Broncos

+9.6

XXV90 Giants

+28.4

 XXV90 Bills

+25.0

XXVI91 Redskins

+39.1

 XXVI91 Bills

+32.4

XXVII92 Cowboys

+18.9

 XXVII92 Bills

+4.8

XXVIII93 Cowboys

+21.5

 XXVIII93 Bills

+11.0

XXIX94 49ers

+47.3

 XXIX94 Chargers

-0.7

XXX95 Cowboys

+19.4

 XXX95 Steelers

+0.2

XXXI96 Packers

+40.3

 XXXI96 Patriots

+14.3

XXXII97 Broncos

+15.9

 XXXII97 Packers

+32.9

XXXIII98 Broncos

+13.0

 XXXIII98 Falcons

+15.9

XXXIV99 Rams

+42.3

 XXXIV99 Titans

+0.8

XXXV00 Ravens

+10.2

 XXXV00 Giants

+9.4

XXXVI01 Patriots

+16.7

 XXXVI01 Rams

+32.3

XXXVII02 Bucs

+37.9

 XXXVII02 Raiders

+19.9

XXXVIII03 Patriots

+28.1

 XXXVIII03 Panthers

+4.8

XXXIX04 Patriots

+17.2

 XXXIX04 Eagles

+20.6

XL05 Steelers

+15.4

 XL05 Seahawks

+19.4

XLI06 Colts

+20.6

 XLI06 Bears

+7.0

XLII07 Giants

-10.4

 XLII07 Patriots

+37.9

XLIII08 Steelers

+18.5

 XLIII08 Cardinals

-0.8

XLIV09 Saints

+37.4

 XLIV09 Colts

+14.8

XLV10 Packers

+31.7

 XLV10 Steelers

+22.1

XLVI11 Giants

+6.8

 XLVI11 Patriots

+19.6

Well there you have it. Most champions absolutely dominate this quality stat. Only five Super Bowl champions received a red flag. With a win, the Ravens become the sixth.

  • Baltimore Ravens: +5.78 Passer Rating Differential (regular season)
  • San Francisco 49ers: +23.18 Passer Rating Differential (regular season)

Before we chalk up a 49ers victory, note that the Ravens improved their PRD to +12.33 when the playoffs are included. Credit Joe Flacco, who owns a 114.7 passer rating in the postseason. Meanwhile, the 49ers' PRD dropped to +20.59 with the postseason included. It's not Colin Kaepernick's fault, as he owns a 105.9 passer rating in his two playoff starts. Instead, the pass defense is struggling since Justin Smith's injury in Week 15.

Regardless, if the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII, they will have the third-worst regular season Passer Rating Differential in the big game's 47-year history. Furthermore, they will face their toughest defensive challenge through the air: San Francisco ranked 6th in Defensive Passer Rating in the regular season. The other three Ravens opponents fared worse: Broncos (9th), Patriots (17th) and Colts (22nd). Meanwhile, the 49ers played elite passing offenses in their first two playoff games (Packers were first and Falcons were sixth). There's still a considerable upper hand in this match-up. Advantage: 49ers


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