You have heard this tired song before. The names might be different, it might be Tom Brady vs. Petyon Manning, or Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino (or John Elway), or Troy Aikman vs. Brett Farve, but the song is basically the same. Two iconic quarterbacks are going to duel or face off or whatever. The old quarterback match up is an old and tired take, I know, but this week I couldn’t resist it. Why? Because this week the way these two quarterbacks can handle the ebbs and flows of the game and lead throughout is going to be critical to the success of each team.
To the surprise of many, the Packers and Saints have struggled through the first part of the year. Both teams have losing records* and both teams are desperate for a win this week. In the midst of that hunger and need for a win, each team is going to lean on its superstar quarterback to set the tone for practice and the poise needed to get through what looks to be a chippy game.
Besides this there is an element of head to head match that star quarterbacks bring to the table even though they never appear on the field at the same time. When a game features two marquee quarterbacks the game often takes on a different feel. It’s almost as if both teams, the coaches, and the fans are waiting for the next great play that’s going to happen. Moreover, the two quarterbacks can feel the itch to keep up, that each drive needs a score in order to keep the pressure on the other guy. I don’t think that any quarterback would ever admit to this line of thinking (well except Brett Favre who did once when the Packers played Peyton Manning and the Colts), but that need to score with every drive is something both quarterbacks are sure to feel each time they step on to the field. Who can control that the best? Which quarterback can keep the patience needed to take what the defense gives and play smart instead of risking the big mistake? These are the issues the quarterbacks have to face when their time faces another superstar quarterback. The man who can stay patient and play mistake free football is going to be the superstar who can lead his team to a much needed victory on Sunday.