SAN FRANCISCO - The quarterbacks playing in the U.S. National Football League’s Super Bowl 50 championship game on Sunday, with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. EST (2330 UTC) are separated in age by 13 years – and their playing styles are as contrasting as their ages.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be 40 next month, well past the playing age of most NFL quarterbacks. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is 26, playing in his fifth year in the league compared to 17 seasons for Manning.
Newton is considered one of the best and most electrifying players in the NFL, and he is also one of the fastest and biggest quarterbacks, standing nearly two meters tall and weighing 111 kilograms.
He led the NFL this season with 45 touchdowns – 35 passing and 10 rushing – and he nearly led Carolina to an undefeated season, with just one late-season loss.
“He’s been a great passer. He’s been a great runner. He’s been a great leader,” said Manning. “You don’t go 17-1 as a starting quarterback without being awesome. And that’s what’s he’s been this year (season) without a doubt.”
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On the other hand, Manning - though he rarely runs the ball - is one of the league’s all-time great quarterbacks and has the experience of having played in three Super Bowls, winning one in 2007 when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. He is the NFL’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes and passing yards.
“There are a lot of things that Peyton has done, is doing, that I wish I could mimic, but I can’t do it like Peyton can, as only he can do it,” said Newton. “But I try to translate other things I learned from him or saw him do, and saw other quarterbacks in this league do, and I try to apply it to the way I play.”
It all adds up to what fans hope will be a great NFL championship for the Super Bowl’s golden anniversary.
Carolina is about a six-point favorite to beat Denver in Santa Clara, California, at the home stadium of the San Francisco 49ers.