Is Super Bowl a young man’s game? It is for quarterbacks

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Since 1990, there have been 12 matchups in the Super Bowl that have seen a young quarterback (29 years or younger) against a veteran signal-caller (30 years or older). 

Football bettors got this contrast in Super Bowl XLIX with Russell Wilson vs. Tom Brady, and have it again with Cam Newton (26) and Peyton Manning (39) facing off in Super Bowl 50 on February 7. Newton’s Carolina Panthers are 4-point favorites against Manning’s Denver Broncos, with the veteran passer set to become the oldest QB to ever start a Super Bowl game.  

Looking at those past dozen matchups of young vs. old QBs, the Super Bowl appears to be a young man’s game with those sub-30 quarterbacks leading their teams to an 8-4 SU record while going 7-5 ATS. Last season, Wilson threw a now-notorious goal-line interception to give Brady and the Patriots a 28-24 victory as 1-point favorites.

In those select 12 “Big Games”, the younger counterpart has been used more sparingly compared to their elder, with young QBs boasting an average of 218.3 yards through the air per Super Bowl on a 61 percent completion rate while older QBs posted an average of 272.3 yards passing and completed 63.3 percent of their throws.

In terms of touchdowns-to-interceptions, older passers have amassed 20 TD passes to 16 interceptions while younger QBs have connected for 17 scores and just 10 total interceptions in those past 12 situations.

Heading into Super Bowl 50, Newton has averaged 239.8 yards passing per game in the regular season (59.8% completions) and 248 average yards (70% completions) in two postseason games. He has 38 total passing TDs and 11 INTs in those games.

Manning, on the other hand, averaged 224.9 yards passing (59.8% completions) in 10 regular season games and has passed for an average of 199 yards (55.1% completions) in two playoff games. He has just 11 total touchdowns to 17 INTS in those contests.


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