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Quarterbacks try to lead teams to Super Bowls in NFL playoffs

in Sports/Top Headlines by

If the name of the game was not called “football,” it would be called “quarterback.”

And so it is that this weekend’s conference championship games revolve around the man taking the snap, the man throwing the passes, the man calling the audibles.

This weekend is mainly about Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger. They are the players in the spotlights and the headlines. And if their teams are going to the Super Bowl, they will lead the way.

Consider this: Rodgers of Green Bay led the NFL in touchdown passes this year with 40. But Atlanta’s Ryan was second with 38. Pittsburgh’s Roethlisberger, who missed two games with an injury, was sixth with 29. New England’s Brady was suspended for four games, but finished tied for seventh with 28.

In other words, cornerbacks beware.

It is those quarterbacks who have their teams hot. Both New England and Pittsburgh won their last seven regular season games. Green Bay won its last six and Atlanta its last four.

In their histories, Brady has won the Super Bowl four times. Roethlisberger has won it twice and Rodgers once.

“It’s really about having a team that can be hot at the right time,” Ryan said, “and then have good fortune with health, and then win the close games.”

Count Brady among the fans of Rodgers.

“I think [Rodgers] does things that no one in the league has ever done,” the Patriots’ Tom Brady said Monday on WEEI in Boston. “Some of the plays he makes are just phenomenal.”

The Packers-Falcons is on at 3:05 on Fox, and the Patriots-Steelers follows at 6:40 on CBS.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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