With just four teams still battling it out for the Super Bowl XLVII title, some undrafted quarterback on the Atlanta Falcons' bench has emerged as the new fresh face of 2012 NFL Playoffs, replacing Colin Kaepernick in the highly visible role.
Expected to taking over for Atlanta in a set of circumstances no crazier than Kaepernick continuing to start over a healthy Alex Smith, the unheralded benchwarmer from a Division III college will soon run, gun, and slash his way to an NFC Championship Game win against the Niners, making him the new young quarterback everyone won't shut up about.
"Colin Kaepernick used to be the NFL's next big star, but that's what we said about Russell Wilson, and about Robert Griffin III, and earlier that afternoon about Andrew Luck," said ESPN analyst Tom Jackson. "Logically this new kid is the future of football itself, just because he's the best not-old quarterback on a 2012 playoff team."
This new guy who you don't even know the name of yet will be one of this year's two Super Bowl quarterbacks. That means two full weeks of analysts talking up his upside, even though the upside of every fresh face of the 2012 NFL Playoffs has been weaker than the last one.
"Nothing proves that Colin Kaepernick can't win games in the NFL more than the way Colin Kaepernick won last week's NFL game," said fellow analyst Ron Jaworski. "He's been skating by with a gunslinging quarterback style, similar to Wilson and RGIII and Luck's gunslinging quarterback styles, that doesn't have the staying power of this new kid's gunslinging quarterback style."
"And this guy's greatest asset is scrambling for tons of yardage, although the reason he'll never last in pro football is scrambling for tons of yardage," said fellow analyst Merril Hodge. "Basically, if there's one thing all these young QBs have in common, it's that us analysts give them the kiss of death when we label them the NFL's new big swingin' dick."
Reached for comment, former media darling Kaepernick said he just hoped to get another win despite having to face Atlanta starting quarterback Matt Ryan, the fresh face of the 2008 and 2010 NFL Playoffs.