Asked about Joe Flacco’s quest to be recognized as an elite quarterback, ESPN analyst and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi referenced “The Godfather.”
“Joe Flacco wants his respect—he hasn’t gotten it—and he’s going to get his opportunity against New England,” Bruschi said. “There’s going to be multiple lead changes. He may have to bring his team back in the fourth quarter.
“You want it, you got it, Joe Flacco. Tom Brady is Michael Corleone. And Joe Flacco is Fredo. That’s who he is. He’s Fredo. He wants his respect? Well, if you want your respect, you’re going to have to play not better than Brady, but lead your team to victory. You want it, you got it.”
The four quarterbacks competing in Sunday’s conference championship games all have much at stake, because they share a common goal—reaching the Super Bowl. However, their careers have been quite different. Brady and Eli Manning already know the feeling of winning their sport’s ultimate game. Flacco and Alex Smith are still trying to experience that.
Here’s a look at the quarterbacks in this weekend’s final four on the road to Super Bowl XLVI Feb. 5 in Indianapolis.