Super Bowl 2013: Players Under Most Pressure to Perform in New Orleans

PJ BernackiCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2013

Will they have the same reaction come Feb. 3
Will they have the same reaction come Feb. 3Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Super Bowl is approaching. Bets are being made on everything from the coin toss to which company’s commercial will air first. America’s most watched and most loved sport culminates in February every year, and all eyes are those 22 warriors on the field, fighting for every yard. With all of this attention, naturally a tremendous amount of pressure is placed upon the players. Let’s look at who will feel the most pressure to perform in Super Bowl XLVII.

Joe Flacco

There’s no denying it: Joe Flacco has had a phenomenal postseason thus far. The quarterback who is constantly paired with mediocrity (his career QB rating of 86.3 can show for that) has been ripping through defenses and coming through in crucial moments as he has never done before. In his first few playoff runs, Flacco did not perform well. In his last few playoff runs, he managed games and relied on a good defense and running game. This postseason, the game is in his hands, he has yet to falter.

Flacco is playing like the elite quarterback he claimed to be at the start of the season with his eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. But is this just a fluke? Can he continue this stellar play in New Orleans? With his history of inconsistent play and the already added expectations quarterbacks receive in big games, Joe Flacco is the player feeling the most pressure this Super Bowl.

Colin Kaepernick

Like Flacco, the exciting Kaepernick will be leading his team into the national spotlight this February, and the pressure will be at an all-time high. What makes it worse for Kaepernick is that he is extremely young. He has never started a full season, and this is clearly the biggest game of his football career. Ever since his impressive performance in the NFC Championship Game, the young quarterback has been receiving so much hype, and his ceiling has become sky-high. This is his chance to live up to the hype.

David Akers

This Super Bowl seems to be an extremely even matchup, and with these close games, the kicking game is crucial. Akers has certainly struggled this season by hitting only 29 of 42 field goal attempts in the regular season, which caused Jim Harbaugh to sign kicker Billy Cundiff as insurance. This only added more pressure to Akers’ situation and, so far, he has attempted only two field goals this postseason and has missed one of them. He will be the starter for the Super Bowl, but it’s very possible the game may be decided on this shaky veteran kicker.