This Sunday, January 24, 2010, the NFC Championship game will be played featuring a quarterback showdown not seen since Fran Tarkenton and Roger Staubach faced off in the 1973 Conference Championship game. The showdown this Sunday will feature quarterbacks Brett Favre for the Minnesota Vikings and Drew Brees for the New Orleans Saints for the NFC Conference Championship.
Leading up to the Conference Championship in 1973, Tarkenton was the number 2 rated quarterback in the NFC as Favre is this season. That same season, Staubach was the number 1 rated quarterback in the NFC as Brees is this season. Both teams had rosters filled with All Pro Players and future Hall of Famers in 1973. Both Minnesota and New Orleans have comparable players of that caliber on their teams. Back then, Dallas had home field advantage as New Orleans has this Sunday.
The irony continues as Tarkenton, playing for the visiting team, was the older of the 2 quarterbacks in the Dallas Stadium showdown in '73. In comparison, Brett, playing for the visiting team in New Orleans, is Brees' elder as well. Sir Francis compares to number 4 as he also had a stint during his career with a New York team (the Giants). As many readers know, Favre had a stint with the New York Jets last year.
Brees, like Staubach is an excellent passing quarterback. Drew posted a 2009 pass rating of 109.6 compared to Roger's 94.6 in 1973, the highest in the Conference. That year, Staubach's passes were intercepted 15 times while in 2009, Breese was intercepted on only 11 occasions this past season.
However, what Staubach possessed that Brees does not is the ability to run the ball when necessary. In 1973, the Cowboy quarterback rushed for 250 yards. This year, the Saints' starting quarterback has rushed for a mere 33 yards.
For Brett Favre and Drew Brees, the quarterback showdown coming this Sunday will be more than just a game. Both quarterbacks have achieved greatness in their careers’. However, for this year's post season, and after this Sunday, there will be only one who will remain eligible to move his team on to Miami and Super Bowl XLIV. For Favre, this could be his last mark on a brilliant career in the NFL. For Brees, it could be his first with more to come. Whatever the outcome, one thing is sure; history will be made from this showdown.
Contributing Field Correspondent
Bleacher Report News
photo credit AP/EPA
* Postnote - The 1973 Minnesota Viking team went on to be victoious over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Conference Championship 27-10 and lost to the AFC dominant Miami Dolphins in Superbowl VIII 24-7.