Both quarterbacks have enjoyed successful careers. While one is an athletic, mobile commander, the other is a fierce, veteran signal caller who has performed on this stage five times before.

Russell Wilson and Tom Brady represent two very different eras of football, yet both share similar stories. Drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson, like Brady, was overshadowed by more highly touted talent, specifically Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, who were drafted first and second overall, respectively. Though Luck and Griffin have had success, Wilson, who is affectionately known as “Dangeruss” boasts the most impressive skills. He is efficient, he limits his mistakes and he has excellent game management skills. Although the Legion of Boom (the Seahawk’s secondary) and Beast Mode (their running back Marshawn Lynch) often overshadow his skills, the team would not be the reigning Super Bowl champions if it were not for Wilson.

In leading his team’s championship campaign, Wilson’s stats were not jaw dropping; however, his poise and precision ultimately helped Seattle capture the Lombardi trophy. This year, Wilson followed up last season with over 3,000 passing yards while adding six rushing touchdowns.

Seattle needed a historic win just to make it to the Super Bowl, and their regular season was far less dominating than it was a year ago. Still, Wilson’s leadership has put Seattle in a position to be the first team to win back-to-back championships since, well, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

If Wilson and the Seahawks can take down a Patriots team led by an even more dominant quarterback, he will cement himself as a top-tier quarterback in the league.

Wilson’s critics will knock his accuracy and his inability to throw the deep ball, but back-to-back championships would elevate Wilson into a tier of players reserved only for the greats. He would cement himself among modern greats like Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning while simultaneously elevating the Seahawks to a level very few teams have known.

The Patriots, however, are dominant year in and year out. This territory is very familiar to Head Coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, a duo that has ruled the playoffs for nearly 15 years. With three rings, five Super Bowl appearances, the greatest regular-season record ever (16-0) and a collection of AFC Championship Game appearances, Tom Brady is already one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. From his humble beginnings as a tall, un-athletic quarterback drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, Brady got his number called very early on in his career when he replaced Drew Bledsoe as the Patriots’ starting quarterback early in his second season — the same season in which New England won its first Super Bowl. Since that 2001 Super Bowl victory, the Patriots have barely looked back with Brady at the helm.

But what would another Super Bowl ring do for his legacy? Simply put, if Brady can lead the Pats to their first title in 10 years and their fourth over the last 15, he will be the greatest quarterback of all-time.

Sure, there are many other names, including Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, John Elway and Dan Marino that come to mind in the “greatest ever” conversation, but to do what Brady has done for as long as he has done it is an achievement in and of itself. Top that off with a Super Bowl win against a team that is looking to become the next dynasty and Brady becomes untouchable.

The winner of Super Bowl XLIX will feature either the next big thing or a titan aiming to reach football’s pinnacle one last time; the beginning of a legacy or the crown jewel on already storied one. The stakes are high, the stage is set and on Feb. 1, either Russell Wilson will enter the pantheon of great quarterbacks or Tom Brady will cement his place as one of the greatest football players to step on the field.

Paolo Santamaria is a freshman in the College. SAXA SYNERGY appears every Friday.

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