Looking at how other NFL quarterbacks fared while first experiencing the joys of fatherhood

Joe Flacco became a father last week, forcing the Ravens quarterback to miss the final two days of the team’s mandatory minicamp. He and wife, Dana, are the proud parents of Stephen Flacco, who weighs eight pounds.

A decent amount of both ink and bandwidth was used up around Baltimore on the birth of Flacco’s first son, but Flacco won’t be the only high-profile NFL quarterback who will be experiencing the joys of fatherhood for the first time during the 2012 season. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo became a father in April and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his wife are expecting their first child later this year.

But apparently there is at least one random Ravens fan who believes that Flacco’s game will be thrown off this season by the quarterback's newborn baby boy. At least that was the premise of Kevin Cowherd’s column in Monday’s newspaper. What’s that you say? One man is too small of a sample size? Nah.

OK, I acknowledge the sentiment that the Ravens are doomed in 2012 because of Baby Flacco -- who already has a spoof Twitter account, of course -- probably isn’t shared by most fans. But Cowherd’s column about the topic made me curious about how some of the NFL’s best quarterbacks have fared after their partners gave birth before or during a recent season (expect more slow news days like this between now and training camp, folks).

Tom Brady: Brady's ex-girlfriend, actress Bridget Moynahan, gave birth to their son a month before the 2007 season. Granted, Brady didn't have daddy duty every night, but he tossed a record 50 touchdown passes as the New England Patriots won their first 18 games before losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

Drew Brees: Brees and his wife welcomed their first child, Baylen, into the world in January 2009. Thankfully for Brees, he got eight months to get acclimated to being a father, and he made the Pro Bowl led the New Orleans Saints to the first title.

Eli Manning: Manning and his wife had their first child, a daughter, last March. He had a career-high 4,933 passing yards in 2011 and played lights-out in last season's playoffs while leading the New York Giants to another Lombardi Trophy, his second title.

Peyton Manning: Manning and his wife had twins last March, too, but Manning did not play last season due to injury. Unless the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback hurt his neck hoisting his baby boy and girl, there is probably no correlation here.

Philip Rivers: He had a down year in 2011, throwing a career-high 20 interceptions and fumbling seven times as the San Diego Chargers missed the playoffs. That led to speculation that Rivers was playing poorly because of the birth of his sixth child.

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