Some of the matchups that would send the Super Bowl hype to the next level aren't all that feasible, but anything can happen once the postseason is underway.
The favorites to reach Super Bowl XLVII are the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. Some of the dream games include these teams, but a few of the most marketable pairings involve the underdogs.
The following Super Bowl team combinations would cause an even bigger Super Bowl hoopla than normal.
San Francisco 49ers vs Baltimore Ravens
Theme: The Harbaugh Bowl and Ray Lewis' Last Run
Jim and John Harbaugh are already the first two brothers to become head coaches in the NFL. To see two brothers guide their teams to the Super Bowl would be a first, to have it happen in the same year may never happen again.
The media would have a field day with the angle, and the Harbaugh family would likely be on your television screens and computer monitors as much as any family in the United States.
Someone is going to ask John and Jim's father Jack if he's rooting for either son. It's the dumbest question in history, but I've seen it asked of parents in other sibling rivalries in sports.
As for the game itself, I'd pick the Niners to win the matchup, but then again, if the Ravens right the ship enough to make it that far, my mind could change by that time.
It would be an intriguing story—for the first three days at least—and a solid game.
In a secondary plot—perhaps an even bigger story than the battling brothers—seeing Ray Lewis' potential final postseason run extended to another Super Bowl would be amazing.
From the moment Lewis announced his impending retirement at the end of these playoffs, (Los Angeles Times) I hoped the Ravens would win at least one playoff game (sorry Indianapolis Colts fans) to give Lewis a taste of success on his way out.
If he had a chance to capture Super Bowl glory in his final game, it could become the story of the year in the season in the NFL.
Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos or New England Patriots
Theme: Rodgers vs. An All-Time Great QB
Rodgers is the best player in the game, in my opinion. He is unfairly left out of the serious NFL MVP discussion, but I'm sure he'd gladly trade another MVP for another Super Bowl.
He said as much to NFL.com.
He led the No. 6 seed Packers to a Super Bowl title in 2010 as he downed Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Big Ben has had a very good career, but few would put him on the level of Tom Brady and Manning.
Rodgers deserves to be mentioned in the same breath, but knocking one of the greats off in the Super Bowl would be the crowning achievement of his career thus far.
If Brady or Manning were to win the MVP this season, and the announcement came just a day or so before the game, imagine the hype as the Rodgers supporters talked up their guy heading into the game with the anointed MVP.
The names Rodgers, Brady and Manning carry a lot of weight in football. There aren't many bigger in the NFL, and the same can be said for the teams as well.
In the game, I'd take the Packers over the Patriots, but the Broncos defense and pass rush would be too much for Rodgers' shaky offensive line.
He was dumped 51 times in the regular season, and the Broncos bring the pain with Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. Either way, it would be a great game.
Seattle Seahawks or Washington Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts
Theme: Rookie QBs battle in the Super Bowl
There is almost too much potential history here to reference.
Two rookie QBs have never started in the Super Bowl. If Robert Griffin III were to lead the Redskins to the big game, it would be the first time the No. 1 and No. 2 picks from the same draft squared off in the Super Bowl.
The fact that they would be meeting as rookies makes in all the more special.
RGIII's popularity is perhaps the most powerful dynamic in any of the potential pairings. He's already dominating the endorsement scene. He'll become an even bigger star if the 'Skins advance this far.
Wilson and the Seahawks would bring an underdog story from a underdog football city in Seattle. The short QB that has proven all the critics wrong is backed by perhaps the most raucous fanbase and a nasty defense.
Luck is the story on the field for the Colts, but perhaps the biggest positive football story of the year is head coach Chuck Pagano's battle with leukemia and his return to the sidelines.
If he and Luck lead the Colts to the Super Bowl, they will likely be the sentimental favorite in America—except the opposing city.
In the potential game, I'd take both the Redskins or the Seahawks over the Colts. The 'Skins have a nearly unstoppable offense with as much run-pass balance as any team in the NFL.
The Colts won't be able to contain them, and their running game isn't quite good enough to overcome an improving Skins' D.
The Seahawks pass rush and secondary play would shut the Colts offense down. Even though Luck set the rookie record for passing yardage, he also tied for second in the NFL in interceptions.
The Colts' future is bright, but the fact is, this team has overachieved more than any of the three rookie-led contenders.
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