Super Bowl 2013: Matchups We Would Love to See in New Orleans
If we are being honest with ourselves, it really doesn't matter which two teams wind up playing in Super Bowl XLVII.
Whether we have a rooting interest in the game or not, we're going to watch.
Seeing as how a large part of our day on Feb. 3 will be spent tuned into NFL programming, the game that unfolds before us might as well be one that's full of intriguing storylines and individual matchups.
We want to be entertained.
The potential matchups that follow do just that.
New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers
A repeat of what was one of the best games of the season? Sounds good to me.
Who can forget the Week 15 matchup between these two clubs?
We watched in amazement as Tom Brady led the Patriots on four consecutive touchdown drives with less than 20 minutes left in the game, erasing a 28-point deficit and nearly pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history.
Could San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick do what Brady did back in 2002—take over as his team's starting QB halfway through the season and lead his team to a Super Bowl Championship? And in the same place that Brady pulled off the feat?
We haven't even mentioned how contentious the postgame handshake could be between Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh, two of the more cantankerous coaches in the NFL.
That alone could be worth the price of admission.
Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons
Remember when people were questioning whether Peyton Manning could still get the job done?
It's been a long time since we've heard that talk, but the Falcons were the team to hand the Broncos their first defeat of the regular season back in Week 2.
Not only did the Falcons beat Denver, but they made Manning look mortal, picking the future Hall of Famer off three times in the first quarter.
But Manning and the Broncos fought back, nearly erasing Atlanta's 20-point fourth-quarter lead and falling just short of the comeback victory, losing 27-21.
Manning's gotten far more comfortable with the receivers around him since then, and the Broncos haven't lost a game since Week 5.
Think Manning might like to try his luck against Atlanta one more time?
New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle staged a furious fourth-quarter comeback in Week 6 against the Patriots, outscoring New England 14-3 in the final frame and winning by one point, 24-23.
Not only was this Seattle rookie QB Russell Wilson's coming out party, but the Seahawks picked Tom Brady off twice—once in the end zone—and weren't shy about getting in Brady's face to remind him of that fact as the teams left the field.
What would happen when the young, brash Seahawks met a veteran Patriots squad with plenty of big game experience in the biggest game of them all?
It'd be must-see TV, that's for sure.
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
This one's for those who love hard-hitting defense and low-scoring affairs.
Baltimore's defense might not be the immovable force that it once was, but Ray Lewis and company can still shut down opposing offenses.
Just ask the Indianapolis Colts, a team that was kept out of the end zone in its 24-9 loss to Baltimore on Wild Card Weekend.
With each team having an explosive running back with which to attack the opposing defense, whichever team is more successful on the ground could very well be the one that hoists the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the night.
Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers
It's a rematch of Super Bowl XXXII, a game that the Broncos won thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Terrell Davis and the greatest eight-yard run in the history of the NFL, courtesy of John Elway.
Reprising the roles of Elway and Brett Favre are Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, who, like their predecessors, are former NFL MVP award winners.
With each quarterback playing at the top of their game and having a plethora of receivers to throw to, it has the potential to be one of those high-scoring affairs that you don't soon forget.
Of course, the third-ranked Broncos pass defense might have something to say about that.
The most intriguing matchup of the day would be the Broncos pass rush vs. the Packers offensive line. Denver led the NFL in sacks during the regular season with 58, while Green Bay allowed Aaron Rodgers to get sacked 51 times, a number that trails only Arizona as the worst in football.
Rick Weiner is a member of B/R's Breaking News Team.
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