NFL Playoff Bracket 2013: Power Ranking Potential Super Bowl Matchups

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 17: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers greets Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots following their game at Gillette Stadium on December 17, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

In less than 48 hours, football fans everywhere will be treated to the magnificent spectacle that is Conference Championship weekend.

It is the second-best Sunday of the year, as the four remaining NFL teams will battle for a spot in Super Bowl XLVII.

In the NFC, Matt Ryan and the high-flying Atlanta Falcons offense will look to upset Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. And on the other side of the bracket, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will face off against Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens.

While both games should be excellent, it's impossible to resist looking ahead to the Super Bowl. With entertainment for neutral football fans in mind, I have ranked the best potential Super Bowl matchups below.


4. Falcons vs. Ravens

Sure, this would be a solid game. It would feature two big-play offenses, two young quarterbacks seeking their first championship, and of course, Ray Lewis looking to win a Super Bowl in his final NFL season.

But while this matchup would be decent, it just doesn't hold a candle to the other scenarios.


3. Falcons vs. Patriots

Sorry Falcons fans, but your team doesn't factor into the two best potential matchups.

Yes, this one would be interesting. I love a shootout, and this would undoubtedly be a high-scoring affair. The Patriots led the league in points per game (34.8) this season, while the Falcons finished seventh (26.2).

However, I can't rank this in the top two because of the very high blowout potential. The Patriots are a juggernaut of a franchise and are seeking their sixth Super Bowl appearance of the 2000s.

Meanwhile, the Falcons were one-and-done in three consecutive postseason appearances prior to this year, and they tried their damnedest to lose to Seattle last Sunday.

It could be a close game, but I'd put my money on a multi-touchdown butt-whooping instead. With two other great options on the board, nobody wants to see that.


2. 49ers vs. Ravens

Ah, the Harbaugh Bowl. Jim and John Harbaugh are already the first pair of brothers to be head coaches in the NFL, but they would take their story to a new level by meeting in the Super Bowl.

While I would instantly grow tired of the brother narrative, this matchup would be great on the field.

Led by Ray Lewis, the experienced Ravens defense is one of the smartest in the NFL. It would be fascinating to watch them try to stop Colin Kaepernick and San Fran's unique read-option offense.

It would also be interesting to see how Joe Flacco and the dangerous Ravens offense stacks up against the stifling 49ers D.

Unless you hate both teams, you should be pretty excited about this matchup.


1. 49ers vs. Patriots

And finally, the best potential matchup.

These two teams already played once this season, and it was one of the best games of the year. After Kaepernick and the Niners jumped out to 31-3 lead in Foxboro, Brady and the Pats came storming back.

New England scored 31 points in the final 21 minutes, including three touchdowns in a nine-minute span. It was a ferocious run, but the Niners were able to hold on, as they eventually prevailed 41-34.

After that game, nobody should be complaining about a rematch. This meeting would be the ultimate clash between offense and defense, and it would pit this season's two most impressive teams against each other.

As someone who has no rooting interest in these games, I'm praying for a 49ers-Patriots Super Bowl.


Click here the complete 2013 NFL Playoffs bracket.