Five Perennial Contenders Who Should be Wary of Super Bowl XLVIII
Tuesday afternoon saw the NFL owners vote on the location of the 2014 Super Bowl.
In the fourth ballot, New York gained the necessary 17 votes and defeated Tampa Bay for the right to host Super Bowl XLVIII.
The debate of whether or not a cold-weather host city would have negative effects on the Super Bowl has raged among NFL fans and analysts alike.
Though the game may ultimately be good for the pockets of the Giants, Jets, and advertisers, the possibility of an icy Super Bowl should have a few teams concerned.
5.) Green Bay Packers
It became increasingly apparent last season that the Green Bay Packers will go only as far as the right arm of Aaron Rodgers will take them.
Though Ryan Grant is a bonafide NFL running back, their core of wide receivers and Mr. Rodgers are what make that offense tick.
A below-freezing, icy night in the Big Apple could stifle the Pack's air attack. With a suspect offensive line, and a defense crowding the box, Green Bay's offense would be stunted.
Their saving grace? Being used to absurdly cold temperatures in Green Bay.
4.) Indianapolis Colts
By 2014, the Colts dynasty (if you could call it that) will be in its final stages, at least offensively.
Peyton Manning will be a convalescent 38 years old. Though Brett Favre has proven that elite QBs can excel late into their 30s and into their 40s, cold weather has an extremely adverse affect on their performances.
Take Favre as a case study: His remarkable 2007 season finished in the snowy NFC Championship game on an INT returned for a touchdown in OT.
In 2008, Favre's New York Jets got off to a hot 8-3 start. As the season carried on, and the weather went south, so too did Favre's performance. The Jets ended up missing the playoffs.
Last year, Favre played for the Minnesota Vikings, a dome-team, and didn't have his anticipated late season drop-off.
All this is to say that if Manning is still leading the Colts in four years, an 18 degree New Jersey night on Super Bowl Sunday would be the last thing he needed.
3.) Houston Texans
The Texans have one of the most exciting young offenses in the NFL these days, centered around Matt Schaub and All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson.
Schaub and co. led all NFL offenses in passing yards per game in 2009, with 290.
They are also fortunate enough to play on a synthetic field, closed-roof stadium. With home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Texans could avoid facing a team in the elements.
They wouldn't be so lucky in the Super Bowl. Unless Auburn product Ben Tate develops until the real deal (which the guys from Football Outsiders think he will), the Texans offense would struggle mightily in a poor-weather Super Bowl.
2.) San Diego Chargers
There wasn't a bigger disparity in offensive production in 2009 than the San Diego Chargers.
5th in the NFL in passing, the Chargers were 31st in rushing, with just over 88 yards per game.
One would think that Norv Turner and his coaching staff have reinvested themselves in the running game, drafting Ryan Mathews in the first round. But there's no guarantee the young running back will succeed.
If the Chargers were lucky enough to get past their playoff hump in 2014, an ugly-weather Super Bowl would all but eliminate their chance to win it.
1.) New Orleans Saints
Everyone knows about the Saints' awesome passing game. In only a few years with Drew Brees at the helm, the Saints have assured themselves a place in NFL lore with one of the most explosive offenses the league has ever seen.
And, strangely, they've done it without a consistent running game. Averaging just under 100 yards per game in the postseason on the ground, the Saints used their passing game to set up their rushing attack.
Without the ability to keep defenses honest, the Saints would have little chance to run the ball in sub-freezing, New Jersey temperatures.