Super Bowl Predictions 2011: Ranking The 20 Most Likely Super Bowl Matchups
Predicting the Super Bowl is a very inexact science, if your team has been playing good football they have a shot. Even when the oddsmakers know who is in the Super Bowl they have only been able to predict the winner once in the last three years. It's that uncertainty that makes NFL football so great.
The playoff field is almost set, so instead of speculating who will make the playoffs it's time to start projecting who will face-off in the 2011 Super Bowl.
Enlisting in the help of the good folks at Bodog, I've came up with some predictions for who will play who in Super Bowl XLV.
Don't be upset if you don't see the Jags, Seahawks, Rams, or Bucs in these Super Bowl matchups. They have less than a 1 in 100 shot of taking the crown according to the experts and winning four straight in the playoffs is a tough task considering they haven't been able to do it in the regular season.
Let me know what game you think we will see.
Follow me on Twitter @JohnLorge.
20. New York Giants Vs. New York Jets
(1 in 240)
Okay, so this isn't a very likely Super Bowl but I thought I'd include it for the New York/New Jersey readers.
The Giants aren't even in the playoffs yet and there is a decent chance they won't make it. Let's just save this for 2014.
19. Green Bay Packers Vs. Kansas City Chiefs
(1 in 72)
A rematch of Super Bowl I.
KC isn't getting much love nationally but they play the right brand for football to win in the playoffs.
If they faced the Packers in the Super Bowl I would love to see Dwayne Bowe against Charles Woodson for four quarters.
18. Indianapolis Colts Vs. Chicago Bears
(1 in 49)
The Bears would be looking for revenge for Super Bowl XLI and they might have upgraded their roster enough to get it done.
Indy still needs to win in Week 17 but assuming they do, they will enter the Super Bowl on a seven game win-streak.
Does experience win out against talent?
17. Indianapolis Colts Vs. New Orleans Saints
(1 in 34)
Another potential Super Bowl rematch, this time from a year ago.
NO has gained a lot of experience in the past two years and they are finally getting healthy.
It doesn't look like Peyton Manning would have enough mojo to will the Colts to a win here.
16. Baltimore Ravens Vs. New Orleans Saints
(1 in 27)
We got a sneak-peak of this matchup in Week 15 when Baltimore hosted the Saints and treated them to defeat.
It would be interesting to see how each team's gameplan changes. If they go back to what worked or try to use prior success to setup their opponent.
Now that Baltimore's passing game is up to Super Bowl standards the team can beat you any way possible.
15. Chicago Bears Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
(1 in 21)
The "Monsters of the Midway" versus "The Steel Curtain."
Both teams have electric receivers, elite defenders, and very hateable QBs.
Many NFL fans would be dumbfounded, not knowing who to root for.
14. Green Bay Packers Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
(1 in 20)
Clay Matthews and James Harrison. Troy Polamalu and Charles Woodson.
If you like great defensive play this game would have it.
There would be some pretty good QBs too.
13. New York Jets Vs. Atlanta Falcons
(1 in 24)
On the road again. It would be a long road for the Jets to make the Super Bowl but we've seen them play well in an underdog role.
The emergence of the Falcons rush D would prevent problems for the Jets and Mark Sanchez would have the ball in his hands which has been scary as of late.
On the other side of things Michael Turner has always struggled against good defenses and Roddy White was held to four catches for 33 yards on 10 targets last year against the Jets.
12. Indianapolis Colts Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
(1 in 17)
Two elite quarterbacks who couldn't be more different in style.
Michael Vick and the Falcons got the win in week nine but Peyton Manning has since adjusted to his new receivers.
It has the makings of a shoot-out but I think the Colts would make the necessary adjustments to get it done.
11. Indianapolis Colts Vs. Atlanta Falcons
(1 in 15)
Against a defense like the Colts the Falcons can mechanically march the ball down the field.
Manning would keep the Colts in the game but in this matchup Matt Ryan would launch his legacy.
10. New Orleans Saints Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
(1 in 15)
In week eight the Steelers got the Saints to play Pittsburgh football but it didn't matter, Drew Brees remained cool under pressure and got the 20-10 win.
It was only Ben Roethlisberger's third game back but the Saints were without Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush.
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
9. Baltimore Ravens Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
(1 in 14)
The Ravens have a great defense. They have size but their front seven isn't the fastest bunch which could lead to Vick running wild.
If the Ravens can keep Vick in the pocket it, or rattle him with blitzes, could be trouble for Philly. The picks are up in the second half of the season and Ed Reed is the best ball-hawk in the game.
8. Baltimore Ravens Vs. Atlanta Falcons
(1 in 12)
The Falcons secured an epic victory over Baltimore in the final seconds of Week 10.
A neutral field should be enough to keep the game in the Ravens' grips.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
(1 in 7)
The battle for PA would be great from so many angles.
Mike Vick served his time and is now loved while Big Ben has quickly become the most hated man in the NFL.
In a nation of wussies, these two teams could show the world America still has some heart.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Atlanta Falcons
(1 in 7)
Playing Pittsburgh and Baltimore this year was great for the Falcon's experience but its tough to play a potential Super Bowl opponent because you never want to show all of your cards.
Atlanta couldn't get it done 16 weeks ago against Dennis Dixon, so it doesn't look good with Big Ben taking snaps.
5. Chicago Bears Vs. New England Patriots
(1 in 6)
I'd expect Chicago to keep it a little more respectable than 36-7 but it's hard to see them beating the Pats the way they were dismantled in Week 12.
We have seen the Pats lose the Super Bowl against a team they beat in the regular season, I'm just not going to predict it to happen here.
4. Green Bay Packers Vs. New England Patriots
(1 in 6)
Not having Aaron Rodgers was obviously a disappointment for the Packers in their Week 15 loss to the Pats. It may also end up being their biggest advantage.
The Pats defense won't have experience against Rodgers while GB has seen plenty of Brady.
If Green Bay can control the clock again, catch easy interceptions, and stop a guard from almost housing a kick then adding Rodgers should be enough for an upset.
3. New Orleans Saints Vs. New England Patriots
(1 in 4)
Clearly the Saints didn't get fat off their Super Bowl last year, they are still hungry.
That being said, Tom Brady is starving.
I don't love the Pats in every Super Bowl matchup but the Saints don't have an intimidating defense and if the Pats can force TOs like they have all year I like them in this one.
2. Philadelphia Eagles Vs. New England Patriots
(1 in 2)
Does New England have the defenders to wrangle Vick?
Does Philly have enough experience in the secondary to take down Brady?
This is the toughest Super Bowl matchup for me to predict. With and extra week of rest for Vick, he will be fresh and furious.
1. Atlanta Falcons Vs. New England Patriots
(1 in 2)
There isn't a whole lot of razzle-dazzle in the Falcons' gameplan. They come straight at you and execute efficiently.
The Pats have been mystifying this season. You could get killed by one of two rookie tight ends, a midget, a law firm, or a hobbled veteran receiver.
While the Falcons are predictable the Pats keep you guessing, giving them the advantage.