Super Bowl 2011: Predictions for the Road To Dallas
Super Bowl XLV is nearly a month away, and the playoffs are set. It's time to make the predictions that everyone will be talking about, and the upsets that no one sees coming.
Every year there seems to be injuries, upsets and remarkable plays that no one saw coming. Interceptions, punt returns and long plays are the stuff of NFL legend, and 2011 is sure to be another game for the ages.
The New Orleans Saints are no longer the No. 1 seed, and the Eagles have been led to the playoffs by the last quarterback anyone would have expected three years ago.
The NFC West Champion finished with a sub .500 record, and several coaches have already departed. The Falcons will be out to show everyone that their three-loss 2010 campaign isn't a fluke and the Patriots are back as the front runner.
With these shorelines in place, let's take a deeper look into the playoffs leading up to the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas.
NFL Playoff prediction time is here, and one story coming off the wires is the potential downhill slope of the Indianapolis Colts.
It seems unnatural that we would be talking about the Colts being eliminated from playoff contention this early, but something is different this season. The Colts finished the season 10-6, and had to win in their final game to shake off the Jacksonville Jaguars.
All the buzz in this NFL post-season has been about the emergence of the Atlanta Falcons, the potential title defense of the New Orleans Saints, and the possible comeback of Michael Vick.
With all the media attention focused on new stories, where are the Colts? Whispers around the league say Manning is washed up, still the amazing NFL brain but lacking the arm strength to continue. Could it be true? Probably not.
However, it seems the Colts are no longer the team to beat in the NFL, or even the AFC. Their dynasty is likely coming to an end, and it's time to usher in some new perennial contenders.
NFL Playoff predictions are popping up everywhere for the Chicago Bears, and of course it's time to throw our two cents in. The possibility of the Bears making the Super Bowl seems stronger now than ever before, at least in recent years anyway.
It seems Jay Cutler can throw as many interceptions as he wants and the Bears can still find a way to win. Now they have a first round bye as the No. 2 seed in the NFC, and could face the Green Bay Packers or the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round. Believe it or not, the Eagles seem like the better match-up.
Chicago beat Philadelphia 31-26 in their only meeting of the season, and the offense seemed solid while their defense held the Eagles down just enough. Against the Packers, the Bears have a win also, but could only muster three points in the season finale, although that game really didn't matter since the Bears have locked in the two-seed.
If the Bears can get passed the Eagles or the Packers, they will likely have the Falcons or the Saints to contend with, and that seems like a problem.
The Bears could make it to the NFC Championship, but don't expect them to make it to the Super Bowl, they will run out of gas by that point.
Super Bowl Predictions happen every year, and it seems like even then, the craziest things can happen. All the Super Bowl talk has been about the potential match-up of the Saints and Patriots, with the Falcons an interesting substitution.
But what about other possibilities?
If no one else is going to be bold, I sure will. I am predicting that one of those two teams, the Saints or the Patriots, won't make it to the Super Bowl. In fact, the NFL may draw higher ratings on February 6th if one of those teams doesn't make it.
The Ravens have been showing signs of superb play as of late, and could be the new force in the NFL if they could beat the Saints in Super Bowl XLV. This seems like the more likely scenario, and for good reasons.
The Eagles would make a great story of forgiveness if they reach the Big Dance, and playing a team like the Patriots would be the ultimate symbol for Michael Vick if his team can pull off the win. There are several possibilities for this year's Super Bowl, but one thing is for sure: A team making it to the Super Bowl, not named the Patriots or Saints is a possibility.
Super Bowl 2011 is just over a month away, and a potential story brewing is the possibility of the Baltimore Ravens making it to Dallas.
Standing in their way are the New England Patriots (14-2), who finished the regular season with the best record in the league. The Ravens played well against the Pats in Week 6, but fell in overtime on a field goal. They have won six of their last eight, and nearly took over the AFC North from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Baltimore dodged a bullet, or maybe a Jet, by gaining the No. 5 seed. They will be playing the Kansas City Chiefs, losers of two of their last four, each time giving up 31 points in their losses. Baltimore seems to have all the momentum heading into the playoffs, and if they can beat the Chiefs and march around the Patriots, there may not be a team to challenge them until they reach the Super Bowl, given their momentum carries them past a team like the Steelers, which is entirely possible.
Super Bowl 2011 is just over a month away, and it is time to look at all the potential plots of the playoff run.
It seems the biggest story is the surge of the Atlanta Falcons, nearly matching the New England Patriots tit-for-tat. At 13-3, they seem to have a strong head of steam heading into the post-season.
However, after the Atlanta's first round bye, they will likely be facing the New Orleans Saints, who have played them well all season. While the Saints will be playing the No. 4 seed as a Wild Card, they are facing the 7-9 Seahawks, winners of the NFC West in a race no one seemed to have the desire to win.
The Falcons defeated the Saints earlier in the year with a field goal in overtime, but the Saints picked up the game-winning field goal the second time around. In both matches, the teams seemed pretty evenly matched, and both defenses were solid.
If Atlanta expects to make it to the Super Bowl, they would be sorely mistaken to overlook the Saints, who might just send them home.