The most coveted trophy in the NFL: The Lombardi Trophy.
When I was a kid, all of us that lived on or around Linda Drive would play football in my backyard. We would pretend we were the Steelers (both teams actually, because none of us wanted to play for any team other than the Steelers).
When one team won, it became the Super Bowl Champion!
As great as the other awards are, none can even compare to the Lombardi. Conference champion, MVP and Offensive/Defensive Player of the Year all pale in comparison to Super Bowl Champion.
It is the single goal that all 32 NFL teams start with at the beginning of every season. Thirty-one teams fail. One team becomes the Super Bowl Champion, just like those kids in the backyard.
Here are my predictions for the NFL Wild Card round.
To kick off the NFL Playoffs, the 11-5 New Orleans Saints will travel to Seattle to play the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks.
Is it fair for the defending Super Bowl Champions, who have a better record than Seattle, to travel more than halfway across the country? That is a debate for another article.
It does not change the fact that the Saints have to play the Seahawks.
I honestly tried to think of a way that I could pick Seattle to win this game. No matter how hard I tried, I could not find a single way that would give Seattle the advantage.
How about the 12th man? Sorry. That will last for the first drive or two, but the first time New Orleans scores, it will quiet down.
True, the Saints did lose to the Cardinals earlier this year, but this is the playoffs. The Saints are going to be very focused for this game.
Saints 34, Seahawks 13
For the third time in the last two seasons, the New York Jets will travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts.
This game is not about the coaches, or talking trash in the media. Peyton Manning vs. the Rex Ryan defense is what is going to decide this game.
Currently, Rex Ryan's defenses have played Manning a total of six times, and Ryan has only defeated Manning once.
Granted, the one win came in Week 16 last year, when the Colts rested their starters for almost the entirety of the second half in preparation for the playoffs. Manning has had Ryan's number.
He will have it again on Saturday, as the Colts advance to the divisional round of the playoffs.
Colts 24, Jets 14
For the third straight season, the Ravens will go on the road for Wild Card Weekend. This season, they travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs.
Everyone that knows me knows that I am not a Ravens fan, but give credit where it is due, the Ravens are a solid football team. Kansas City is as well, but it does not have the playoff experience that it will need to defeat the Ravens.
The Ravens defense is still one of the best in the NFL, and now that the Ravens have some offensive weapons, they should be able to go through Kansas City.
Cheer up though, Chiefs fans. Your team has made great strides, and should be competitive for years into the future. You will win some playoff games, just not this year.
Ravens 17, Chiefs 13
To end Wild Card weekend, the Green Bay Packers play the Philadelphia Eagles.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. For an NFL team to be successful in the playoffs, they need to be peaking at the right time.
Green Bay is. Philadelphia isn't.
Over the last two weeks, the Eagles have had a weakness exposed. When the defense sends a corner blitz, the Eagles have a very hard time picking it up, which normally results in Mike Vick taking hits.
After being injured, that is the last thing the Eagles need.
Count on Green Bay putting a lot of pressure on Vick, and the Eagles not being able to respond.
Packers 27, Eagles 21