NFL Fact or Fiction: Cowboys Will Face Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI
The New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys have both shown signs of brilliance at times this season. Could a Super Bowl matchup be in the cards for these two franchises?
Both teams have a great deal of talent and quality players.
Although both teams have shown signs of vulnerability, it would be unfair to count either of them out.
The following is an examination of each teams' Super Bowl aspirations.
New England: So Far This Season
The Patriots have been among the best teams in the NFL so far this season. They've managed five wins from their first six games, and they boast one of the league's best offenses.
They rank first and 10th in passing yards and rushing yards, respectively.
These impressive numbers can be attributed to the impressive starts that Wes Welker and BenJarvus Green-Ellis have made to the season.
Tom Brady, who has also had a great start to the year, has made the Patriots look like a top team so far this season.
Dallas Cowboys: So Far This Season
The Dallas Cowboys have had a much less impressive start to the season than the New England Patriots.
Jerry Jones' squad has managed just three wins from their first six games. Their play thus far has been below expectations.
While the Cowboys are the only team in the league to have beaten the 49ers, they have failed to secure a victory against every other quality opponent they've faced.
The Cowboys are going to need to turn things around quickly if they want to realize their Super Bowl aspirations.
New England: Their Competition
If the New England Patriots are going to make it to the Super Bowl, it obviously means that their competition will not.
While the Patriots have looked a great side in their opening six games, the AFC is stacked with great teams that are not going to roll over.
These next few slides are dedicated to the two teams that are most likely to give the Patriots a run for their money.
New England Competition: Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have been one of the surprise teams of the season. The wagon-circlers have jumped off to a four and two start and are undefeated at home.
Fred Jackson has been instrumental in this success. His 601 rushing yards have helped Buffalo become the fourth most proficient team on the ground.
While it's true that the Bills do have a poor defense, the Patriots would still be foolish to count them out. After all, they do hold the record for most consecutive Super Bowl appearances*.
*Yes, I know, they lost in all four.
New England Competition: Baltimore Ravens
Despite the Ravens' Monday-night embarrassment to the Jaguars, they are still one of the better teams in the AFC.
They are 4-2, and second in their division, but the Ravens' defense knows what it takes to get to a Super Bowl.
Baltimore is one of the most balanced teams in the NFL.
They are ranked 12th in both passing yards and rushing yards. On the defensive side, they limit their opponents to the eighth fewest passing yards and the third fewest rushing yards.
The Ravens have looked weak at some points throughout the season but this Baltimore team is definitely one to be feared.
Dallas: Their Competition
The Dallas Cowboys are far from the favorites in the NFC. If they are going to make it to the Super Bowl, they are going to need some luck.
While the AFC has some great teams, the NFC is a much stronger conference from top to bottom. The Cowboys are going to have to get past a few banana skins to make it all the way.
The next slides are dedicated to the top two teams that are going to give the Cowboys a run for their money.
Dallas Cowboys Competition: Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are currently the best team in the NFL. There is no debating that.
Aaron Rodgers has led the team to seven wins in as many games, and they are the only team in the NFL that has yet to be handed a loss.
The reigning Super Bowl champions look like they're going to repeat. Even in the games in which they aren't playing well, the Packers still find a way to win.
The Cowboys are going to need to really buckle down if they want to compete with Green Bay come this post-seaon.
Dallas Cowboys Competition: New Orleans Saints
The Saints certainly looked good in their Sunday night game against the Indianapolis Colts. And even though the Colts can make any team look good, the Saints are the real deal.
This is a team that knows what it takes to get to, and win, a Super Bowl.
Darren Sproles has been a revelation for the Saints. The former San Diego back has been in fantastic form for his new team.
The Saints currently top their division and they are one of the giants in the NFC. While they have looked flat at times, on their day the Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL.
New Orleans is another one of those teams that the Cowboys are going to need to find a way to compete with to realize their Super Bowl ambitions.
New England Patriots: Prediction
In my opinion, the Patriots are the team that will be representing the AFC in Super Bowl XLVI.
They are the team best equipped to make it through the rigorous NFL season. They have true quality players like Tom Brady and Wes Welker that can help carry a team in tough times.
The Patriots should be the favorites to come out of the AFC.
The Cowboys, however, are a very different story.
Dallas Cowboys: Prediction
I'm sorry Cowboy fans, but your team's chances of making it to the Super Bowl are minuscule.
The Green Bay Packers look to be unstoppable at the moment. While there are other quality teams in the NFC that can make it, the Cowboys do not look to be one of them.
With other bubble teams such as the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears, the Cowboys are going to need to really step up their game.
So, to answer the original question, it would be fiction to say that the Cowboys are going to face the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
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