Kings of the Hill: AFC Set to Dominate For Another Year.

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IMay 5, 2009

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 30:  The Vince Lombardi Trophy is seen during the NFC Head coach press conference prior to Super Bowl XLIII held at the Tampa Convention Center on January 30, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The NFC dominated the Super Bowls from XIX—when Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers beat second year pro Dan Marino, until XXXI—when a young Brett Favre beat the New England Patriots.

Since then, the AFC has been the king of the hill all but three times.  That is nine out of the last 12 years.

In those three games, St. Louis (Greatest Show on Turf) beat the Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay beat the Oakland Raiders (Tampa Coach Jon Gruden knew every play that was going to be called), and the New York Giants defeated the then undefeated New England Patriots (second greatest upset in the history of the Super Bowl).

Of the Super Bowls won by the AFC, New England captured three, Pittsburgh took two, and Indianapolis won one.  Those six were all in the last seven years, and the Patriots took an undefeated record into that one off game.

The point I am making is, the Patriots, Steelers, and Colts have been the ones hoisting the trophy almost exclusively.

This season looks to be more of the same.

The New England Patriots

One season removed from an almost campaign, the Pats lost future Hall of Famer Tom Brady during the first half of the first game last year.  Brady will be back under center, and the Pats should end their one season playoff drought.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The current Super Bowl Champs return all but two of their starters from last year.  Not signing any free agents from other teams, the Steelers have done what they do best—draft.

Normally when you win your division you have a harder schedule than the year before.  With the Colts and Pats both finishing second in their respective divisions last year, the Steelers will not play either of them until the playoffs.  After last year's toughest schedule in 20 years, it is a deserved break for the champs.

Indianapolis Colts

Peyton Manning returns with almost the same team from last year, this time with an attitude, after losing the division to the Titans last year.

Gone is sure handed, but slowed down Marvin Harrison, but that doesn't matter.  Manning could throw to four guys from the stands and have 4,000 passing yards in a season.

Sure, there are teams that have improved.  The Jets, Ravens, Dolphins, and Chargers are all hoping to make it to the Super Bowl in Miami next year. 

But, if history predicts the future, you can almost count on either the Pats, Colts, or Steelers hoisting the Lombardi once again.


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