Who are they? More on that in a second.
First, there are a cluster of teams that have mitigating circumstances blocking a potential rise in power:
Pittsburgh Steelers (injuries)
Philadelphia Eagles (Chip Kelly doing Chip Kelly things)
New York Giants (Their defense allowed over 500 yards and 7 touchdown passes in a regulation game)
Seattle Seahawks (Fat-cat syndrome)
Buffalo Bills (Good defense, E.J. Manuel may take snaps again for them at some point)
New York Jets (Good defense, borderline criminal group of quarterbacks)
As for the seven actually competent NFL teams this season:
Let’s count the ways in no particular order:
Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots
Now, let’s get back to the aforementioned seven good teams. Based off a variety factors, only a few those teams are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Alas, we will eliminate the non-Super Bowl contenders:
Minnesota Vikings (Teddy Bridgewater is way too green to make a substantial playoff run)
Arizona Cardinals (What week is Carson Palmer going to suffer an injury?)
That leaves us with five teams (Packers, Patriots, Broncos, Bengals, Panthers). It’s time to drop another squad:
Green Bay Packers (No Jordy Nelson has compromised their passing game enough. Plus, outside of 2010, when has this Dom Capers D delivered?)
And then, there were four…
Carolina Panthers (decent running game, respectable defense, force of nature player at quarterback)
Denver Broncos (great defense, used-to-be great quarterback)
Cincinnati Bengals (well-coached, good defense, playmakers on offense)
New England Patriots (well-rounded team, GOATs at quarterback and head coach, defending champs)
One of this four teams will win Super Bowl 50.
Each squad is flawed. There may be nothing physically left of New England besides Brady by the time postseason rolls around; Peyton Manning throws like a 75-year-old sometimes; Cam Newton’s passing numbers are actually in the Kaepernick Zone (shhh, don’t tell anyone); and Cincinnati is…well, Cincinnati with Andy Dalton at quarterback.
As for who will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy?
The Denver Bron…oh god, I can’t type it.
It can’t possibly be true. Two straight years of the Patriots winning a Super Bowl would just be too good for football fans everywhere, which means some terrible calamity is headed our way.
That just leaves Zombie Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Denver is armed with football’s top defense. Zombie Manning can give them enough to get by.
As we’ve learned from The Walking Dead, zombies are an awfully tough kill.
That is of course provided that Manning doesn’t gag again in the postseason or for the purposes of this conversation, doesn’t get bashed in the skull by a bat.
Categories: nfl playoffs