2011-12 Super Bowl Teams Could Be An Unlikely Pair

Assuming there are Super Bowl teams in 2012…

I had the Packers and Ravens in Super Bowl 45. I had the Saints and someone–Ravens or Patriots or maybe even the Colts–in Super Bowl 44. For Super Bowl 43, I had the Pats and Cowboys, I think…

Well, some are buying into Rex Ryan’s Jets-in-the-Super-Bowl meme, and who can blame them? Think about it: who else that has not already represented the AFC and is a supposedly viable contender is there BESIDES the Jets? Think about it: the Pats? They haven’t won a playoff game since the 2007 AFC Championship game, methinks as payback for Bellichick’s bad kharma over cheating, and, who knows? Bellichick may not ever win another playoff game. The Steelers? Again, kharma…even though Roethlisberger has “repented” of whatever it is he supposedly did. They didn’t lose to the Packers for no reason. The Chargers have wasted several years trying and are pretty much done with. The Ravens? Have you read about what Ozzie boy has told Mr. Flacco–you either produce like your franchise QB label says, or you can forget a pay raise (that is, you either succeed in the playoffs before Ray Ray retires, or else!)…thus, it seems the Ravens FO does NOT think Flacco can get it done! The Colts? I am never convinced with this bunch–last year they were lucky to win the division, and how long can Peyton Manning do it pretty much all by himself (and how long can Mathis and Freeney run the D all by themselves?). Well, that takes care of the teams that most consider the ONLY possible AFC champions besides the Jets, and that is why the Jets really really are considered the most likely team to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Here’s the thing, though. Since many NFL pundits are picking the Jets, they ain’t doing it because Rex Ryan says so. They are doing it for two reasons: one is that the jets have been in the AFC Champ game for the entirety of Rex Ryan’s tenure with them; and the other reason they are being picked is that they have managed to convince themselves that Mark Sanchez must be better than he has usually shown and despite some goofy games in the regular season he is a leader when it comes to the playoffs, totally ignoring what most folks know: it is the D that gets the Jets into the playoffs and keeps them there, not Sanchez! Does anyone honestly think that Mark Sanchez could do what the experts think he can do without Revis, Scott, Harris, Ellis, Cromartie, Pouha, and the rest of the D? That Sanchez would get the same results having to play on a team with the Bills or Lions or Bengals or Cardinals or Redskins?

Further, it is thought that the Jets could lose either Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes to free agency, whenever that begins…which is why they are going after Randy Moss. Further, they no longer have a couple of pieces they’ve had on the OL and are going to use Matt Slausson and maybe someone else instead of Damien Woody and Brandon Moore (unless they keep Woody, which might happen if the elockout continues). This would be a far cry from the line of Ferguson, Fanaeca, Mangold, Woody and Moore, which was perhaps the best in the business. The Jets running game–I mean, this is still a running team–was not quite as effective in 2010 as it has been; Shonn Greene is okay but he fumbles a lot.

In short, I am not convinced about the Jets, either. So that it will be a team no one expects. Since it is a team that I won’t expect, either, how can I pick the team? So I won’t.

Now, for the NFC, which will be easier to pick. It won’t be the Packers, because McCarthy is no Lombardi. That leaves a host of other possible contenders that a more “contender” than those I listed for the AFC: Falcons, Saints, Cowboys (let’s face it–2010 was an anomoly, Romo and Garret will be back), and Eagles. I can see any of these four teams winning the NFC Chamionship, though all four have some issues.

A few are saying the Lions and/or the Rams will join them SOLELY based on who their QBs are. Folks, we have gone from one extreme (Defense) to the other (Who the QB is), as if only a good defense or only a good QB means the difference between who is a true contender and who isn’t. Some are even saying the Lions and Rams will join ‘the elite” this year! Well, I got news for those who think a team that was 0-16 three years ago and a team that was 1-15 two years ago can be elite–until both of these teams have offensive lines (esp. the Lions) that can keep their QBs upright, these two teams will not be elite, and anything else is just delusional. Now I know folks want the Lions and Rams to do well because they have been so downtrodden the last few years (for the Lions, the last 50 or so years!), but let’s stop the nonsense, shall we? Stafford and Bradford alone will not make these two teams elite, any more than Jamaal Charles will make the KC Chiefs elite.

It’s a new decade and there will be a new set of elite teams to go with it. It’s just that I do not know who these new teams will be. But they could be very very unlikely teams…

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About lifeimitatesfootball

There is no NFL football within 500 miles of my house, or more. I root for the following teams: first and foremost the Miami Dolphins, but also the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and S. Louis Rams
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