Super Bowl XLVII: Most intriguing Super Bowl matchups
The 2012 NFL Playoffs are set, and now is the time to think about the potential Super Bowl XLVII matchups we could have in the Big Easy. It always seems the NFL season goes by quick when it gets here and it sure has. Just last year we were talking about whether the Indianapolis Colts would keep both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, maybe pass on Andrew Luck to keep Peyton Manning. Now here we are one year later and Andrew Luck, the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has the Colts in the playoffs in his rookie season. Let’s keep the rookie theme going here, Robert Griffin has took the NFL by storm and not only put the Washington Redskins in the playoffs, but he led them to the NFC East crown in 2012. Not to be outdone by his first round peers, Russell Wilson has led the Seahawks to the fifth seed in the NFC, making three rookie quarterbacks starting their first ever playoff game this weekend.
If only the Miami Dolphins had things go their way more, then we potentially could have seen four rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs with Ryan Tannehill joining his rookie peers. We have our usual suspects mixed in with the youth, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, who very well could see Indianapolis come to Denver in the playoffs. The Houston Texans look to finally have got their team in place to make a Super Bowl run, and the Baltimore Ravens backed into the playoffs and AFC North crown.
In the NFC, the Falcons are back on top as they look for their first playoff win under Matt Ryan, the San Francisco 49ers are once again the NFC West Champions, but only because the tie with the Rams helped secure the NFC West from the Seattle Seahawks. The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl a couple years ago and look to bring another title to Title Town. While the Seahawks couldn’t win the West they did secure one of the wild card spots. Now that we know who is in the playoffs, let’s take a look at the most intriguing Super Bowl matchups.
Baltimore Ravens vs Atlanta Falcons: The 2008 quarterback class collides in the big easy as Matt Ryan’s high flying attack looks to break through the tough Raven defense. As we saw against the Giant, the Ravens offense is starting to take over some of the load. Atlanta’s solid Safety tandem would have hard work stopping the new offensive attack of the Ravens under Jim Caldwell. There always has been that debate whether Joe or Matt is the better quarterback and while most lean toward Joe due to his playoff success, this would be Matt Ryan’s time to show what he is made of. That is, unless he doesn’t win a playoff game again and is bounced in the first round.
Denver Broncos vs San Francisco 49ers: The way Colin Kaepernick is playing, the 49ers may not go far unless they turn back to the guy they only re-signed because Peyton Manning turned them down. Manning opted to sign with the Broncos instead, where he put them in prime position for a first round bye and the number two seed in the AFC. Jim Harbaugh switched to Colin Kaepernick after Alex Smith was out for a concussion and stayed with him even though Smith has been healthy to play. It now seems Jim Harbaugh is running into quarterback issues while Peyton Manning would only show Jim what he could have had if Peyton joined the San Francisco 49ers.
New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks: Everyone remembers Richard Sherman having his fun at the expense of Tom Brady right? Well Tom Brady would sure bring him back down to reality if the Patriots and Seahawks both met in the Super Bowl. Brady has the rings and playoff experience to overcome the Seahawks defense in the big game but would the Seahawks get the best of Brady again? The Seahawks defense has been one of the best defenses all year and could very well go on a Super Bowl run, and if they do Richard Sherman could have another chance to upset Brady by beating him in the Super Bowl.
Indianapolis Colts vs Washington Redskins: This is quite simple, this is the first time that the two teams who made the first two picks in the draft made the playoffs in the same season. The way Andrew Luck and RG3 have been playing, it is a matter of when these two will meet in the Super Bowl and it very well could be this year. Who would have thought, Luck and RG3 would have this much success in 2012? Nobody. Now these two can cap a wonderful rookie season by taking their teams to the Super Bowl.
Denver Broncos vs Green Bay Packers: It seems the Packers have a easy route to New Orleans, they have proven they can beat the Falcons, beating the Seahawks would seem to be easier in Green Bay, and the Giants are not there to kick them out of the playoffs once again. If the Packers make it, the favorite in the AFC to make it would be tough to beat. Peyton Manning has turned the Broncos around in more ways than Tim Tebow’s magic could ever do. Rodgers would have a fit with that Denver defense while Peyton would have it rough with Clay Matthews on the other side. Aaron Rodgers is the young lion who is ready to show the old an wise lion that his time has come and gone and if Rodgers is able to outlast Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl, it would only cement him as an elite quarterback.
Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers: The Super Harbaugh Bowl as I call it, this would have happened last year if the Giants and Patriots didn’t spoil the plan. John and Jim faced off last Thanksgiving with John getting the best of Jim on that night. This match up would toss brotherly love out the window as Jim and John would do anything to get their team the victory. Except, both brothers have quarterback issues, Joe hasn’t been consistent enough on a week to week basis while Kaepernick has cooled off since his hot start. This would be a defensive battle that only make those who love defenses happy to see this outcome.
Mike Presley is a NFL Writer for The Penalty Flag. He is a graduate of the Carolina School of Broadcasting and hosts a weekly NFL show on 89.3 The Storm on Thursdays from 4PM-6PM called “The Front Seven.” Mike writes for the racing website www.hardcoreracefans.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepresley64.