It’s that time of the year again. There are only four teams left in the upper echelon of the National Football League and in two weeks, three of them are going home losers. There is no room for second place in this media circus we like to affectionately call the “SuperBowl” and with that said, let us take a look at the playoff picture as it exists right this moment.
In the NFC, we have Seattle and Carolina. The Panthers won the conference just two short years ago but this year they face a well oiled Seahawk machine. Seattle proved just last week they could pull a W without a key marquee player when Shawn Alexander left the game against the Redskins in the first quarter. The Carolina defense just doesn’t have what it takes to stop the Seahawks offense, and I believe this game will be decided in the first quarter. Seattle will score first and Carolina just won’t be able to answer them often enough to keep it close. The Seahawks crowd will be a huge factor in this game. By the third quarter, every football fan in the northwest will have their sights set on Detroit in February.
Over in the AFC we got the Denver Broncos, my hometown favorites, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, both coming off big wins last week. The Broncos dethroned the reigning champion Patriots here at Mile High and the Steelers stunned the Colts in Indy. This game will come down to defense. The bus will find himself dealing with a hungry John Lynch and the Pittsburgh defense will focus too much on stopping Denver’s legendary run game to give the proper attention to Rod Smith and the pass game. The turning point of this game will be a big defensive play by either John Lynch or Champ Bailey. It will be a tough fought game, but by the end of third, myself and my fellow Bronco fans will be preparing for our first SuperBowl since the glory days of Elway and Davis.
This leaves us with Denver and Seattle in the big game. It will be the second time the two coaches have faced off on that fateful Sunday, with the first going to Shanahan in a victory over Holmgren’s Packers way back in the last millennium. Also a bit ironic due to the fact that the two teams shared the same division for decades before the Seahawks moved to the NFC a few years ago.
It will be quite possibly the greatest SuperBowl of all time. These two teams share history together. Our fans know each other, however distant those memories may seem now. I remember a time when the Seahawks games held an impact for the Broncos season, and vise versa. We lost touch with each other when they moved to the NFC and there is no better way to get reacquainted than to play for the biggest prize in the lower 48 of these Great United states of America.
Good luck, Seattle, and prepare to get spanked.