Over the next week and a half, I’ll be taking a look at each of the NFL’s individual divisions and offering my thoughts and predictions for how they will fare in the 2012-13 campaign. Today will be the final entry in the series, where I take an in-depth look at a possible Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers match-up in Superbowl 47. Please keep in mind that these two teams have gotten here through my previous prediction blogs. I did not just pick two teams out of the random.
AFC East (09/01/12)
AFC South (09/03/12)
AFC North (09/03/12)
AFC West (09/04/12)
NFC East (09/04/12)
NFC South (09/05/12)
NFC North (09/05/12)
NFC West (09/06/12)
Award Winners (09/06/12)
AFC Playoffs (09/07/12)
NFC Playoffs (09/07/12)
Without further ado, my prediction for Superbowl 47…..
2 Houston Texans (AFC) vs. 1 San Francisco 49ers (NFC)
Offense — While the San Francisco offense is most definitely better than average, lead by one of the league’s strongest (and most unique) running attacks. With the four-headed monster of Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, Kendall Hunter and rookie LaMichael James, the 49ers should be able to run the football against anyone’s defense. However, their passing game remains a question mark, despite the offseason additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. On the other side, Houston’s offense is led by a pair of NFL superstars in running back Arian Foster and receiver Andre Johnson.
Advantage – Texans
Defense — Despite losing both Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans in the offseason, the Texans still boast one of the league’s toughest defenses, lead by sensational sophomore pass rusher J.J. Watt. However, I don’t think that there will be any argument in declaring the defensive unit of the San Francisco 49ers as the best in the NFL today. It’s a star-studded group with names like Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Dashon Goldson that provide San Francisco with undoubtedly the league’s deepest defense.
Advantage — 49ers
Special Teams — I’d consider it a wash when it comes to the kick-return game as both teams are strong with Ted Ginn, Jr. (49ers) and Danieal Manning (Texans). However, it is the kicking game where the San Francisco 49ers will have a major advantage. Punter Andy Lee has been one of the NFL’s best at pinning opposing teams deep within their own territory. Also, kicking field goals for the 49ers will be a veteran who understands the pressure of a Superbowl, former Philadelphia Eagle David Akers. On the other side, the Texans will rely upon the right leg of journeyman place kicker Shayne Graham, who is currently under contract with his 14th NFL team.
Advantage — 49ers
Coaching — Basing things purely on experience, I will have to give the nod here to the seventh year head coach of the Houston Texans, Gary Kubiak. Houston’s head coach also has a championship pedigree through three Superbowl championships won during his time as an offensive coordinator and assistant coach with the Denver Broncos. Jim Harbaugh is no slouch, but this will only be his second full season as the head coach of an NFL team.
Advantage — Texans
Final Score — Texans 17 – 49ers 23
In the end, I believe that the Vince Lombardi trophy will return home with one of the NFL’s most storied franchises, the San Francisco 49ers.
Superbowl 47 Champion — San Francisco 49ers
Thanks For Reading!