Top 10 Possible Super Bowl Match-Ups
Top 10 Possible Super Bowl Match-Ups
Every NFL season ends with the game of the year. Players put their bodies on the line, risking life and limb, just to lift the Lombardi trophy high over their head and declare themselves the best in the nation at what they do. It is a battle fought at every position, by every member of the team. The struggle turns complete strangers into blood brothers, joined together in a common goal, each hoping to win the Super Bowl, and be crowned NFL Champion.
At this point in the season, there is enough clarity to tell which teams have a chance at making it to the Big Game, and which ones will most definitely watching from home. There are still several teams that are fighting for one of the wild card spots, and nothing is guaranteed for any of those contenders.
This gives us a wonderful opportunity to look ahead at what could happen. The possibilities are enough to send a chill up and down the spine of even the most casual of fans. Any fan whose team is in position could potentially find themselves rooting on their favorite players in the last game of the season.
The following slides represent 10 possible Super Bowl match-ups. Hopefully, readers feel that all 10 are not only plausible, but also exciting. The thought was to have games we could actually be seeing on February 3, 2013.
The first slide is a match-up you may have seen before, but until a team disrupts the landscape of the NFL hierarchy, this is what we will be watching. Click the “Next” tab and see if you agree.
Eli vs Brady Take Three
New England Patriots vs New York Giants
If these two teams meet up again, it would be the third time in five years. The first time they met, the Giants played the huge underdog spoiler, handing the Patriots their only loss of the season, in the only game that really matters. The fame was incredible to watch, and goes down as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time.
Last season’s rematch was all fans hoped it would be, coming down to the final play of the game once again. With both of these teams appearances having been great entertainment, it is doubtful that anyone would be disappointed come kickoff.
Ray Rice Rushing Towards the Lambardi
Baltimore Ravens vs Chicago Bears
In years past this would have been a purely defensive match-up, but with the Bears bringing in Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler now has a big time target to lean on. Still, this offense has been stagnant at times this season, but the defense was there to puck up the slack. The Bears defense has become an offense of sorts, scoring touchdowns in more games than not. The offense may be coming along, but Chicago is still all about the defense.
Baltimore knows about thinking defense first as wee. but with Joe Flacco and Ray Rice leading the charge, the Ravens offense has taken some of the attention off of the defensive unit. So far in 2012, this has been a good thing.
The Ravens defense is not what it has been as dominant as we are used to seeing, but with Terrell Suggs back on the field, and the possible return of Ray Lewis, expect the Baltimore D to come out and defend their title as the best defense in the league.
Week 6 Rematch
Houston Texans vs Green Bay Packers
In Week 6, a 2-3 Green Bay team came into Reliant Stadium and decimated an unbeaten Houston Texans team that had looked unstoppable through the first six games of the season
The Packers had been under fire for their slow start, and Aaron Rodgers “hushed” his critics, throwing for 6 touchdowns against one of the best defenses in the league. There is no doubt the Texans would love to hush a few critics of their own.
SuperBowl XXIII Re-Visited
Denver Broncos vs Atlanta Falcons
Week 2 of the Falcon’s schedule saw Peyton Manning throw three interceptions in the first quarter. As has been the pattern this season, the Broncos rallied late, but still fell short of the Falcons, 21-27.
That victory may have been nice for the Atlanta faithful, but a regular season win does little to erase the memory of the 1998, and the Falcons’ only Super Bowl appearance. In that game, the Broncos dominated the Falcons, winning 34-19 in a game that was an even bigger blow out than the score reflects.
This was the second of back-to back Super Bowls for the Denver Broncos, and it would be the last game played by their Hall of Fame quarterback, John Elway. Now another future Hall of Fame QB leads the team, one that was cast away by the franchise he had made great, and convinced to join the Broncos by Elway himself, who currently acts as the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the team.
It would be fitting for both teams to get back to the Super Bowl against the team they last faced, on football's biggest stage.
Defense Wins Championships
New England Patriots vs San Francisco 49ers
In a match-up of the NFL’s top ranked offense versus the the best defense in the league, New England and San Francisco would be one for the ages.
The Patriots have weapons all over the field, and the introduction of a solid running game this season has given the Pats a dimension they have really lacked over the last few seasons.
One of the more controversial stories of the season has been coach Jim Harbaugh’s decision to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith, after Smith was forced to miss one game with a concussion. Regardless of which quarterback is under center, they will be facing a much improved Patriots defense, currently ranked 10th in the league against the run.
This game could easily come down to experience and ball protection. The Patriots are second in the league in takeaways and defensive touchdowns, trailing only the Chicago Bears in both categories. This game could easily come down to which defense forces the most mistakes from the opposing offense, and would be near the top of any football fan’s wish list.
A Change of the NFL Hierarchy
Houston Texans vs Chicago Bears
Another regular season rematch. A Super Bowl between these two powerhouse teams would be all a fan could hope for, with two of the best defenses matching up against two offenses poised for greatness, the possibilities are endless.
When the two teams met earlier this year, the rain was poring down, and it was the Texans defense that looked like the superior group on the field. It is a game that has no doubt stuck with the Bears, especially Jay Cutler, who was evaluated for a concussion during half time, and was not able to come back on the field for the rest of that game, or the game next. The Texans defense has allowed huge games to the opposing offenses in both of their last two outings, and it would be interesting to see what would happen if the two teams met again
A Repeat of Super Bowl XXXII
Denver Broncos vs Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl XXXII featured the reigning champion Green Bay Packers as they tried to win back-to-back titles against the Denver Broncos, who were appearing in their fourth Super Bowl of the John Elway era. The Broncos had lost their previous three Super Bowl appearances, and for an aging Elway, the specter of always falling one game short loomed overhead like the grim reaper, promising to forever taint the quarterback’s legacy.
With Brett Favre leading the Packers offense, the two NFL Legends stepped onto the field and put together one of the best games in Super Bowl history, with Elway sacrificing everything to ensure his first Super Bowl victory. It was a hard fought, back and forth game between two of the leagues greatest talents, and fittingly enough, if these two teams were to meet up again, the world would be treated once more to a showdown led by two quarterbacks destined for the Hall of Fame.
Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning are both first ballot Hall of Fame locks. Watching the two of them out on the field orchestrating their offenses and battling for the championship would be a magical moment for the entire football world.
The Broncos may have a slight edge, thanks to having the better defense, but if the Green Bay offensive line could keep Rodgers fairly clean, this would undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest Super Bowl match-ups of all time.
Harbaugh Bowl II
Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers
On Thanksgiving of 2011, the NFL Network proudly hosted what it had dubbed, the “Harbaugh Bowl”, when brothers Jim and John Harbaugh faced off as opposing head coaches. Having the brothers as head coaching opponents was a first for the NFL, and the media hype machine made sure everyone knew it.
The Ravens won that matchup, but their defense is not what it was in that game, and the advantage would likely go to brother Jim, and his 49ers. Still, in games like these, advantages hardly mean anything when emotion and passion can change the game in an instant.
If these two teams end up representing the AFC and NFC in the Super Bowl, expect the media exposure to be tenfold what it was for the “Harbaugh Bowl I”
Revenge for the Dynamic Duo
New England Patriots vs Chicago Bears
This Super Bowl possibility makes the list simply because of the Josh McDaniels connection with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall.
In 2009, the Denver Broncos fired long time coach Mike Shannahan, and brought in the young offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. McDaniels came into town like a tornado, and before the first game was even played, Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall were on different teams. Reports point to both players demanding a trade from the team, first Cutler, and then Marshall, due to trust issues with McDaniels and the organization.
With the Cutler trade, the Bears became an instant contender, and the Broncos would fall into a dismal mediocrity, and McDaniels would be fired at the end of his second season.
Watching Cutler and Marshall in the Super Bowl with that type of motivation would be something to see, and no Super Bowl record would be safe.
Manning Vs Manning
Denver Broncos vs New York Giants
We end our list of possible Super Bowl match-ups with yet another Super Bowl rematch, this one pitting another set of brothers against each other, this time as opposing quarterbacks.
One of the reasons Peyton Manning chose to stay in the AFC after he was released by the Colts was so that he would never be in a situation where he kept his younger brother from reaching the Super Bowl. Keeping Eli Manning from winning a Super Bowl is another story.
The competition between the two brothers has been well documented over the years, and watching the two of them to take the field with the Lombardi trophy on the line would be a special moment in NFL history.
There is no doubt that the two of them would give everything they have as they tried to will their team to a win, each hoping to secure the ultimate bragging rights over the other, with Peyton having the added motivation of revenge for the Broncos loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XXI.
With the Manning vs Manning Super Bowl, we end our list. While this list consists of 10 games we think the fans would be sure to love seeing, there are countless other possibilities. The omission of the Pittsburgh Steelers for example. They have been known to turn it on in the post season in the past, but with the injuries that have ravaged their offense this season, they were left out as highly unlikely to make it to the final game. If you feel differently, please leave your comments below.