San Francisco. Seattle. New England. Denver. Basically, the four best NFL teams all season are the last four standing. The future star QBs and the aging star QBs. Two of the best defenses vs. two of the best offenses. How predictable was this season? If you look at our preseason NFL predictions, everyone had one of these four teams in the Super Bowl. Your picks in the comments:
Seattle 19, San Francisco 20. I had Seattle winning the Super Bowl before the season began, and I’ve picked against San Francisco in both rounds so far (0-2). Hitner will be the hero with an interception and a fumble recovery.
Denver 38, New England 34. On paper the Broncos have the significantly better offense and New England is playing without three of its three best defenders (Wilfork, Spikes, Mayo). How will this even be close? Brady and Belichick? Well, Blount/Ridley/Vereen. I put no stock in the 34-31 result from November.
San Francisco 23, Seattle 16. Free Mighty Wings for everybody!
New England 31, Denver 24. I want the Patriots to lose as much as the next guy, but (sigh) it’s not going to happen. Too many past heartbreaks have made it impossible for me to think Peyton Manning is going to stop Bill Belichick reaching another Super Bowl. Has anyone made the LeGarrette Blount/Antowain Smith comparison yet? I’m going to preemptively weep in the car listening to Outlaw Country.
Seattle 24, San Francisco 20. For the sake of avoiding two weeks of stories centered on how loud and enthusiastic Seahawk fans are, I pray I’m wrong.
Denver 38, New England 28. Too many people have fallen back in love with the “can’t count out Brady and Belichick in the playoffs” line of thinking. And that’s fine, but whenever this happens, I’m inclined to assume this means the Patriots will lose and it won’t be all that close. My only fear is that Peyton Manning wants this one so damn badly he’ll end up forcing an awful throw at an even worse time, and everyone outside of Boston will be screwed.
Seattle 24, San Francisco 17. These two teams don’t like each other, which means they’ll both be trying hard to win the game. Key! Expect the Seahawks’ trust in Russell Wilson to be rewarded and a terse postgame handshake.
Denver 34, New England 17. Everything that can go wrong for Tom Brady and the Patriots goes wrong. Buoyed by the big win, Peyton Manning tries a microbrew.
Seattle 23, San Francisco 20. San Francisco now has Michael Crabtree. Seattle now has Percy Harvin for a play or two. It’s the defenses, though, that have these teams here, and Seattle has one of the best passing defenses in a long time, because they are consistently strong at all levels and have great corners to go with Earl Thomas. I don’t see any reason to go against the Seahawks, though the winner of this game, whoever it is, is my favorite in the Super Bowl.
New England 31, Denver 27. My 10 year old tells me that Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning because ESPN picked him in the “win one game” category. This reminds me that I need to (a) put a parental block regarding Sportscenter, and (b) begin my lesson on circular logic. In any event, Denver has had a much better passing offense, while New England has transformed at various times from a bad offense that one with defense, to a pretty good offense when Rob Gronkowski temporarily returned, while the defense coped with key injuries, to now, a run-oriented defensive team that gets timely plays from the passing game. I fear that we may be in for another Belichick masterpiece, topped when Tom Brady fumbles, the ball is kicked down the field but not called, and Julian Edelman picks it up and scores.
San Francisco 23, Seattle 17. Jim Harbaugh returns to the Super Bowl, splurges on a neat pair of regular fit J. Crew chinos.
New England 38, Denver 35. Peyton Manning switches from “Omaha” to “Lincoln.” Media cycle gets a week’s worth of material.
Seattle 17, San Francisco 13. The betting public appears to be backing San Francisco, and that’s never the side of things you wanna be on.
Denver 31, New England 24. NARRATIVE SWERVE. Manning plays brilliantly, Brady throws interception on game’s final drive (and yells at his receiver for it) and none of us have any idea what to do with ourselves.
Seattle 27, San Francisco 24. Battle of the Young Black Quarterbacks. Expect lots of athletic play in this game! And no one else to have any affect on the game whatsoever! Quarterbacks!
Denver 24, New England 20. Battle of the Old White Quarterbacks. Despite the fact that I went 0-4 in Wild Card picks, I did get 3 of the final 4 teams! Including predicting this AFC Championship match up between these legendary gun-slingers. Heck, I even picked the Broncos to make the Super Bowl in the preseason. So, that’s good, right? All chalk? Broncos win this game and then the Super Bowl because whatever I don’t pick often happens.
Seattle 27, San Francisco 21. Seattle at home. Young quarterbacks. Marshawn Lynch. Earthquakes. /end
Denver 34, New England 27. Peyton Manning’s postseason career. Tom Brady has done more with less. Brady will continue to search for a high five.