Many predicted, in September 2013, that these four specific teams would make it this far, however the teams to make it to the Super Bowl is still up in the air.
The only thing we can guarantee right now is that it’s two young quarterbacks, two veteran quarterbacks. Either way, it will be a young versus old in the Super Bowl
Two top defenses to battle it out in the NFC; two top offenses with two legendary quarterbacks in the AFC. Not a bad way to come off the 2012 Haurbaugh Brothers Super Bowl.
Seattle Seahawks, known for their monster defense with aggressive corners, like Richard Sherman, will be going up against an offense that is somewhat similar to their own: athletic receivers, strong running game & a quarterback who cannot only run but throw as well. Same goes for the San Francisco 49ers, going up against a defense that is similar to their own, adding one of the best current linebackers Aldon Smith. But, can we judge these teams off of their last games?
Seahawks, at home are unstoppable except for the Arizona Cardinals loss this season, went up against New Orleans Saints, who did not have their starting running back Pierre Thomas. Drew Brees, known to be an indoor quarterback and likes his hand naked, ended up playing outside in Seattle’s rainy weather with gloves on, a factor in his throw. However, we cannot take credit away from the Seahawk defense making tight end Jimmy Graham nonexistent, Graham who averages 75 yards a game only had 1 catch for 8 yards.
49ers played away against a new face in the playoffs, the Carolina Panthers. With that being said, the inexperience was shown with the play calls and time management. Most of quarterback Cam Newton’s passes were thrown under pressure as the offensive line could not stop the force of the 49ers, causing turnovers, bad choices and putting DeAngelo Wiliams under 15 rushing yards. Panthers defense was effected as they had to put in their backups in due to injuries, a defense that was one of the top defenses this season. Wide receiver, Steve Smith, was still hurt from previous injuries as he was not a factor this game like he was all season.
Both the Saints and Panthers had their own problems that made them lose, so can we judge the Niners & Seahawks overall from those two games?
Seahawks & the Niners did meet this season, Niners winning by a very small margin, 19 to 17 at their own home stadium. Can we really say who will win this game?
Denver Broncos had the same scenario as the 49ers game with the opponent having injuries on defense during the game. The difference is that the Broncos only won by one possession after a Chargers touchdown & then a brilliant onside kick in the 4th, by Nick Novak, that gave the Chargers’ hope but Phillip Rivers and the offense did not succeed. Chargers had another chance to get the ball back, but the defense couldn’t stop the first down conversions by Peyton Manning.
The New England Patriots against the Indianapolis Colts was the only blowout game this weekend. The Patriots fans more than likely thanked Andrew Luck for the four interceptions he threw that game, most of the interceptions coming off of a bad decision by the sophomore quarterback. Luck only had 9 interceptions all 2013 regular season. It wasn’t the typical Patriots game with Tom Brady throwing over 300 yards; it was all about LaGarrette Blount, rushing for 166 yards and scoring 4 touchdowns.
The Broncos & Patriots have met this season, Broncos losing that game 31-34, after a 24-0 lead at half. After this loss, will the Broncos seek their revenge?
We did see this last season between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. Vikings winning against the Packers to get to the playoffs in Week 17, 37 to 34. The following week in the playoffs, the Vikings had to play against the Packers at Lombok field, losing 24 – 10.
Will the Patriots be able to beat the Broncos again, but in the playoffs? Can Tom Brady defeat his rival again in the AFC Championship but on a different team? The only time Peyton Manning did beat Brady in the AFC Championship, he went on to win the Super Bowl.
The outcome of this upcoming Division Championship weekend are going to be the teams that truly want the Super Bowl as the two NFC teams are identical as much as the AFC teams. Based off that, how can we say one team is better than the other?
Why do I say the NFC Defensive Championship? Last meeting between these two, the final was a low score, 19-17. Why do I say the AFC Offensive Championship? Last meeting between these two, the final was a high score, 34-31.
These four talented & skilled teams must battle it out: with each other, with the officiating and weather; all factors in any game on any given Sunday.