Super Bowl Picks 2.0

Well after a very eventful week 14 I’ve decided to revise my Super Bowl/playoff picks now that some more clarity has begun to emerge. So without further ado, here is how I see things going down.

AFC Divisional Winners:

East – Patriots

North – Steelers

South – Jaguars

West – Chargers

Wild Card – Jets, Ravens

NFC:

East – Eagles

North – Bears

South – Falcons

West – Rams

Wild Card – Saints, Giants

Championship Games:

AFC – Patriots vs Steelers

NFC – Falcons vs Eagles

Conference Champions

AFC – Patriots

NFC – Eagles

Super Bowl

Patriots vs Eagles

Winner – Patriots

Here’s my logic behind each team.

Patriots – They’re starting to dominate and haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. Unlike the 2007 season where teams started to figure them out, this year they’ve continually adjusted and have become more dangerous as the season has progressed. While the defense is young, it has grown up considerably over the year. As long as they continue to be coached by Bill Belichick I don’t see this team going any where but the Super Bowl. Oh and they’ve got a guy passing the football who’s playing pretty well. Maybe you’e heard of him, Tom Brady.

Steelers – There are few teams that have a defense on par with the Steelers. They just dominate in almost every aspect of the game and continue to confuse other teams. Troy Polamalu is one of the best safeties in the game and as long as he stays healthy, this defense will continue to assert it’s will against other teams. The offense is just good enough to win, but the O-line needs to keep Big Ben upright otherwise they’re going to have a new guy calling the plays. That is not a situation the Steelers want to be in going into the playoffs.

Jaguars – I can’t say that I saw this one coming, but I have a strong feeling they win the AFC South. Indy just can’t seem to put it all together at once and I think Peyton again will struggle this game. Where MJD goes, the Jaguars go and right now it looks like that is the playoffs. Garrard is throwing well and it appears they may just have what it takes to win. The question is if Jack Del Rio can get his team to step up in a big game against Indy this week. One win and they’ve all but sealed it.

Chargers – It is December and no team ever plays as well in the back half as the Chargers. Phillip Rivers is posting MVP type numbers and the receiving corp is starting to get healthy again. Norv will get his team to the playoffs and the Chiefs without Cassel or even an injured Cassel don’t scare me. The Chargers take the division but as always fizzle in the playoffs.

Jets – I told you so when I said that Rex’s general lack of discipline would come back to haunt this team and it has. Penalties and late game wins will only get you so far. They’ve won, just barely, against some mediocre teams which pushes me to say that they’ll make the playoffs but I don’t see them going to the championship game. The offense is having difficulty piecing it all together and the overall team discipline and interaction does not give loads of confidence.

Ravens – This team truly is a wildcard. They have the offense and defense to win the championship but right now lack the killer instinct needed to win it all (see Steelers and Texans games). If they put it all together and can start to put teams away late in the game, then they are a serious contender, however it is a big task for them to win out in the playoffs, especially since they’ll be playing on the road.

Eagles – They very well may be the best team in the NFC and continue to win games in a solid fashion. LeSean McCoy has become a closer for the team and Mike Vick has become seemingly unstoppable. While the defense is not inspiring huge amounts of confidence, Andy “The Walrus” Reid is great at getting his team to the NFC Championship game. And if you get Vick, in the Georgia Dome late in the season, good night. Eagles win it and go to the Super Bowl.

Bears – Even with the trouncing that New England gave them, the Bears still look to win the NFC North. Green Bay is going to have a hard time catching them after losing to Detroit and they are playing well enough to be a solid playoff team. They won’t go far, but after failing to do anything the last few seasons, just reaching the playoffs is a win.

Falcons – The Falcons have been on a roll and continue to roll. The offense is potent and the defense is solid. As long as they don’t play in Pennsylvania (the only state they’ve lost in) they win the NFC South and home field advantage through the playoffs. Unfortunately the storybook year of Mike Vick meets them in Atlanta, where they lose to the Eagles in the NFC Championship game, which is tough to say given Matt Ryan’s home record.

Rams – From last to first in the weakest division in football. They’ll get in, host a game and then be done. Great come back, however it drops them in the draft so don’t expect to see this again next year. They’re improving but still have a ways to go before they’re a legitimate contender again.

Saints – The defending champs are making a solid run right now and can do some damage in the playoffs. However the drop off from last year is apparent and playing outside the Super Dome will make their playoff road a difficult one. While they still must be considered a potential contender, they just aren’t putting enough together to say they’re going the distance.

Giants – Their running game is just that, giant. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have been running wild the last few weeks, however the passing game has lost its luster and they aren’t on the same torrid run they were having back in 2007. They have potential but won’t make it much further than the wild card round, if at all.

Honorable Mentions

Packers – With the loss to Detroit their playoff hopes are slim especially heading into New England this week. Rogers out with a concussion (2nd of the year) makes it difficult to see him playing. Matt Flynn doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence this week and with two consecutive losses their playoff chances are getting dimmer by the week.

Colts – If Peyton hadn’t been set on throwing more passes to the other team for a few weeks they’d win the AFC South. However, all the injuries and personal carousel has taken it’s toll on the team and I don’t see them making it in. However their showdown with Jacksonville gives them a solid shot at taking the division.

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