Monday, September 5, 2011

Destination: Super Bowl XLVI

The NFL 2011 Season is finally here!  The preseason is over.  Now every down counts.  Each inch is crucial.  It’s time to back up all of the trash talking.  All eyes are focused on Indianapolis, Indiana, the host of Super Bowl XLVI.  Who will get there?  Who will hoist up The Lombardi Trophy?

The AFC has their usual team leaders who will contend for the conference championship.  New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets will all make the playoffs again.  The Indianapolis Colts is not on this list because I think Colts QB, Peyton Manning’s neck injury will cause their offense to suffer.  I think that the Jets will make it back to the AFC Championship for the third year in a row and win it this time.  The offense will start slow.  QB, Mark Sanchez still has Santonio Holmes, but the other receivers are older and new to the team.  Once wide receivers Plaxico Burress (34 years old) and Derrick Mason (37 years old) get comfortable, their experience will help the offense.  The star unit is the defense.  The Jets returned 10 of their starters on defense.  These players know the defense and what needs to be done to take down Tom Brady (Patriots QB) and Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers QB).  Last year Jets cornerback, Darrelle Revis was only productive half of the season.  This year he prepared with his team during training camp and will start the season healthy.

The NFC is going to be really competitive.  The last two Super Bowl winners came from this conference.   The Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints were the champions in 2011 and 2010 respectively.  Both of these teams will compete for the NFC Championship, but I think that the Philadelphia Eagles will win the conference title.  The Eagles are good on both sides of the ball.  The offense is led by QB Michael Vick.  Everyone is concerned about the Eagles offensive line.  It is an issue because Vick needs to be protected to stay healthy, but I don’t think that it will stop him from having a great season.  On defense, the Eagles have the best secondary, not just in the conference, but the NFL.  Eagles cornerbacks, Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel will throw a wrench in every team’s passing game.

I picked teams with powerful defenses to go to the Super Bowl.  The Jets have continuity and the Eagles have talent and speed.   I am predicting the Eagles to win Super Bowl XLVI.  This isn’t because of the dream team chatter.  Here are three reasons why.
1.     Defense was a problem for the Eagles last year and they clearly solved it. 
2.     Michael Vick is not only back; he is focused.  After the first preseason game, he commented, "I went back and looked at film by myself in the offseason and a majority of the time last year Brent was open and I failed to throw to him because I was focused on DeSean and Jeremy."  
3.     The Eagles swooped in out of nowhere and signed Asomugha.  They have some other tricks up their sleeves.

The season kicks off this Thursday at 8:30 pm when the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints.  Some people think that this is a preview of the NFC Championship game.  I think we will see one of the teams that will face Philadelphia in that game.

Heels & Helmets

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