As we approach conference championship sunday, we have four potential Super Bowl match ups that can emerge from it. Let’s go over them, see the possible futures. You never know, I may just get it right one of these times.
San Francisco 49ers vs. the New England Patriots
The 49ers-Patriots Super Bowl is arguably the most intriguing possibility: two former dynasties, each vying for the opportunity to potentially kick off a second one. Considering that both teams have depth, are strong, and have shown a knack for making sound in-game adjustments, the game would be a chess match between the experienced head coach, Bill Belichick, and a younger, more energetic head coach, Jim Harbaugh, both of whom have a wide variety of weapons at their disposals.
Plot lines: Tom Brady was a Niners fan going up; Kaepernick representing a changing of the guard; Belichick vs. Harbaugh
I’d love to see this one: it would be an epic battle between two defenses which are great when they’re on, and can get gashed badly when they’re not; both offenses are pretty impressive too.
My line for the potential game: Patriots +1.5 (sorry Niners fans)
The New England Patriots vs. the Atlanta Falcons
The experienced up-tempo squad of the Patriots is drooling at the opportunity to bruise and gash the seemingly vulnerable defense of the Falcons right now. Although the Falcons are strong offensively, I feel that they would have to keep up with the New England offense, which is easier said than done. The Patriots would have to avoid major mistakes, though, which isn’t easy; although Belichick, Brady, and some of their guys have been there before, the carousal nature of the NFL means not every guy has, which can cause mistakes under the big lights.
Plot lines: Matt Ryan representing a changing of the guard; Mike Smith and Matt Ryan fulfilling the potential they’ve shown; Brady and Belichick reasserting themselves as the ultimate coach-QB combo
I feel like this game would be a slaughter; the Falcons nearly melted down this past weekend against a strong opponent, will have their hands full against the Niners this weekend, and after that the Patriots? Let’s put it this way: if they win the Super Bowl against the Patriots, they’ll have truly earned it.
My line for the potential match up: Patriots +5
Atlanta Falcons vs. the Baltimore Ravens
A battle of an offensive team versus a strong defensive team; a young team fighting to show that the changing of the guard is now, versus a veteran team fighting to send out its fearless leader on a white horse. Unfortunately, though, the other units are also there, and they’ll determine the outcome of the game. The Falcons will get between 14 and 18 points in the game, which means Joe Flacco will have to get more than that, and the Ravens offense can. The question is will they? They have shown a remarkable ability to fight, fight, and keep fighting, but will they keep fighting?
Plot lines: Ray Lewis’s retirement; Matt Ryan overcoming the pressure; youth vs. experience
In the end, I thought the Colts and Broncos had strong chances to derail Ray Lewis’s last ride; if the Patriots can’t do it, than the Falcons won’t.
My line for the potential game: Ravens +7
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Harbaugh Bowl! However, the brother story line aside, the game is above that. The Ravens showed last season they could contain the Niners offense under Alex Smith; can they contain it under Colin Kaepernick? Green Bay couldn’t, but Seattle could. I personally don’t think the Ravens can; the Niners are good at exhausting the opposing defense, and the Niners defense is not that bad either. The score will be close at the half, but the Niners will pull ahead in the third quarter; Flacco will lead a comeback that falls just short in the closing minutes, with the Niners winning the game on a kneel down by Kaepernick.
Plot lines: obviously, the Harbaugh brothers coaching against each other; Kaepernick’s rise; the 49ers defense earning its stripes; the Ravens taking their last ride with Ray Lewis at the helm
All in all, I think this has the best potential for a great game, and if this game comes to pass, I’m setting the over/under for shots of Jack Harbaugh at 25.
My line for the game: 49ers +6