Seventeen weeks into the NFL season, and I still don’t see a sure thing in the top twelve teams. Sure, the Giants won it last year and should be favorites, but they have not looked like a champion in the past few weeks.
Then you have your sporadic squads-the teams no one saw coming. Teams like the Dolphins, Chargers, and possibly even the Cardinals could all continue their story-book seasons deep into January.
And building all the way up to the Super Bow will be a Favre-count, a coaching carousel, and questions upon questions for us to answer, ultimately, until we see a champion hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
So, with that said, here’s my championship match-ups, as well as the Super Bowl winner for this year:
I like the Colts to meet up with the Steelers, with the Colts eeking one out in Pittsburgh. The Colts have proved to me with nine consecutive wins that they’re the team to beat in the AFC. You can talk all you want about sloppy games or other teams’ better balance, but I’m not betting against Peyton Manning.
As for the NFC, I have to stick with my pre-season pick of the Eagles to represent the NFC. I see them topping the Panthers in the championship game. And yes, I realize that means the Giants lose in the first round.
With all that said, the Colts will continue their run all the way to the trophy. If your team isn’t in the playoff picture, read on to see where they rank for these season-ending NFL power rankings.
|1 (1)||13-3||Chris Johnson got snubbed on the Rookie of the Year ballot, and now he’s got more to prove. Watch out, AFC.|
|2 (3)||12-4||Make that nine straight wins. The hottest team in football meets the most ironic team in football. I’ll take the one that has Peyton Manning.|
|3 (2)||12-4||Is it just more, or have people kind of forgotten about the Giants a little bit?|
|4 (4)||12-4||They got Willie Parker ready to go with a solid game against the Browns. With a week to rest, they begin their quest.|
|5 (5)||12-4||Is there another team the Giants fear facing more?|
|6 (7)||11-5||Two good stories clash this week. Who prevails-the rookie or the comeback kid?|
|7 (8)||11-5||As good as Pennington has been, do you really like his chances against the Ravens?|
|8 (9)||11-5||The season has already eclipsed “magical” state. A win in the playoffs would make it just heavenly.|
|9 (11)||9-6-1||This was my Super Bowl pick early in the season, and I’m standing by them.|
|10 (14)||10-6||They’ve got no easy route to the Super Bowl, but having the best running back in the league doesn’t hurt.|
|11 (6)||11-5||It’s always sad to see an 11-5 team miss the playoffs, while an 8-8 Chargers squad gets a home game. Unbelievable.|
|12 (17)||8-8||Talk about your Cinderella. This team is beyond dangerous.|
|13 (19)||9-7||After everything that has happened, how much do you like Kurt Warner in the desert over the rookie, Matt Ryan? Actually, quite a lot.|
|14 (10)||9-7||Hey, Dallas fans, still think Tony Romo is past his late-season woes?|
|15 (12)||9-7||A week after almost throwing away division hopes against Green Bay, they couldn’t get past Houston. Just the mark of a growing team.|
|16 (13)||9-7||Whether you blame Favre and his arm, Eric Mangini, or the clearly dysfunctional team chemistry, this entire team is a mess. Righting the ship, not pointing fingers, is what this team should be worried about.|
|17 (15)||9-7||Did their age finally begin to show, or was this team over rated to begin with?|
|18 (16)||8-8||You started 8-5 and missed the playoffs. Hey, Shanahan, are you really that surprised?|
|19 (18)||8-8||Will next year be their year to sneak in the playoffs? It’s a real possibility.|
|20 (23)||7-9||My hat goes off to Mike Singletary for coming in and making his players play his brand of football.|
|21 (20)||8-8||This is easily the most inconsistent team this season.|
|22 (21)||8-8||Bringing Jim Zorn back was a so-so call. Zorn backing Jason Campbell already for next season-a bad call.|
|23 (22)||7-9||The zero points put up against New England didn’t show the fight this team had in the finale.|
|24 (25)||6-10||Is that close win over the Lions supposed to be momentum for next season? Geez.|
|25 (24)||5-11||If they can completely revamp that offensive line, a return to the elite could be in order.|
|26 (27)||4-11-1||With a healthy Carson Palmer, this team probably could have won one or two more games. Boy, they missed him.
|27 (26)||4-12||So, where do they go from here?|
|28 (28)||5-11||Can Al Davis do the fans of Oakland a solid and finally select a good head coach?|
|29 (29)||4-12||Crennel is out, and Cowher wants nothing to do with them. Cleveland is officially a mess.|
|30 (30)||2-14||It was a dismal season, that’s for sure. But you can’t knock their effort. Tyler Thigpen has the makings of something special.|
|31 (31)||2-14||I know they won two games, but in a lot of ways, this team was worse than the Lions.|
|32 (32)||0-16||Aside from Calvin Johnson and maybe Kevin Smith, is this not the saddest collection of talent you have ever seen?|