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Old 12-14-2006, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default And the Next Super Bowl Champion Will Be.....?

Before the start of the 2006 NFL season who did you
think would be playing in Super Bowl XLI?

Or a better question may be who do you think will win
it all? Who is the best of the best?

Did you think the Pittsburgh Steelers would repeat
as champions?

Did anyone guess the Cincinnati Bengals? They sure
were close to getting there last season.

Losing to Pittsburgh, 31-17 in Cincinnati.


That was the game where quarterback Carson Palmer went
down with a severe knee injury. And it happened on
their second series of plays early in the game. Now
that is some bad luck.

Things might have been different if he had played the
entire game. Unfortunately, we will never know.

Cincinnati is playing good ball right now, but they
sure looked flat a few weeks ago. They look like a
wild-card candidate to me.

In the last few weeks, they beat the Ravens and the
Saints. They have won their last four games.

So if they keep playing like they have been watch out!

They have two great receivers in Chad Johnson and T.J.

Johnson leads the NFL in receiving yards with 1,247.

Running back Rudi Johnson is running well. He has
1,054 yards rushing and has scored 10 touchdowns.

So again I say, watch out for this team. They can be
very dangerous.

Getting back to Pittsburgh for a moment what a
miserable season they have had.

They are 6-7 in the AFC North, trailing first place
Baltimore by four games.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just has not been the
same since his awful accident during the off-season.

Though he has surpassed his passing yardage of
2005(2,385) something just isn't right with this team.

Currently, he has 2,952 in passing yards with 15
touchdowns. But he has thrown 20 interceptions.

He only threw nine in 2005.

Running back Willie Parker has done an excellent job
as the full-time back this season.

He has rushed for 1,199 yards and 10 touchdowns this

Just this past week against the Cleveland Browns,
Parker set a franchise record by rushing for 223 yards
on 32 carries. Scoring one rushing touchdown.

Pittsburgh won the game 27-7.

Nevertheless, you can kiss Pittsburgh's chances of
repeating good-bye.

As for some other teams in the league, I'm sure some
of you picked the Indianapolis Colts before the
regular season started.

Isn't quarterback Peyton Manning of the Colts way
overdue to win the big one? I don't know about that.

So was Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

Indianapolis has definitely choked in the playoffs the
last couple of years.

But Manning is a very good quarterback. He has thrown for 3,628 yards so far this season and thrown 22 touchdowns.

Manning in his nine year NFL career has now passed for 36,817 yards and 266 touchdowns. And a career 93.7 quarterback effiiciency rating. WOW!

Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino finished his great career with 61,361 passing yards and 420 touchdowns. Both NFL records.

Manning has two great receivers in Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne that have helped make him great over the years.

Harrison just became the fourth player in NFL history to have 1,000 or more receptions.

He leads the team in receptions with 74.

Wayne has the most receiving yards with 1,129 and in touchdowns with eight.

Running back Joseph Addai has been a pleasant surprise as a rookie out of LSU. He has rushed for 867 yards and seven touchdowns.

But their defense needs some help and now. Didn't they know this last season? And the season before?

One bright spot for them this season has been the play of linebacker Cato June, who leads the team with 113 tackles. He ranks seventh in the NFL in tackles. Not bad!

As for some teams in the NFC, a lot of experts and
fans were picking the Carolina Panthers. With that great
defense of theirs.

Their defense ranked fourth in the NFL after the 2005
regular season. They currently rank 10th in the NFL.

Quarterback Jake Delhomme and wide receiver Steve
Smith made for a dangerous combination in 2005.

Boy what a disappointment they have been so far this

Currently, they are in third place in the NFC
South with a record of 6-7.

Did anyone pick the Seattle Seahawks to return to the
Super Bowl in 2007?

They lost to Pittsburgh, 21-10 at Ford Field in

But this season they are still in the hunt. They lead
the NFC West with a record of 8-5.

They've had some bad luck this year.

Dealing with injuries to two of their best offensive
players on the team.

Plus some injuries to their offensive line.

They lost sensational running back Shaun Alexander for
several games due to a broke foot and quarterback Matt
Hasselbeck with a sprained knee.

They both returned a couple of weeks ago.

Alexander had a great game against the Green Bay
Packers a week or so after returning to the lineup.
Rushing for 201 yards, in a 34-24 win over the

But just this past week they lost a game they should
have won. Losing to the Arizona Cardinals, 27-21 in

As for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys
you can never count them out, along with the Chicago

Unfortunately, for the Eagles they lost quarterback
Donovan McNabb earlier this year to an injury.

That reduced their chances big time of even making it
back to the playoffs, much less winning their

Now the Bears are having a great season, leading the
NFC North with a record of 11-2.

I'll talk more about them later in the article.

I might be wrong, but I don't think anyone picked the
surprising New Orleans Saints to go anywhere but home
after the regular season.

In 2005 they went 3-13 under former head coach Jim

This season they have a new head coach named Sean
Payton and he has them leading the NFC South with a
9-4 record. Wow!

Just this past week they destroyed the NFC East
division leading Dallas Cowboys, 42-17 in Dallas.

That deserves another wow!

So by no means do you count this team out of anything.

So after 13 games and three more to go in the regular
season who do you think the favorite is to go to the
Super Bowl?

Right now I have no doubt that the AFC West San Diego
Chargers are the best team in all of football.

Head coach Marty Schottenheimer has done an excellent job with this team.

You know Schottenheimer's playoff woes, but this could be his year.

Right now they lead their division with a record of 11-2.

What a phenomenal year they are having. Looks like everything is coming together for them.

One big reason is the play of star running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

This past Sunday against the Denver Broncos, Tomlinson
broke the single season record for touchdowns by
scoring three times. That gave him 29 for the season.

Breaking Seattle's Shaun Alexander's record of 28,
which he set just last season.

Tomlinson is indeed a workhorse. He is ranked second
in the NFL in rushing with 1,427 yards.

Going over 2,000 yards rushing this season is not out
of his reach.

The Chargers possess many other weapons on their team.

Like quarterback Philip Rivers who replaced Drew
which went to the Saints during the off-season.

Rivers is having a fine year. So far he has thrown for
2,879 yards and tossed 18 touchdowns.

He ranks fifth in the NFL in quarterback efficiency
with a rating of 96.3.

San Diego also has another great weapon on offense. He
is tight end Antonio Gates. Gates has caught 64
passes for 798 yards and eight touchdowns so far this

He's a big target at 6-4 260 pounds. Gates is a four
year veteran out of Kent State. You don't find many
great football players out of Kent State. But the
Chargers sure found one.

They also have a pretty good defense. They are ranked
seventh in the NFL, allowing 294.3 yards per game.

The defense is led by linebacker Donnie Edwards who
ranks fourth in the NFL in tackles with 118.

They also have another big man on defense named Shawne
Merriman. He is tied for first in sacks in the NFL
with 12.5.

So if this team keeps playing like they have been I
see them going all the way.

I know most people still don't believe in the Saints,
but New Orleans and San Diego would provide a great

Both offenses are high-powered.

The Saints have the number one offense in the NFL,
averaging 410.6 yards per game.

New Orleans is led by quarterback Drew Brees who leads
the NFL in three categories.

He leads in passing yards with 4,033. In touchdown
passes with 25 and in quarterback efficiency with a
rating of 101.2.

Not only is he very talented, but he has a host
of good receivers to throw to.

You have to remember the Saints gambled on signing
Brees. He was coming off shoulder surgery.

It appears his shoulder was never injured.

Talking about the great receivers he has to throw to,
one is rookie wide receiver Marques Colston out of
Hofstra. Colston was a seventh-round pick in the NFL

The Saints have got their money's worth out of him so

He leads the team in receiving yards with 917.

You must remember Colston missed two games due to an
ankle injury. So he would probably have well over
1,000 yards if he had played in those games.

I like him as Rookie of the Year.

They also have several other good receivers like Joe
Horn, Devry Henderson and Terrance Copper.

Horn has missed a few games due to a groin injury. But
he shall return.

And don't forget about rookie Reggie Bush out of USC.

He hasn't done very well as a running back this
season, but as a short yard receiver he is deadly.

Bush leads the NFC in receptions with 79. Impressive.

He is also a threat to return a punt back for a
touchdown, which he did earlier this season.

Proven running back Deuce McAllister is back healthy.
Not 100%, but healthy enough.

He leads the team in rushing with 901 yards and eight

Having Bush on the team only motivated him to perform

The Saints defense is not great, but its good enough
to help them win on a regular basis.

They are led by linebackers Scott Shanle and Scott

Shanle leads the team in tackles with 87.

Defensive end Will Smith leads the team in sacks with

So don't take their defense for granted. Their a
pretty good bunch.

New Orleans is pretty solid all the way around.

They have a good return man in Michael Lewis who is
averaging 23.7 yards per kick return.

Kicker John Carney is one of the most accurate kickers
in the league. He has made 19 of 21 field goals so far
this season. Carney is 4 of 5 from 40 to 49 yards

Back to the AFC, there is one team you can never count
out and that is the New England Patriots. They lead
the AFC East with a record of 9-4.

They haven't been that impressive this season, but
quarterback Tom Brady and company have plenty of past
Super Bowl experience and championship rings to show
for it.

Brady has not had his best season. So far he has
passed for 2,946 yards and 20 touchdowns. He has
thrown 12 interceptions.

In 2005, he threw for 4,110 yards and 26 touchdowns.
He threw 14 interceptions that year.

The Patriots just lost this past weekend to the Miami
Dolphins, 21-0 in Miami. That hasn't happened in a few

New England just doesn't have a big time deep threat
for Brady to throw to.

Former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch defected and went
to the Seahawks earlier this season.

Running back Corey Dillon has struggled. Rushing for
only 654 yards so far this season, but he has scored
10 rushing touchdowns.

Rookie running back Lawrence Maroney out of Minnesota
has shown flashes of brillance, but has missed some
time due to a back injury. He has rushed for 624

So New England's ground game has not been very
productive this season. But they do rank a respectable
12th overall in the NFL in rushing.

Their passing offense ranks 13th.

I just don't think the Patriots are good enough to
return to the Super Bowl in 2007.

But if any underdog can make it they sure can.

So who is the best of the best in the NFC?

Many say the Chicago Bears.

Their defense is second to none.

Led by Pro-Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher. Urlacher
leads the team in tackles with 116.

Linebacker Lance Briggs is right behind him with 109.

Rookie defensive end Mark Anderson out of the
University of Alabama leads the club in sacks with 10.

Chicago ranks third overall in the NFL in defense,
allowing 280.7 yards per game.

The only problem with Chicago is their offense.

They rank 20th in the NFL, averaging 314.1 yards per

The offense is led by quarterback Rex Grossman. He has
come under a lot of criticism this season, due to a
lack of a passing attack.

But head coach Lovie Smith seems to be behind him for

Some are calling for Brian Griese to take over the
reins. I don't think that would work out either.

But the team is 11-2.

But can the Bears win or even get to the Super Bowl
with Grossman in charge?

It's just hard to say.

You've heard many times that a great defense can beat
a great offense. And vice versa!

Chicago does have one bright spot on offense and that
is running back Thomas Jones.

Jones has already rushed for 1,053 yards. He is
averaging 4.1 yards per carry.

The Bears do have two dangerous receivers in Mushin
Muhammad and Bernard Berrian, but getting the ball to
them has been a real problem this season.

So that is something coach Smith must work out before
this team gets to the playoffs.

They have already clinched their division.

If I had to pick who was going to the Super Bowl
today, I would have to choose San Diego to represent
the AFC and yes, New Orleans to represent the NFC.

That's going out on a limb!

Not really, this club is playing some great ball.

But if I had to choose someone else it would be the
Dallas Cowboys.

Bill Parcells has the talent and the experience in the
playoffs to make going to the Super Bowl a reality.

Quarterback Tony Romo has done an excellent job since
taking over for Drew Bledsoe.

Romo has completed 161 of 247 passes for 2,162 yards
and 14 touchdowns. He has thrown nine interceptions.

Dallas has two very good running backs in Marion
Barber III and Julius Jones.

Jones leads the team with 993 yards rushing, but
Barber leads with 11 rushing touchdowns. He also leads
with 5.1 yards per carry. Jones has 4.2 yards per

The Cowboys have the receivers to make things happen
downfield with Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn.

Owens has caused some controversy as usual this
but has done an excellent job in the field.

He leads all Dallas receivers with 72 receptions and
971 receiving yards. Also, he leads in touchdowns with

Tight end Jason Witten has done well this season with
49 receptions and 586 yards in receiving. He has
scored one touchdown.

In 2005 he had 66 receptions for the year. He scored
six touchdowns that season.

He's a big target and a good blocker at 6-5 265

Witten is a four year veteran in the NFL out of the
University of Tennessee.

Dallas usually has a good defense year in and year

They rank 11th overall in the NFL right now, allowing
307.8 yards per game.

Dallas had a big win in week 11 over the Colts,
beating them 21-14 in Indianapolis.

They also beat the New York Giants recently, 23-20 at
New York.

So they have been playing well on the road lately, but
are 2-3 playing against their own division.

So its really up in the air who will go to the Super
Bowl, much less who will win it.

As I've discussed, there are a few good teams in each
league that could win it all.

Maybe Chicago or Baltimore with their great defenses
or New Orleans or Indianapolis with their great

Or maybe some team that is in between. Like the
Jacksonville Jaguars or the New York Jets or the
Denver Broncos.

Don't count on it. These three teams lack something
special. Like a real good quarterback!

The Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants are not
out of the running, but their chances of going to the
Super Bowl are slim to none in my humble opinion.

They both have good quarterbacks in Michael Vick and
Eli Manning, but both teams have not played good
consistent football this season.

So good luck with whoever you pick.

May the best team win and usually they do.

See you at the game.
Keith "baseball nut" Thronson

Last edited by bama4256; 12-14-2006 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 12-14-2006, 03:50 PM   #2
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Before the season started I bet the Colts to win it all. With that run defense, there's no way now. Top pick has to be San Diego with their balance at this point, but Baltimore may be there with that stellar defense.

One things for sure IMO...the SB winner will be an AFC team.
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:04 PM   #3
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I picked the Steelers to do it again... Things got cloudy once Big Ben was hospitalized with the appendicitis.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:09 PM   #4
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Before the season started I picked Ravens vs. Giants. There is still a chance, so I am going to keep with my preseason pick and say Ravens over Giants.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:16 PM   #5
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Bengals over Saints WHO DEY V. WHO DAT!

Bengals this year's version of the Steelers, with a better offense.
Do yourself a favor, become your own savior.

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Old 12-14-2006, 07:20 PM   #6
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I'd love to see San Diego versus New Orleans, but it will probably be Dallas or Chicago versus San Diego.

But with the Bears offense it is hard for me to realize that.
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:23 AM   #7
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The Jaguars and the Giants could be sleepers because of the outstanding running game both teams have - and postseason offensive football tends to be a lot more conservative than its regular-season counterpart.

But first things first - they both have to make the playoffs, and neither one of them is an absolute lock to do that.
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:53 PM   #8
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Before the season began I thought the Colts would be the next champions. I thought they would probably face the Seattle Seahawks in the SuperBowl. As of right now, I think it looks good for the Chargers. If not the Chargers, surely an AFC team. The team from the NFC most likely will be the Bears.
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:03 PM   #9
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I'm going with the homer pick myself. It will be Bears vs Chargers in a classic match-up of a high powered offense against a tough defense.

The Bears have more doubters than believers but I'm cool with that. I'll take my chances against the Cowboys, Saints, or anyone ese who'd like to play in Chicago in January.
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:26 PM   #10
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if wrecks is rex, then the bears will win it. they're the best team in the NFL when rex isn't screwing things up.
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:10 AM   #11
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Before the season, I'd've sait Pittsburgh... and somebody. Seattle looked as likely as any.

Now? AFC's hard to read. You've got to like San Diego... yeah, this could be Marty's year. So long as he doesn't take back control of the offense (lol).

Steelers... only a miracle. On the other hand, last year they became the first team ever to make it to the Superbowl without playing a single home playoff game... so miracles could still occur. There's definitely something wrong there, though... don't think it's Roethlisberger: most of those INTs came the first couple of games after he returned—both times he did. But the whole package is just not clicking.

Bengals—still dangerous; if they can just remember what they were last year, they'd frighten everybody. That, plus find some defense. What's up with that, kemosabe?

Colts—the little team that couldn't. Still. It seems strange to be able to say "this may be Marty's year" and have it sound more plausible than "this may be Indy's year," doesn't it? But without a defense, they won't make it to the big one. And if the last two weeks are any indication, they won't make it out of the wild card round.

Rest of the AFC—stick a fork in them, they're done. Only the Ravens look like they could make any kind of a run, and I doubt they'd make it past the aforementioned teams... though, again, Baltimore's been surprising, and is getting steadily better. Jets? Nice Cinderella story... not enough to go all the way. Miami? Same deal.

As for the NFC: the Bears. End of story. They've got everything they need... except a hot QB, and even Rex Grossman was hot at the beginning of the year; if anyone can figure out what happened there, Chicago will be unbeatable. A better running game would help, and that's something they probably ought to address in the draft. But everything else is somewhere between good and dominant; I think they run the NFC.

The only other team in the NFC that really deserves mention is the Saints. Everybody's surprise story... could they upset the Bears in the playoffs? Well... yes. They could—but I doubt they will. Still, Chicago's going to be mighty happy having home field advantage if it comes down to those two teams.

The Seahawks could be a spoiler... but, as with the Steelers, it'd take a miracle: they'd have to magically rediscover last season's form, and I don't think they've got the time left to do it. The Eagles... are better than most people realize—themselves included, which is part of the problem. But don't believe for a minute that losing Donovan McNabb and replacing him with Jeff Garcia has hurt them in the slightest: in the short run, I think it's even improved them—they're playing with a fire they hadn't been earlier in the year. And Garcia's a very good QB, even if he isn't McNabb (and won't be the starting QB once McNabb does return). If there's a spoiler in the NFC, it's probably here.

Bears vs. Chargers in the Superbowl? That'd be my first pick.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:27 AM   #12
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San Fran is not a bad team, but I thought Seattle would tear them to pieces. Wrong again!:thumbdown:
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:45 AM   #13
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I think this year the Superrbowl will be the Saints vs Chargers. I think it will be a great game if it goes that route. Both teams are exciting and explosive. If it goes that route it should be one heck of a high scoring game thats for sure. After watching the Saints manhandle the Cowboys I think they could be a threat to the Chargers. But with LT the Chargers are all but unstoppable... its a great game in the making thats for sure. :cheers:
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:01 AM   #14
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I had originally felt the Panthers were going to go. They ended last season fairly well and started this season on a good note. Now they seem to be having the dreaded injuries that just wipe teams out. It was frightful when I saw my Giants struggling.

I now look to seeing the Chargers, most definetly. And hope they can win it. Would love for Rivers to get a ring in his starting season. Although it would be another slap in the face for Eli!

Not sure who they would play against yet. The Saints would be a good game. I would also like a matchup against the Bears.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:31 AM   #15
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Anthony I think the NY Giants are going nowhere in a hurry. I really expected them to be Super Bowl contenders before the season started.

What a disappointing year for them.
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