With every NFL season comes the prognostication of who will win each division and then who will win the Super Bowl. Well we’re not going to reveal that just yet but we are certain of several things. One, is our crystal ball is a little hazy but it usually works. It uses D Cell batteries and Duracell usua…..oops ,excuse me. This happens whenever I write the article myself while having tequila…yet I digress
Our choices to make this year’s NFC Championship race are as follows:
1. Green Bay Packers – NFC North Champs w/ homefield advantage throughout playoffs.
2. Atlanta Falcons – NFC South Champs w/ second seed in the playoffs. If the Packers stumble in the divisional round, Falcons would host the NFC Championship Game.
3. Philadelphia Eagles -NFC East Champs. Will participate in the wildcard round and can only host the NFC Championship Game if #3 seed and lower meet. Will host the 6th seed wildcard weekend.
4. St. Louis Rams – NFC West Champs. Will participate in the wildcard round and can only host the NFC Championship Game if #4 seed and lower meet. Will host the 5th seed wildcard weekend.
5. Detroit Lions – The top record of non divisional winners and will face the 4th seeded team on the road during Wildcard weekend. Could only host the NFC Championship Game if #5 and #6 teams were to meet. (Has never happened)
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The second best record of a non division winner and will face the 3rd seed during Wildcard weekend on the road. Cannot host any playoff game no matter what.
Now that the lesser teams are vanquished, how would the playoffs line up. Try the St. Louis Rams hosting the Detroit Lions during wildcard weekend. This would be a game to determine who would have the upper hand between two teams that would figure prominently in the Super Bowl chase in the upcoming years. In a game like that we would have to take the team with the most playmakers and that would be the Lions moving on. In the other wildcard matchup, Tampa would face Philadelphia in a matchup to mimic those from the 2000 -2003 where a physical battle would be determined by mistake proof football. The big question would be “Can Philadelphia stand up to the battle-hardened Buccaneers??” We say no…just like in 2010 and most of Michael Vick’s career he would be recovering from a late season injury and wouldn’t be 100%. This game would be a 50/50 toss up and would tilt in the upstarts favor if the game stayed tight. In a game like this, the Eagles would have to get on top of the Bucs, 14- 0 or 20-3, and get them out of their gameplan early. Being a finesse team would play against the Eagles and they’d go down in wildcard weekend in the second upset of the playoffs.
On to the divisional round where the big boys would then kick things into high gear. First the Buccaneers would take on the Atlanta Falcons for the third time in the season and would play them to a stalemate. However being that the Bucs were in their first foray late in the playoffs you’d have to figure the Falcons would force an additional turnover that would send Tampa to defeat. The Falcons would then make the pilgrimage to the NFC Championship game for the second time in their history.
There they would take on the Green Bay Packers who would best a Lion team who was in the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. The Lions would be arriving on the scene a year too early for their best effort and would lose to the Packers setting up the NFC Championship Game. Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers.
In a rematch of the previous year’s divisional playoff game won by the Packers 48-21, this would be a little closer based upon the cold weather. Yes, we’re saying that being in Lambeau Field would benefit the Falcon defense. The year before, the Falcons were carved up in a controlled environment at home. In the arctic climes of Lambeau, the playing style would bring the teams closer together in terms of score. Yet the Packers would prevail 26-17 to make it to their second straight Super Bowl with the George S. Halas Trophy presented by former Packer legend Jerry Kramer. Hopefully Kramer would be there to deliver the trophy on the backdrop that he would be a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Packer faithful would then descend on Indianapolis in search of their 14th championship. Would they get it?? Sorry, you’ll have to stay tuned for that. As for this look into the crystal ball… Green Bay would represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLVI… So who would they play??
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