Well you have heard our selections for both conference champions of the NFL. The New York Jets representing the AFC v the defending champion Green Bay Packers to represent the NFC. Each will descend on Indianapolis with a fervor. The all time winningest team in NFL history in terms of championships at 13 would be looking for their 14th. Most Packer fans bristle when they hear about Sixburgh or Dallas and San Francisco boasting of 5 Super Bowl championships when in reality they only have a third of Green Bay’s titles. A modern dynasty would cement that notion among modern day fans, and rightfully put the Packers at the fore when championship teams are discussed.
However standing across from them at that coin toss would be a franchise that hadn’t played for it all in 42 years in the New York Jets. There in Indianapolis, the Jets want to liberate themselves from the cloud that seemed to descend upon this franchise since that famous Super Bowl III upset of the Baltimore Colts. Ironically, they would look to win their second Super Bowl in the Colt’s regular season home. Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and the will win the AFC’s 10th Super Bowl in 15 years.
The main reason the Jets would win a Super Bowl XLVI matchup with Green Bay is the fact that they have excellent corners. Darelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie would be able to shut down either Greg Jennings or Jordy Nelson. They have a third corner in Kyle Wilson (from Boise St) that gives them as formidable a threesome at cornerback than any team in the league. Lets face facts, the Packers are a passing team and this stellar coverage would allow Ryan to find a few ways to get to Aaron Rodgers. What was the Achille’s Heal of the Steeler defense in Super Bowl XLV, is the strength of the Jets defense in Super Bowl XVLI. Now Ryan can juggle his other eight defenders with exotic blitzes and combo coverages.
As for the ground game, each team could run the ball yet the Jets would be committed to it more. LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene would run the ball 30 times where Packers Coach Mike McCarthy has a penchant for putting it all in Rodgers hands. Mark Sanchez has grown as a quarterback yet Rex wouldn’t put too much pressure on him. They would be fairly conservative and playing keep away to keep their defense rested. One weapon that would be in the Jets favor is the moxie and motivation of Plaxico Burress, who would duplicate Ray Lewis’ situation going from incarceration to Super Bowl champ the following season. Matter of fact the last time the Packer defense saw Burress, he lit up CB Al Harris for 11 rec. 154 yards in the 2007 NFC Championship Game in Green Bay. Pretty sure he’d be okay on a neutral field. He did catch the winning touchdown in the upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, so he wouldn’t shrink at the magnitude of the event. We know Al Harris is gone but Plaxico is still 6’5 to Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, who each stand 5’11. Across from this is WR Santonio Holmes, Super Bowl XLIII’s Most Valuable Player, so you can see how the Packers might have to juggle Charles Woodson, Shields, and Williams.
As quarterbacks go, Mark Sanchez doesn’t have to outplay Aaron Rodgers, he just needs to be proficient. Rely on his running game and take calculated risks when the time is right. He does have the most road playoff wins in history at 4, so he should be at home in these trappings. Rodgers is the leader of the new quartrbacks that will dominate the NFL for the next 10 years. Aaron means everything to the Packers yet their offensive line has a penchant for his getting hit and sacked. Last year in the Super Bowl they dominated the Steelers pass rush with the quick rhythm passing game that Rodgers is the best at. The Packers would counter with waggles, and half rollouts in a way to keep the Jets defense off balance and blitzing to a static passing spot on the Lucas Oil turf.
To repeat as champion, Clay Matthews, BJ Raji, and Eric Walden have to collapse Sanchez’ pass pocket. They should be able to do this to keep the game close. Green Bay can stop the run and rush the passer with the best teams in football. The Jets would try to keep them to a short field with their possessions and try to force turnovers which Aaron Rodgers doesn’t do. This would be a struggle that would come down to the wire. The Jets would play the tortoise to Green Bay’s hare and win a close tough game…24-16. At long last the New York Jets would be liberated from the ghost of Joe Namath and hoist their second Super Bowl trophy. Mark Sanchez would then get his due as a Super Bowl winning quarterback. Green Bay would have to wait until the following year to see if they can establish a dynasty.
So there you have it…predictions for every NFL team. Their records, division placement, playoff participation, and now conference and Super Bowl champions. It’s all on record and we’ll see how right we are. See you in 6 months.