By December 23, 2014 Read More →

Patriots To Solidify “Team of Century” Claim At Super XLIX


Super Bowl XLIX could be historic.

The Arizona Cardinals could be the first team to reach a Super Bowl hosted in their own stadium. This year’s big game is scheduled for Feb. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. I’d be more confident in this scenario if the Cards weren’t down to their third-string quarterback.

Perhaps the Denver Broncos can claim a Super Bowl victory and send Peyton Manning galloping off into the sunset towards Canton. That might be a stretch as Manning has thrown eight interceptions in November and December compared to three in September and October.

Also in December, Manning was sick and injured. He even missed some snaps. Manning never misses snaps.

History could also be made by the Seattle Seahawks. The Hawks could be the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since the New England Patriots did it in 2004 and 2005. The NFL has never gone this long without a repeat titleholder and they might go even longer. Unless Seattle improves their 30th ranked pass offense (193 yards a game) they won’t even repeat as NFC Champs.

Of course, the real reason to make the ten hour drive from Modesto to Glendale, or the four and half hour flight, is to see the New England Patriots solidify their place as the team of the century with their fourth Super Bowl victory.

The Patriots have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and that’s bad news for the rest of the AFC. During the Tom Brady era, the Patriots are 12-3 at home during the postseason. So you can pretty much write it in ink that New England will be part of Super Sunday—their sixth Super Bowl appearance in 14 years.

The Patriots have one of the best offenses in the AFC, they’ve scored the most points in the NFL, and Tom Brady is playing like an MVP. On paper, their defense is middle of the pack, but if you watch them play, you know they can get to quarterback and stop the run. They’ve only allowed five rushing touchdowns all season.

Business Insider currently gives the Patriots a 26% chance to win the Super Bowl. The next closest team is the Seahawks at 19%. Las Vegas currently has the Pats as a 3-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl.

The most interesting prognosticator, or least interesting depending on your point of view, is Microsoft’s Bing. The search engine is predicting the New England Patriots to outlast the Green Bay Packers in the NFL’s ultimate contest.

Even if you dislike the Patriots, and shutter at the near certainty of the team reaching the Super Bowl, you can take comfort in one thing and that’s the game will be competitive.

There won’t be any 43-8 rout like we saw last year. The Patriots three Super Bowl triumphs (2002, 2004, and 2005) were each decided by three points. Their first loss to the Giants (2008) was also decided by three points. Their second defeat to the G-men (2012) was practically a blowout. The Pats were on the wrong end of a 21-17 score.

There’s another reason to bet the house on the Patriots becoming AFC champions. The 2008 Super Bowl, which the Patriots lost thanks in part to David Tyree’s amazing catch, came after they finished the regular season without a blemish, 16-0.

That heart-wrenching affair, at least for the Patriots and their fans, occurred at University of Phoenix Stadium. What better way to exercise the demons of finishing 18-1 then by returning to the scene of the crime and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

If the Patriots do reach the Super Bowl it will be their eighth trip tying them with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys for the most appearances in the history of the big game. A Super Bowl loss will give them five and moves them into a tie with the Denver Broncos for most all-time.

If the Patriots win it all it will be their fourth Super Bowl Championship—the same number as the Packers and Giants. If that does happen, the only teams with more will be the Cowboys, 49ers (each with five) and Steelers (with six).



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Bring on the rain, and a bottle of Wonky & Wry's Honey Braggot Ale. Loves to roast marshmallows over a fire. Enjoys the mix of cigars and whiskey.