The Atlanta Falcons may be heading to the coveted number one seed placing in the NFC playoffs, but the smart money is going elsewhere as to who will represent the conference in this season’s Super Bowl.
For most of this season the Falcons have been at the top of the NFL in terms of actual record, indeed a 12-2 mark is not to be sniffed at, only one other team matches them. The Houston Texans over in the rival AFC. The unofficial power rankings which most media circles push out every week, never seem to have them down as number one though. Yes they have been at the top but a team that has the best record in football should surely be consistently the power team.
After this week’s huge shutout victory over the (surely to be soon dethroned) champion New York Giants, will elevate them back to the top of these lists. The win certainly deserves the highest praise. Somehow you feel that even though this was a landmark win, critics will see it as a game against a team that is currently streakier than the local coffee house bacon.
The reason I feel that they are being overlooked so often is that they aren’t a team that can be looked upon as genuine contenders. Sure they have players that can change games in a flash, and as I’ve said before, 12 wins at this or any stage of a season, isn’t a fluke.
When you see other genuine Super Bowl contenders tucked in just behind them, that is the real story as to why Atlanta is not being taken that seriously.
Some will say that last year the best team in the NFC didn’t make the Super Bowl, and that very same team is heading most people’s lists again this time around. San Francisco has a team once again ready to return to the big game. They have carried on from last season and play with an aggressive defense and now after a change of quarterback, look more assertive on offense. Every reason then that with a record of 10-3-1, they should be confident when going into any postseason matchup.
Something tells me though that the 49ers fans will have to wait at least another year to reach their goal. They have flaws, as every team does of course, and they will be exposed when the tournament begins in January.
The team that seems more playoff ready and geared up for winning it all, yes all, in my opinion are the Green Bay Packers. They have the majority of a team that has recently been there and done it. That experience is essential at this time of year. A team that suffered early adversity and controversy, remember the phantom touchdown that beat them in Seattle many moons ago, if those two meet again in a few weeks, the Pack will want nothing more than full revenge from that episode.
Gaining many key players back from injury at just the right time for the playoff push, will no doubt help their cause. The manner they went about their business this past weekend in manhandling the Bears en route to another North division title, shows they are ready for the type of football they will face when it really matters in the coming weeks.
Of course when it comes to one-and-done football, anything can happen, that’s why we love the game, but when the season is over and the lights go out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, don’t be surprised when the cheese heads are having the last laugh.930795