Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ranking the Potential Super Bowl Matchups

Our NFL equivalent to the Final Four is set, and all of these teams look poised to make a run to the Super Bowl.  But what criteria makes for a great Super Bowl matchup?  The most obvious is a great story line, whether it's two brothers facing off in the biggest game of the world, or a rematch between teams who played only a few years ago in the Super Bowl.  Or would you rather see a high-flying offense matchup against the best defense in the league?  Here are our rankings of the most intriguing Super Bowl matchups.

4) New York Giants vs. Baltimore Ravens

A rematch of the 2001 Super Bowl, this would be a battle between two defenses playing very well right now.  I only rank this as the worst matchup because I think the Giants would come in and win this game by a few scores, just as the Ravens did in 2001.  Coughlin beating both Harbaugh brothers on his way to his second Super Bowl ring would be a solid story, but it's nothing compared to these next matchups.

3) San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots

Classic battle of offense vs. defense in this one.  Although the 49ers were able to outscore the number 1 offense in the league, New Orleans, they would not see similar success against the Patriots.  Tom Brady and company are too careful with the football, and the 49ers would not be able to win the turnover battle by enough to win this game.  Despite this, I think this would be a very entertaining game, and the Patriots are such a polarizing team that plenty of people will become die-hard fans of the other team for one game.

2) New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

18-1.  That sequence of numbers still resonates in all New England fans' minds, and because of it, they absolutely hate the Giants.  The Patriots would love to have a shot at revenge, after the Giants and David Tyree ruined what would've been the greatest season in NFL history.  On the other end of the spectrum, Giants fans have grown to hate Tom Brady and the Patriots, mostly because of "Spygate" and certain comments made before the 2008 Super Bowl.  The media would eat up this matchup, and I can guarantee you the guys over at ESPN are pulling for this one.  Having said that, there's another matchup that has even more intrigue than the rematch.

1) San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens

There is nothing more heated than a sibling rivalry.  Nobody likes losing to his own brother because once you lose, you never hear the end of it.  That victory counts as bragging rights for as long you want it to.  And you know, growing up in a football family, John and Jim Harbaugh were fierce competitors.  There would be nothing better than seeing them go head-to-head on the world's biggest sports stage to find out which sibling has the upper-hand.  And I can assure you, if Jim wins, John won't be able to show his face around the family for awhile.  The only thing worse than losing to a sibling is losing to your younger sibling.  Just ask the other writers for "11-on-11"--they would know a thing or two about that.

So there you have it.  Please comment/subscribe.

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