Eddie and Mike brought you there AFC Super Bowl Representatives and their NFC Super Bowl Representatives . And now comes the time for them to pick their Super Bowl champion of the teams they selected. Without further ado, here are Eddie and Mike’s prediction for who will be holding the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season. First up is Mike with his prediction.
With the Broncos and the 49ers surviving both their conference title games, both teams are hungry to win this game. The 49ers are trying to capitalize on their fantastic run of success over the last few years while the Broncos are trying to get that bad taste out of their mouths from the last Super Bowl they were in. Both teams will be clicking on all cylinders, but it will be the little things that win each team the game.
Peyton Manning can dissect any defense when given time. And with the weapons he has at his disposal, the surely can make that happen with ease. The 49ers revamped secondary will be better than they were the previous season, but this will be there biggest challenge by far. Manning, Demayrius Thomas and crew will be lathered up and ready to roll. And if running back Monte Ball brings it at the running back position, this offense could be extremely flammable. But the good thing about the 49ers is they are good against the run. Expect them to give up a few running plays to Ball and the Broncos, but that part of the game will more than likely be a moot point for them. So that leaves Peyton versus the 49ers’ secondary. But the trenches will be the key as to what all Peyton does in the passing game. If the Broncos are able to keep the 49ers pass rush in check, then Peyton will have a field day. If the 49ers are able to create havoc rushing the passer, then Peyton will get happy feet and we all know no quarterback is as accurate with happy feet in the pocket.
As far as the Niners offense versus the Broncos defense, this will definitely be an intriguing battle. Colin Kaepernick will be a problem for the Broncos defensively. His ability to scramble and make plays outside the pocket will cause them some issues, even with Demarcus Ware and Von Miller. The best thing for them to do would be to mush rush Colin. If they are able to keep him in front of them and in the pocket, then Colin will have to excel in the pocket, where he is still growing as a quarterback. The Broncos will also have a challenge in the running game as the 49ers have been arguably the best running team in the NFL the past few seasons. Ultimately, look for the Broncos to try and force the Niners to throw the football against them. And with cornerback Aqib Talib and safety TJ Ward, passing will not be an easy task for the Niners. But the great thing for the Niners is their depth at the wide receiver position. Crabtree will be fully healthy, Boldin is back, and the Niners also have veteran Stevie Johnson and youngster Quinton Patton. That’s four good targets not even including tight end Vernon Davis. The “strength in numbers” scenario could be something that will be hard for the Broncos to defense. After all, Talib can only take one receiver. It should be interesting to see what scenario the Broncos come up with to cover all these guys and to curtail Colin Kaepernick.
In the end, the 49ers find a way to make Peyton Manning uncomfortable in the pocket. You’re not going to confuse Peyton, but the pressure will be something that can cause him some issues. And as the game goes on, the pressure will eventually cause Peyton to make that one mistake he always makes in the big game. And when he does, the 49ers will capitalize on that. Offensively, the Niners will use the running game to set up the big plays in the passing game from any one of their plethora of wide receivers. And as in many other big games, expect Colin Kaepernick to play big-time football. But this time he does not make the crucial mistake that costs them the game. For as many times as the 49ers have been knocking on the doorstep of a championship, this will be the year they take that next step and bring the Lombardi back to Levi’s Stadium.
Mike is riding with the 49ers to claim the championship. Let’s see who Eddie has winning it all based upon his AFC and NFC picks he previously made.
The New England Patriots have been the model of consistency for a little over a decade. The Pats have not had a losing season since 2000. The year after that losing season, New England went on to win the Super Bowl, creating the birth of a dynasty. After finishing 9-7 in 2002, the Patriots failed to qualify for the playoffs. However the team would rebound nicely, winning the next two Super Bowls. The Pats returned to the Super Bowl on two different occasions, but would fall to the New York Giants in both games. Since the 2000 season, the Patriots have appeared in the AFC championship game eight times – including the past three – and have a record of 5-3 in those games.
The Detroit Lions on the other hand have been consistent in a way no team wants: losing. Since the 2000 season, Detroit has had just two winning seasons, with one resulting in a wild card spot in 2011. The Lions even had a 0-16 season in 2008, making them the first team to go winless since the schedule was expanded to 16 games. The Lions selected first in the NFL Draft the following season and selected quarterback Matthew Stafford to try and turn that franchise around. Stafford is certainly doing his part, as he is quickly rising as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. I’m not calling him elite by any means, but he’s on his way. Stafford became the fourth player in NFL history to eclipse 5,000 passing yards in a single season. His favorite target is the league’s best wide receiver, Calvin Johnson. In 2012, Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single season receiving record, by accumulating 1,964 reviving yards.
Now let’s break down how this matchup would play out. It’s a battle of the two quarterbacks versus two pretty good secondaries. The Detroit secondary has improved in the offseason, but they are going up against one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game in Tom Brady. Hungry for another Super Bowl, Brady would likely be able to pick this defense apart, especially with a healthy Rob Gronkowski. Add into that receiving repertoire tight end Tim Wright, who has the potential to have a break-out year, and receivers Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman and Brady should have a field day against this defense. It’s not going to be as easy for Matthew Stafford as he faces off against the bolstered New England secondary. In one of the matchups it would be the best cornerback in the NFL, Darrelle Revis, covering the best wide receiver, Johnson. The matchup could go either way, but Revis can get help if he needs it; advantage New England. In another matchup cornerback Brandon Browner will be covering wide receiver Golden Tate, which should be a favorable matchup for Browner. Tom Brady and the Patriots will be too focused to let another Super Bowl get away and will win Super Bowl XLIX.
Eddie and Mike have made their picks for their Super Bowl champion. What are your thoughts on their picks and their champion?