Wednesday, December 21, 2005The Inside Stunt #1
Today it's simple: The playoffs possibilities and the teams who can actually win the Super Bowl.
Currently I believe there are five teams who can win the Super Bowl and only one of them is in the NFC. This is a problem as it goes against the NFL's line of parity. The AFC has good parity and the NFC has bad parity.
The five teams in orders are:
1) Indianapolis -- Yeah I'm shocked too. Sunday's loss doesn't totally bother me but it did tell me that the Colts are beatable and their offense can be contained. Plus their cornerbacks are average without strong safety help. All those negatives aside they are so deep and talented on offense and the loss ensures that those guys will be well-rested and healthy for the playoffs.
2) San Diego -- Now there's no guarantee the Chargers will even make the playoffs, but if they do everything changes. Offensively they've got the best running back in the league and the best tight end in the league. Defensively they are much improved thanks to rookies Shawne Merriman and Luis Castillo. The Chargers main weakness seems to be mental as home losses to Dallas and Miami may keep them on the outside looking in.
3) New England -- The Champs are here! Unfortunately their secondary still sucks and on turf they don't have a prayer against the Colts. But, and yes I'm stating the obvious, you can't underestimate this team. We'll see what Belichick can come up with without the two genius assistants flanking him.
4) Carolina -- They aren't a perfect team, but they've been here before and DeShaun Foster is coming on just at the right time to give the Panthers a compliment to the passing game. I'd feel better about this team is Kris Jenkins was healthy, but the young secondary (most notably Chris Gamble) has really come on.
5) Denver -- Yep the Broncos barely sneak in ahead of the Bengals and Seahawks because of their defense. It isn't a great defense but the linebackers and secondary are solid. Obviously winning indoor against the Colts will be a big problem, but they could put that one off until the AFC Championship game.
So I think four AFC teams have a legit shot at winning the Super Bowl and the second best team isn't even a lock for the playoffs. This doesn't mean I don't think any of the other five NFC teams can make the Super Bowl, hell they all could, but only Carolina has a good chance at winning it. Nothing again the NFC, they just are the poorer conference.
Outside looking in
Seattle -- It's become really chic to knock the Seahawks and I'm not going to do that. They are a good team with a great QB/RB combination. I have no problems with them dominating a weak division, it's not the Seahawks fault that St. Louis, San Francisco and Arizona don't know how to win. That being said they can barely beat the also-ran AFC teams with that depleted secondary so I can't fathom them beating three good teams in a row. It's that simple,
Cincinnati -- I love this team's bravado, great quarterback, solid running game and three great wide receivers. That being said they can't stop anyone. They were able to score with the Colts, but they couldn't touch Peyton Manning and with the depth of quarterbacks in the AFC playoffs, a pass rush is paramount.