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Keeler: No clear favorite for Super Bowl

tommy-keeler.jpg
Tommy Keeler


Parity had definitely taken over the NFL this season, and I'm not sure I like it.

With just one week left in the regular season, I still have no real idea who will win the Super Bowl. I can't even tell you who the favorite should be. It's been so bad I'm starting to give my self dizzy spells simply from how many times I've changed my pick to win it all.

I know many people probably don't mind not having a clear favorite to win it all, but I've always been a fan of dominant teams and dynasties, especially when they're my favorite teams.

I like it when teams have a target on their backs, I couldn't tell you who that team would be this season.

The Atlanta Falcons have the best record in the NFL. Seriously? Does anyone, outside of the five Falcon fans out there, truly believe the Falcons are the team to beat? If you do, I've got some great beachside property to sell you in Alaska.

Let's take a closer look at the NFC. The Falcons may have the best record in the NFL, but they haven't played a team all season that is currently in the playoffs. They defeated the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, but most likely only one of those teams will end up in the playoffs. Remember a few weeks ago when the Falcons were saying beating the New York Giants would be their statement game? It turns out that wasn't much of a statement considering how bad the Giants are currently playing.

Next in the NFC would be the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers started off slow, but have been playing better. In this crazy NFL season that probably means they will take a nosedive in the postseason. The 49ers have been solid, but they lost to and tied with the St. Louis Rams.

Then there's the Seattle Seahawks, probably the hottest team in football right now. They are playing well, and they are tough to beat at home. However, they probably won't have a home game in the playoffs. Not to mention we all know they should have one less victory (thank those replacement refs, Seattle fans).

The winner of the Redskins and Cowboys will win the NFC East. It will be one of the biggest games in the history of the rivalry, except that I don't think either team is really that great.

The Redskins have won six in a row, but let's take a closer look at who they beat during that streak. The only playoff team they beat was the Ravens, who have been awful the last part of the season. The rest of the teams have a combined record of 29-46.

The last wildcard spot will go to the Minnesota Vikings, the Chicago Bears, the Redskins or the Giants. Can they just vacate the last spot due to how mediocre all of those teams are?

Things are much simpler in the AFC, but much like the NFC when it comes to the teams at the top.

The Houston Texans have the best record in the conference, but again who have they beaten? They did beat the Denver Broncos and the Ravens, but both of those wins came early in the season. They were crushed by the Packers and by the New England Patriots, and they lost last week to the Vikings.

The Broncos could sneak in and get the top spot in the conference, but their schedule may have been the weakest in all of football. I keep hearing about how they've won 10 games in a row, but everyone fails to mention they mostly have beat the sisters of the poor. The combined record of the teams they've played during the streak is 61-89.

The New England Patriots would be the obvious choice for the AFC, but they struggled to beat Jacksonville last week, a week after losing to the 49ers.

The Ravens looked so bad during their last part of the season that they fired their offensive coordinator, even though it was their defense that looked suspect. They did beat the Giants last week, but they're the Giants, the team I thought would win it all until they decided to lose five of their last seven games.

The Bengals and the Colts, well they're the Bengals and the Colts. Enough said.
That leaves us back at square one. The bottom line is the playoffs should be very interesting and very much up in the air.

While I miss the days when Tom Brady and the Patriots were going undefeated in the regular season or more importantly the days when my Cowboys were dominating the NFL, the league has become more of a crapshoot where just about anybody who makes it in can have a shot at winning it all.

As someone who loves to be able to predict things I'll still go out on a limb and go with the Packers and Patriots at this point.

Don't worry though I'm sure I'll change my mind again by this time next week.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com



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