Jun 5, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (right) presents President Barack Obama (left) with a football jersey at The White House. Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl XLVIII Winner?

Super Bowl Champions are not crowned in June. June is one of the most uneventful months in professional football, with nothing happening until training camp in terms of official league activities involving entire teams. So why not provide some predictions or insight during this month?

Here, I’ll provide a little insight on who will win Super Bowl XLVIII. Extremely superstitious football fans might point out that the opponent of Philadelphia’s home opener will win the big game, since that has been the case for the last four seasons. But take a look at Philly’s first game at home. San Diego. Enough said.

I do not believe the San Diego Chargers will win the Super Bowl, but this is an unpredictable league (see the irony?). Although I can’t narrow down the exact team that will win the February game in New York, there can be a way to find out before the season is over and possibly during the course of the playoffs before the Super Bowl.

Take a look at each of the previous three World Champions of Football: the 2010 Green Bay Packers, the 2011 New York Giants, and the 2012 Baltimore Ravens. All three of teams have several aspects in common.

The teams were not the best of the bunch during their respective regular seasons, with the Packers and Ravens finishing 10-6 and the Giants finishing just one game above .500 at 9-7.  The teams got hot late during the season and that momentum carried them all the way to Super Bowl victories.

The highest seed among the three winning teams was 4 (Giants and Ravens), while the Packers won as a 6-seed. This goes a long way to prove that the regular season does not matter (see: 2011 Packers, 2012 Broncos). As I said, the team who catches fire always wins the big one. During the playoffs, none of those teams could’ve been stopped. The average margin of victory for the twelve games played among the teams is just below 10.6 points per game – over a possession.

So, the hot team always wins. But what other ways can the Super Bowl Champion be determined late during the regular season?

Just as in a good movie, the main character always struggles, and then finds a way to beat adversity. The previous three Super Bowl champions share that same fortune. The Packers of 2010 struggled mightily for a stretch of two games when they lost Aaron Rodgers to a concussion. The 2011 Giants lost four straight, and 4 out of 5, dropping them from 6-2 to 6-6, then 7-7. Last season’s Ravens lost three straight from weeks 13 to 15.

Those teams seemed to struggle late in the season, so how did they bounce back? The key is the team’s Week 16 game. When a team is desperate to make a run for the playoffs, look for a big win during that week. Not just a big win in terms of importance, but a blowout win. That could possibly cue us off to the eventual Super Bowl Champs.

In 2010, the Packers defeated the Giants in Week 16 by 28 points. The next year, the Giants defeated the Jets by 15, and last season, the Ravens beat the Giants by 19. That average margin of victory is almost 21 points. I would call that a blowout.

Again, sparked by a huge Week 16 victory, the three teams gained momentum and seemed to be unbeatable. The 2010 Packers and 2011 Giants each won their final six games including the playoffs. Last year’s Ravens won five out of their final six.

So, to possibly “find out” the eventual Super Bowl Champion before the season is over, don’t look at the Eagles’ home opener. Instead, look for a spot late in the season where a certain team struggled, blew out its Week 16 opponent, and seems to be hot going into the playoffs or its next playoff game.

If this trend of eventual Super Bowl champions continues, you all can thank me in February for writing this in June.

Tags: Baltimore Ravens Green Bay Packers New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles San Diego Chargers Super Bowl XLVIII Winner

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