NFL

2015 Super Bowl predictions – AFC claims title

Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

 

We kickoff the 2014 NFL season with 2015 Super Bowl predictions. A final rub of our crystal balls sees the AFC claim the Lombardi trophy. Are you ready for some football? Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in today’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.

 

DAN:

The 2014 NFL season is underway!!! One game has been played, but before everyone else takes the field its only fitting that we determine who will make the playoffs and win this year’s Lombardi trophy. We rubbed our crystal balls pretty hard for over a month and came away with much disagreement overall, but nearly the same division winners. Here’s who we each put into the post season.

 

AFC:

Dan: New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos
WC – New York Jets, San Diego Chargers

Todd: New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos
WC – San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans

 

NFC:

Dan: Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers
WC – Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks

Todd: Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks
WC – San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Neither one of us predicted nearly as much change in the playoff picture to account for what the numbers and statistics say will happen. Maybe this season will be an outlier, or maybe we will be very wrong. But its hard to debate against the top squads continuing their success. They all have top tier quarterbacks.

So how do the playoffs shake out? Let’s keep things simple. The early rounds are fun, but here are the final four teams, the two squads from each conference who will play for the right to go to the Super Bowl.

The AFC is a quagmire, but ultimately I like defense to win out. I like the Colts falling to the Patriots in the AFC title game. It’s almost like picking by attrition, as none of my AFC playoff teams wow me. The Broncos come close, but repeating isn’t in the cards. The Patriots and Tom Brady return to the Super Bowl yet again.In the NFC it’s quite the opposite. This war will be crushing, as top teams lose along the way. The Packers and Saints meet in the NFC title game, with New Orleans and Drew Brees returning to the Super Bowl.

Drew Brees versus Tom Brady will be amazing and this is the year Brady finally wins another Super Bowl title. He is getting one more before he retires. This is his season.

 

TODD:

I don’t think the NFL flops on its head every season as much as the prevailing wisdom indicates. However, there are ALWAYS a couple of teams that regress tremendously and a couple of teams that make a huge wins leap. While my division-winning picks are pretty chalky outside of the Dallas Cowboys, I like both Tennessee and Tampa Bay to make big strides this year into the playoffs as wild card teams.

Once they get in though, it’ll be hard to traverse their respective courses. The elite teams in each conference still seem pretty damn formidable.

In the AFC, I see Denver advancing to the Super Bowl yet again, topping Pittsburgh on its way there. Although the offense will surely slide back to reality a tad, I think the Broncos’ overall roster is actually better than it was a year ago. The same goes for Pittsburgh, although a lot depends on the depth of their offensive line (like always!).

New Orleans seems like the trendy pick to come out of the NFC because everyone is afraid to pick Seattle again. Repeating as champion is certainly hard, and that is what is scaring people away. But, that avoids the actual fact that picking ANY specific team to win is hard. The games in this league are so closely contested that anything can change the outcome for one franchise. It just seems like a sillier gamble with the Seahawks because you’d also be falling into the repeat-champ trap.

With that said, I’m not picking Seattle either! I like the Green Bay Packers to advance to the Super Bowl from the NFC. (Don’t overreact to week one. It’s not how you start; its how you finish.) They take down your Saints on their way there in an offensively filled championship game free of the dreaded defensive stalwarts from the NFC West.

Similarly to your selection, quarterbacks are the story with Peyton Manning and Denver facing off against Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. Without the demoralizing defense across from them this time, the Broncos win the Super Bowl, and Peyton Manning should ride off into the sunset afterwards. Although he won’t. He’ll play again next year because who the hell are you to tell a man when he should quit?

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