Playoff season for American football has begun and the countdown for the Super Bowl LIII has started. As of now, the only things that are certain are that the Superbowl will be held in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons and the halftime show will be performed by Maroon 5 featuring Travis Scott. It’s anyone’s guess which teams will make it to the Superbowl looking back on the teams and their records this season.
The dream game would be to see the New Orleans Saints vs the San Diego Chargers with two veteran QB’s, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, face off. Rivers is a season favorite because of his fifteen year long career in the NFL, in the same draft as Superbowl champs Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, former teammate of Brees, and playoff rivals with Tom Brady. Coming into the NFL in the same year and same pick as so many legends, it’s become more and more noticeable that Rivers is the only one among them without a Superbowl championship.
The Chargers are returning to the playoffs after five years, building the pressure on Rivers as he approaches retirement age to finish on a high note. This season, Rivers is playing like a man who wants to retire with that ring, coming from behind with victories as slim as one point like Week 15 against the Chiefs, and it would make quite the Super Bowl story if he did.
I am hesitant to tap the Saints as the Super Bowl contender mostly due to their unpredictable nature of entering the playoffs with a solid record like this season of 13-3 wins, but in previous seasons like 2017, 2013, and 2011, they lost 1-1 in the Divisional playoffs. In 2010, the Saints entered the playoffs with a 13-3 record and won Brees his first ring. They’re a great team with a solid offense, but a shaky defense that can surprise fans with an end to their championship aspirations.
It would be a dream for the Eagles to defend their title, but with Nick Foles’s chest injury, it seems unlikely that he will last long enough through the playoffs. He had to avoid any more hits in the Eagles first game with the Bears because if he’s out, the Eagles are done. Getting past the Bears defense this year, giving up the fewest points, most turnovers, and fewest rushing yards than any team was a complete stroke of luck when Cody Parkey missed the winning field goal in the last seconds of the game.
The Patriots could try to take a sixth ring for Brady, likely making it past the Divisional round if they were facing off against the Raven’s rookie QB Lamar Jackson. Instead the Patriots will face the Chargers where they can be knocked out of the running.
These teams have pulled out slim victories all season and are continuing to do so as the playoffs continue. Hopefully, Rivers can fulfill his epic story line of rising to collect his ring and then ride off into the sunset.
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