By Dan Leach/ Follow Dan on Twitter @DTMLeach
Many Detroit Lions fans heart are broken, but there is still football to be played and there is no better cure for a football hangover, than more football:).
We have already had a rousing start to the 2014 NFL Playoffs where it seemed like an upset when the home team actually won in Indy, which 10 years ago was absolutely the norm, but this year three of the four road teams got the job done. Including the never-say-die “Lighting Bolts.”
Here is how I see the Super Bowl shaping up complete with the current Vegas odds to win the conference and the best value if you happen to be making a trip out to the desert to spend some of that holiday cash.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 14-1 (+$1400) TO WIN SUPER BOWL
(DTM ODDS VALUE SCALE 1-10) (7)
THEY WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL IF……The Saints are a very good team, but some late season slip ups cost them the division and forced them to open on the road.
They went on the road to Philly and despite by two apple turnovers by Drew Brees, showed what they can do when they are aggressive on D and just how clutch Brees can be when it matters most.
They are capable of beating Seattle at the toughest place to play in football, but this team has just been too inconsistent over the past six weeks to truly trust.
If QB Brees does his thing and does not turn the ball over and the Saints secondary vastly improves its play, they have enough talent to make a run.
PREDICTION: Lose to Seattle in NFC Divisional Round
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 14-1 (+$1600) (7)
THEY WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL IF …….There are miracles in the universe. Ok that’s a little hyperbolic, but the Bolts already have one completely unlikely win under their belts now they have to travel to one seed Denver and if they use their balanced attack like they did against the Bengals and get Andy Dalton-like play from Peyton manning it could happen.
The Chargers made the miracle run to the postseason by winning their last four while not turning the ball over. They also got as clutch of any plays anyone saw in the AFC over the past month of the season.
If Philip Rivers continues his hot play and the D continues to force turnovers, the Bolts could make a monumental run towards the history books. SB.
PREDICTION: Lose to Denver in AFC Divisional Round
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 14-1 (6.5)
THEY WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL IF…….QB Andrew Luck is capable of taking over games, but for Indy to make a move in January they will need to play much better and more consistent on defense and the red zone offense will have to be at its peak. they in a way “Lucked” into the win over K.C as the Chiefs simply forgot how to play defense, but on the flip side you saw just how clutch Luck can be.
Trent Richardson also is a key factor in taking INDY on a New Year’s jaunt.
PREDICTION: Lose to New England in AFC Divisional Round.
CAROLINA PANTHERS 11-1 (7)
THEY WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL IF …….I simply love this Panthers squad. If they had gotten home field throughout I would have made them my Super Bowl pick. Winning their division and getting the first round bye was huge though. They are the only team I really feel good about being able to go into Seattle and pull out a win. If QB Cam Newton is fearless and the Panthers D plays aggressive like they have over the past month plus, this team is capable of winning it all.
PREDICTION: Lose to Niners NFC Divisional
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 7-1 (7)
THEY WILL WIN THE SUPERBOWL IF…… I simply can’t trust the Pats and their lack of depth to win the Super Bowl, but can you EVER count out Terrific Tom Brady and Belichick?
THE ANSWER IS NO.
Somehow, someway, even at times with smoke and mirrors, the Pats have clinched a first round bye, many times winning in the most absurd fashion. If Brady can keep making subpar WRs look great and the D can be a threat instead of a liability, the sky is the limit for N.E
PREDICTION: Lose AFC Title game to Denver
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 5-1 (8)
THEY WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL IF ……The Niners have all the makings of a team that could go on a run to the Big Game yet again. You saw just how good they can be in their win over G.B at Lambeau. weather was horrid, Packers were playing over their heads, and they still found a way to get the job done.
The Main reason……. Colin Kaepernick!
He is simply capable of taking over a game and if he continues to play at a very high level and the Niners’ D gets back to their aggressive turnover-pick-six-best, This team would not surprise me at all if they are playing for another SB Title like last season.
PREDICTION: Lose to Seahawks in NFC Title Game
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 11-5 (8)
THEY WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL IF … Now this is the reason that I can’t make the Panthers my NFC or SB pick. The Hawks are simply too good at home.
Yes, they have had some weird losses over the past month to San Fran and ‘Zona in games they were outplayed, but they are so good at home it would take a monumental collapse for them to lose at Century Link Field.
If the Seahawks stay focused and QB Russellmania “Wilson” (duh-dunt duh-dunt, veiled Phish reference:), continues to show why he is one of the best in the game, this team will be in NY in Feb.
PREDICTION: Win NFC!
DENVER BRONCOS 2.5-1 (7.5)
THEY WILL WIN THE SUPERBOWL IF … The Broncos are the SB fave for a reason…..two words …. PEYTON MANNING. Not only has he had an incredible season, he has simply had one of the best season by a QB ever.
With this team’s tremendous balance, the only thing that can cause them problems is if they get in their own way.
If they play Bronco football, especially like they did in their two games against the Chiefs, there is no AFC team that can go into Denver and win. When they get to frozen tundra of Met Life Stadium, Seattle is the only team that I feel can give them real trouble, but on a neutral field Seattle is a much different squad. manning will get it done and possibly ride of into the sunset as the best QB of all-time.
PREDICTION: WIN SB XLVIII!
Dan Leach recently circled the globe lofted high above the sky on nothing but a lawn chair and 800 helium balloons, was the first human journalist to interview Dracula, is being blamed for the sub-zero temperatures around the Eastern United States due to his top secret work on a “Weather Machine”, invented time travel when he hit his head on a port-a-potty on Oct 15, 1985, and is a finalist for the first human manned mission to former planet Pluto.