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Both Teams Will Wear Red

Mill Woods

Posted on January 16, 2020 19:06

1 user

On Sept. 4, I picked the Falcons and Chiefs to play in the Super Bowl, adding "for the first time in Super Bowl history, both teams will be wearing red." Well, I was wrong on that Falcons part (and found out rather quickly once the season started), but I think the "red" part of that prediction will come true.

It has been 50 years since the Chiefs appeared in a Super Bowl, beating the Vikings in 1970. It has been eight years since the 49ers' Super Bowl loss to the Ravens. Regardless of the massive time difference, these two teams (like all teams in all NFL cities) are hungry for a Super Bowl. 

I am going with the Chiefs to subdue the surprising Titans. The Chiefs have one of the three or four most bewildering offenses in the NFL. Not only is Patrick Mahomes a multiple threat at QB, but Andy Reid's offensive scheme and play-calling are vexing for defenses. The Chiefs also bring a good defense to the field, a fact that gets lost when teams trade a lot of scores. 

I like the 49ers' chances against the Packers because they have tremendous consistency on both offense and defense. That fast, zone-blocking, play-action offense is a nightmare for defenses. And the Niners' D has gotten after opposing offenses consistently. The Packers bring quite a vexing offense to the field as well, and their defense has, at times, looked super. But the consistency has not been there, so, I'll stick with the Niners once more.

In order to go to the "big dance", a team first has to punch its ticket and, looking back, we can see how much the NFL schedule affected the eventual playoff teams. The NFC team I picked in preseason played five playoff teams in a row, stumbling out of the gate and losing four! Playing against the very strong divisions of the NFC South, NFC West and AFC South, the Falcons (like other teams) got so far behind in the first half of the season that a strong second-half run was simply not enough.

Meanwhile, teams like the 49ers, Patriots, and Ravens flew out of the starting blocks and jumped to early leads, which held up. I knew the Niners and Ravens were up-and-coming teams, but I was surprised at just how quickly they passed up their division rivals — such as the defending NFC champion Rams! By mid-season, their division- and conference-leading records made it clear to all that they were "ready for prime time."

That momentum was very hard to stop. The Seahawks, for example, had an outstanding year, but were unable to secure the #1 seed, falling all the way down to #5 and having to go on the road starting with Wild Card Weekend — no bye.

The Packers performed a similar surgery on the Vikings, winning their division matches and dropping them from a potential #2 seed all the way down to the #6 seed.  

Only the Titans went in as a Wild Card and survived until championship weekend. As great an accomplishment as that is — knocking off the #1 and #3 seeds — I expect Tennessee to come up a little bit short Sunday.

Both games will be a lot of fun, but yes, I am seeing red this weekend.

Mill Woods

Posted on January 16, 2020 19:06

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Source: FOX Sports
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