Can we just take a moment to, once again, mourn how quickly the NFL season has flown by? It feels like Jimmy Graham only joined the Seahawks a month ago, setting off talk about Seattle burying the entire NFC in a vengeful quest to vanquish their Super Bowl demons.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, I don’t think Malcolm Butler’s interception, or the mind-bending play call, will ever get old. I still feel the chills whenever I watch that final drive again. That’s definitely one for the grandchildren.
So, with the memories of Super Bowls past, and as we draw near to the 50th instalment of the Big Game, let’s have a look at the best Super Bowl match-ups on paper.
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1. Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers
So their Super Bowl rematch earlier this season didn’t turn out to be the fireworks display that many/all expected. Blame it on the injuries.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger missed the game due to the nasty MCL injury he suffered against the St. Louis 'Hitmen' (see injuries to Justin Forsett and Emmanuel Sanders, who got wrecked last season, as proof), which kept him out until week 8.
But this would be epic not just because it would pit the two best offenses in the league against each other, leading to a potential record-setting Super Bowl, but there would be a dominant theme of revenge surrounding the game.
Remember Super Bowl 43? You know, one of the very best Super Bowls of all time that came down to the ultimate display of toe-drag swag late in the game?
Yup. It would be fun to see the Cardinals try to get revenge, as well as Bruce Arians looking to get even with his former employers.
The Steelers may be missing the services of Le’Veon Bell, but DeAngelo Williams has quietly done a brilliant job at replacing him. This would be a fantastic game, more so if it ends with another game-winning touchdown pass to the corner of the end zone, this time to Antonio Brown. As they say, history often repeats itself.
2. Carolina Panthers v New England Patriots
The Panthers are currently 13-0 and looking to become only the fourth team in NFL history to go 16-0.
The last team to do so, the New England Patriots, failed in their quest of perfection as a result of the most (un)fortunate play in Super Bowl history. Their opponents on that day? The New York Giants, who happen to be the Panthers’ opponents this weekend. Interesting.
Back to the topic, this would be a rematch of Super Bowl 38 that was, in my opinion, most responsible for the Patriots’ dynasty.
Not only would it be of past historical significance, but it could also be a huge part of future history, assuming the Panthers go into the game at 18-0. Imagine that.
The Panthers' quest for perfection encounters one final obstacle - the last team that sought football immortality. Either result would be a perfect storyline, and it would probably be the most-watched Super Bowl of all time.
Of course, I would be extremely unhappy if the Patriots lose the game, but it would be one heck of a match wouldn’t it? The Patriots just have to get healthy and find receivers who can actually hold onto the football first. I’m looking directly at you, Brandon LaFell.
3. Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers
After watching the shootout at CenturyLink Field earlier this season, who wouldn’t want a nice rematch in the Super Bowl?
This would also be a rematch of Super Bowl 40 that is perhaps best remembered as having a ton of bogus calls that ruined the game. The Seahawks would head into the game fuelled by the desire to avenge two Super Bowl losses, and also by the opportunity to lift the Lombardi Trophy at Levi’s stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.
Talk about putting the nail in the coffin, that would be the ultimate sign of Seattle’s supremacy over their hated rivals.
And that’s just the storyline alone. The actual game would be dynamite. It would probably go down to the final seconds, which is obviously what we all want.
4. Green Bay Packers v Kansas City Chiefs
This one is for the history buffs that would love a historically fitting match for a hugely significant Super Bowl.
Seeing as the Cowboys had their roster dismantled by injuries and don’t look like a .500 team, much less a Super Bowl contender, we’ll have to forget about having another Cowboys v Steelers rematch.
So why not settle for the game that kicked it all off? A rematch of Super Bowl I would be a nice tribute to Super Bowl history. And it’s not a far-fetched scenario either. The Chiefs are on a hot run of form as red as their helmets, and look like a team that could do some major damage down the stretch.
The Packers seem to be recovering from their slump, and also have Aaron Rodgers at QB. That alone gives them a shot.
This could be a very good game, like their encounter in week 3 that saw the Packers emerge victorious. Once again, revenge could be on the cards. Let’s wait and see if the powers that be agree with me.
BONUS: Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
What a wonderful game! This is included merely for entertainment purposes.
The look on Papa John’s sidekick’s face when the snap sailed past him and into the end zone is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. It was priceless. While it won't be a blowout as bad as their last encounter, forget about any talk of revenge.
The Broncos simply don't have the offensive firepower to put up points on Seattle's defence right now. This could get very ugly very quickly...just like we've seen before.
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