Add caption The month of January in 2011 proved to be an exciting one for NFL fans. Forget the headlines going into these two games from all four teams, or the fact that this proved to be to the most watched AFC and NFC championship games in the history of the sport. Football was in full effect, the best of the best in the NFL's 32 team league would leave it all on the field for the chance to get one step close to every teams goal at the season's start. Seize the Lombardi trophy.
So in anticipation of the 2012 NFL season I'll discuss the two teams who have the best chance of making Super Bowl 47 out of the four based off of their off season.
AFC choice: You ever watch a super hero movie, where the hero valiantly takes down the dreaded villain. Then all of a sudden the credits stop rolling and it's revealed that the villain is somehow alive and ready for a sequel. Well that's exactly how i feel about my choice, the New England Patriots. Coach Bill Belichick and Quarter Back Tom Brady will lead a better and much more stout team in 2012. Not only because they acquired talented 9 year veteran wide receiver Brandon Lloyd(other WR's as well), but because Belichick found a way to strengthen a defense via free agency signing Corner Back Will Allen and by drafting Syracuse stud Chandler Jones (Defensive End), and Alabama star Dont' a Hightower (Line backer) that makes the worst defense to ever play in the playoffs better. Those points added with the fact that New England again has the easiest schedule in the NFL is screaming home field advantage where they rarely lose. The Ravens will always be a contender as long as they have 16 year superstar Line Backer Ray Lewis, and superstar safety Ed Reed.To add to that Baltimore drafted the talented Alabama line backer/defensive end Courtney Upshaw, and 5th year Quarter Back Joe Flacco looks as if he is on the rise. However the lost of Terrell Suggs (2011 Defensive player of the year) for the Ravens, and the changes made in New England makes me move more in New England's direction. The credits stopped rolling on 2011, and the villain looks even more menacing for the sequel.
NFC choice: In 2012 the Giants and the 49ers have some similarities. Two proven head coaches, healthy rushing attack, deadly offensive weapons and two menacing defenses. However what came to be the most glaring mismatch forced my hand. My choice being the New York Giants is simply because they have a better Quarter Back. Eli Manning is coming off a career year passing for 4,933 yards, 29 touchdowns, a year in which he set 4th quarter and playoff records before winning his second Super Bowl (MVP also). Alex Smith had the best year of his career as well, but what bothers me is that his best year is pretty pedestrian for a former number 1 overall pick. 3,144 yards and only 17 touchdowns. What helps smith is the acquisition of Randy Moss, Brandon Jacobs, and Mario Manningham.The movement in the league is pushing towards the Quarter Back and was backed up by what we saw from the Elites in the game. Eli proved to be Elite against many teams in 2011, including the 49ers who really haven't made changes to their defense this summer. The Giants added fire power to their offense drafting 2011 ACC player of the year David Wilson (RB), and LSU standout receiver Rueben Randle. So Eli has new weapons to add to his arsenal, while the defense he bested hasn't really improved. Not to say they need improvement, but being in the NFC it doesn't hurt. Sticking with the Giants in a close one.