My Super Bowl 50 Dilemma

Lombardi Trophy

Someone will win Super Bowl 50, but it won’t be the Giants. Unfortunately, this column is becoming an annual thing because of the Giants’ inability to reach the postseason.

1. Vikings
My girlfriend is a Vikings fan, so with the Giants out of the playoffs, I’m an honorary Vikings fan. (Hopefully, this goes better than when I became an honorary “12” for the Super Bowl after going to the NFC Championship Game in Seattle.)

2. Broncos
If the Broncos hadn’t been able to win home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, then writing all of this wouldn’t have mattered because the Patriots would be going to the Super Bowl and the only that would matter is backing whichever NFC team reached Santa Clara. But at home in a potential AFC Championship Game where the Broncos beat the Patriots two seasons ago, well I can get on board with that happening.

The return of Peyton Manning in Week 17 to clinch home-field advantage and now healthy and ready for the postseason could be the start of the best end to a career since John Elway. Peyton is going to need a second Super Bowl win to be considered the greatest quarterback ever and not just the greatest regular-season quarterback ever. He had his chance in Super Bowl XLIV and again in XVIII and I hope he gets the chance again in 50 because that will mean the Patriots won’t be there.

3. Texans
The Texans have no chance of winning the Super Bowl. Zero chance. They actually shouldn’t even have a postseason spot because of their zero chance they have of winning. (This also goes for the Redskins.) But one can imagine how fun it would be for Brian Hoyer to be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

4. Cardinals
In 2013, Bruce Arians’ Cardinals finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs because of the deep NFC West, while the 8-7-1- Packers won their division and hosted a first-round game. Last season, Arians lost Carson Palmer for Weeks 2, 3 and 5 (they had a bye in Week 4), and then to a season-ending injury in Week 10. The Cardinals went 6-0 when Palmer was their quarterback and 5-5 when he wasn’t. The Cardinals then lost Drew Stanton and had to start Ryan Lindley in the playoffs and there they lost to the Panthers. The Cardinals are finally in the postseason with a real starting quarterback, but fr as much as I would like to see Arians win it all, I can’t say the same about Carson Palmer.

5. Bengals
A.J. McCarron believes he can go on a Tom Brady-like run and mirror what Brady started and did 13 years ago. He has the offensive weapons to do so and the defense to back him, so it’s not that outrageous to think McCarron could lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl as long as he doesn’t ruin a postseason game for them. Being a Bengal and having Marvin Lewis as his head coach in the playoffs is working against him and that might be too much to overcome.

6. Chiefs
Andy Reid as a Super Bowl-winning head coach? Alex Smith as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback? Kansas City as Super Bowl champions just three months after winning the World Series? Hey, it could happen.

7. Panthers
The Cam Newton MVP and hype train is insufferable, but at least he’s deserving of the attention he gets and it’s not like he’s the one giving himself the attention. I’m not rooting against the Panthers though I’m not rooting against them, I just can’t see them beating the Patriots if it came to that next month and that’s really what this is all about. And let’s not forget …

I’m still mad at the Panthers for their Super Bowl XXXVIII loss to the Patriots that gave the Patriots their second Super Bowl in three years. And I’m still mad at the Panthers, well mainly just Jake Delhomme, for destroying that divisional round game against the Cardinals in 2008 with five interceptions, costing me the Panthers -10 pick.

8. Steelers
If Ben Roethlisberger wins a third Super Bowl then we’ll have to hear the hot takes like “Is Ben Roethlisberger the best quarterback of all time?” and he’ll certainly be given the nod as the best quarterback of the 2004 draft class over Eli Manning and I can’t stand for that.

9. Redskins
I already don’t like that I have to root for the Giants’ division rival in the first round this Saturday and I certainly wouldn’t want to see them win the Super Bowl or even get there for that matter. We saw what the Redskins did against the Patriots this season, and after Pete Carroll handed them a championship last season, we don’t need the Patriots being given anymore championships.

10. Seahawks
After Pete Carroll’s goal-line decision in the Super Bowl, I promised myself I would never root for the Seahawks again unless they were playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl again. The last thing I want to see is Carroll and Russell Wilson hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, a year after they gave it to the Patriots, pretending like last year never happened. If the duo wins again, it would overshadow what happened last year and I need that to be their lasting Super Bowl memory after ending the Patriots’ nine-year championship drought.

11. Packers
Let me remind you of how the Packers’ seasons have ended in the Aaron Rodgers era:

2008: Missed playoffs
2009: Lost in wild-card round
2010: Won Super Bowl
2011: Lost in divisional round (first game)
2012: Lost in divisional round after beating Joe Webb and the Vikings in the Wild-Card round
2013: Lost in wild-card round
2014: Lost in the NFC Championship after blowing a 12-point lead with just over two minutes left

In the seven years with Rodgers as the starter, the Packers have won six playoff games with four of them coming in the same year. And if the “Miracle at the Meadowlands” doesn’t happen, the Packers don’t even make the playoffs in 2010 let alone win the Super Bowl. If the Packers win the Super Bowl, the never-ending praise for Rodgers is only going to get worse.

I’m so sick of Aaron Rodgers. The idea that he’s the best quarterback in the world is ridiculous and the excuses made for him because his receivers are Randall Cobb, James Jones and Davante Adams are disgusting. That trio would go down as one of the best trios Tom Brady would have ever had in his career, yet when Rodgers isn’t successful with them, it’s not his fault, it’s theirs.

12. Patriots
From the 2010 playoffs:

There is no way I want the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. None at all. I would rather walk across the George Washington Bridge naked, during rush hour, while it’s freezing rain than see the Patriots win.

From last year’s playoffs:

I’m scared that this is the year the Patriots finish the job after losing two Super Bowls, three AFC Championship Games, two divisional round losses, a wild-card round loss and a missed postseason over the last nine years. But the one thing keeping me from penciling the Patriots in as the Super Bowl XLXI champion is Mike Hurley telling me that he has seen better Patriots team he thought would win the Super Bowl and they didn’t.

The Patriots have to lose.

Well, they didn’t. Thanks, Pete Carroll. The only way to put even the slightest dent in what happened last year is if the Broncos beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game and then Peyton Manning wins the Super Bowl and rides off into the sunset as a champion. This has to happen.