Someone will win Super Bowl LIII, but it won’t be the Giants. Unfortunately, this column is becoming an annual thing because of the Giants’ inability to reach the postseason.
Normally, there’s at least one team I can pull for in the playoffs even if they have little-to-no-chance of actually winning the Super Bowl though this season there’s really no team I want to see win. But someone has to win.
Here’s the list of playoff teams in order of who I want to see win the Super Bowl to who I don’t want to see win the Super Bowl.
The idea of Mitch Trubisky winning a Super Bowl is outrageous and it’s even more outrageous when you think about the possibility of him winning the Super Bowl in his first full season as a starting quarterback. I like the Bears because I like watching good defense in a league that has done everything it can to limit playing defense aside from actual forcing teams to play with less players on defense than offense. If the Bears had earned one of the two byes in the NFC, I would feel a lot better about their chances in the frigid Chicago winter. But the Bears will most likely play only one home game in the postseason and that home game will come against the Eagles, who don’t mind playing in winter conditions either.
The Texans aren’t going to win the Super Bowl, so why not put them near the top of the list? Sure, they could beat the Colts at home this weekend, but even if they do, does anyone really think they are going to get over their postseason hump and knock off either the Chiefs or Patriots on the road? The Texans had an incredible season, winning 11 of their last 13 games after starting the season 0-3, but they are certainly going to fall short in the playoffs the way they always do.
The Rams winning the Super Bowl would be good for football in Los Angeles, especially in anticipation of their new stadium opening in a couple seasons. But if the Rams won the Super Bowl, would anyone in Los Angeles even care? The history of this version of the Los Angeles Rams needs to start somewhere though it seems too early and would feel wrong if they won this early in their return to the West Coast. Plus, I don’t think Jared Goff is ready to lead a team to the Super Bowl, let alone win it.
I don’t want Andrew Luck to win a Super Bowl, but this playoff field is making it easier and easier to root for him. There are too many worse options out there that I now find myself in a situation where I could be rooting for Luck in the divisional round to upset the Chiefs or Patriots. My rooting for Luck, however, won’t be enough for him to win a game in either road venue, if he can even get his team through Houston this weekend.
I don’t like the Ravens, plain and simple. Like the Colts, the Ravens are in the top half of my list of teams to root for because of how disgusting the rest of the teams are. The only thing that really kept the Ravens from dropping on this list is the enjoyment of watching Lamar Jackson.
Let’s say the Chiefs keep their home-field advantage and reach the AFC Championship Game. I have no doubt they will be playing the Patriots in that game. So far, this Chiefs team has proved that they are incapable of winning the big game, as they lost every important game during the regular season after blowing a 21-point lead at home in the playoffs last year. I would certainly root heavily for the Chiefs to win the AFC Championship over the Patriots, but we all know that’s not going to happen.
I will be rooting for the Saints on Super Bowl Sunday when they play the Patriots in Atlanta. I don’t want to root for Drew Brees to win another championship after he single-handedly depleted my bank account over the last few weeks (mainly in Dallas), but I’m going to have to. The Superdome Saints aren’t going to lose in the NFC playoffs and then it’s off to Atlanta, another dome for the Saints to hopefully prevent the Patriots from winning another championship.
I never thought I would root for the Eagles, let alone with a Super Bowl on the line, but playing the Patriots will do that. While I am a fan of Nick Foles and the story that would come along with him leading the Eagles to a second straight Super Bowl and the quarterback controversy that would ensue if Carson Wentz was on the sideline again while Foles won back-to-back Super Bowls, one championship is enough for the Eagles and their fans.
I should never have to defend Eli Manning as a two-time Super Bowl MVP who has missed one start over 15 seasons and only missed the one start because of the nonsensical decision from Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese, which cost both men their jobs, but I constantly find myself in arguments trying to show support for Number 10 against those who think the Giants should have kept Philip Rivers in the 2004 draft.
Rivers has been an incredible regular-season quarterback and fantasy football quarterback who has always faltered in the postseason, and that alone has served as the Manning-Rivers debate trump card. If Rivers were to finally win a championship, it would put a dent into that trump card, even though it really shouldn’t.
I’m really not worried about the Chargers going on any sort of the run. A cross-country flight to the Eastern Time Zone where they always play poorly is enough to realize even if the Chargers get past the Ravens this week, they aren’t going to win three straight road games to get to the Super Bowl. That’s something Eli Manning would do and has done and Philip Rivers isn’t Eli Manning.
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 to ease the pain of their performance four years ago and talking about what they had to overcome to become champions again. I need the goal-line disaster to be their lasting Super Bowl memory after ending the Patriots’ nine-year championship drought.
The Cowboys and Eagles used to both fit nicely at the bottom of the list, but after the Eagles won last year (a game in which I painfully rooted for them), it is now easier to accept the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl. I can’t stomach the idea of Jason Garrett as a Super Bowl-winning coach and it’s not something I ever want to experience. There’s only one instance in which I would root for the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl, and that’s if they’re playing the last team on the list.
My hatred for the Patriots forced me to root for the Giants’ No. 1 rival in the Eagles last Super Bowl. If I’m willing to root for the Eagles against the Patriots, I’m willing to root for anyone against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.