Now that the Patriots have been eliminated from the playoffs, New England will not be able to see its beloved team play in the Super Bowl this February. However, one matchup will be worth watching and hoping for.
On Sunday, the New York Jets will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game, after the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears compete for the NFC title.Two possible matchups are worth noting ? Jets-Bears and Steelers-Packers.
A Jets-Bears matchup would consist of two of the most talented defenses in the league, loaded with many stars on both defensive units.
The Jets sacked Tom Brady five times on Sunday and prevented him from continuing in his regular season groove. The defense ranked third in the NFL in total yards allowed, sixth in total passing yards allowed, third in total rushing yards allowed and sixth in total points allowed. New York was also tied for third in the AFC with 12 interceptions and first with 18 fumbles recovered.
The Bears? defense was just as impressive. They ranked ninth in the league in total yards allowed, second in rushing yards allowed and fourth in points allowed. Chicago was also fourth in the NFC with 21 interceptions and 14 fumbles recovered.
Although both the Jets and the Bears have the capability to make the Super Bowl by keeping their respective conference championships low-scoring affairs and forcing multiple turnovers, it is not a favorable matchup for the game?s millions of viewers. Now that the Jets have backed up their trash talk and ?de-feeted? the Patriots (hopefully this foot fetish fad comes to an end), they have earned the right to continue their irritating yapping. On the other side, the Bears are led by one of the most hated players in the NFL, Jay Cutler.
A matchup between the two teams may be interesting, but with two top-flight defenses and two sporadic offenses, it could be very painful to watch. Listening to all the trash talk would get old quick (while media day would be a nightmare) and just knowing that the Patriots blew out both of them earlier in the season would be a bitter pill to swallow for Pats fans.
Rather than those two teams, a Steelers-Packers showdown would make the best Super Bowl to watch, featuring two of the premier quarterbacks in the league ? Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers.
Big Ben?s third Super Bowl ring would tie him with Brady, and would leave him trailing only Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for the most of all time. A win on Sunday would also give him double-digit playoff wins, a feat that only Montana, Brady, John Elway, Brett Favre and Troy Aikman have achieved.
His possible counterpart, Rodgers, who continues to light up defenses, would like to attain his first ring. Bringing home a Lombardi Trophy to Green Bay will overshadow the Favre legacy and ensure Rodgers lasting fame in the diehard, cheesehead-wearing football city.
In three career playoff games, Rodgers holds a 2-1 record. If not for overthrowing receiver Greg Jennings in the overtime of the playoffs last season against the Arizona Cardinals, he would have even more experience and a better record. In those three games, Rodgers has certainly been airing it out with 969 passing yards and 12 total touchdowns (10 passing, two rushing).
In addition to their marquee quarterbacks, both teams have great defenses. Pittsburgh ranked second in the league in total yards allowed while leading the league in points allowed. Green Bay, meanwhile, ranks fifth in the league in total yards allowed and second in points allowed.
As disappointing as it is watching four teams compete for the Super Bowl that the Patriots beat earlier this season, a Steelers-Packers game would be the most favorable matchup for fans in New England and across the country, boasting two elite quarterbacks with two excellent defenses.
Which Super Bowl matchup would you like to see? Leave your thoughts below.