By Steve Deku
There are four teams left in the NFL as this is being written.
In the NFC, we have a fantastic matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, who have become intense rivals as a result of being in the same division and their newfound starting quarterbacks.
In the AFC, we have probably an even better matchup—the New England Patriots vs. the Denver Broncos. Between these two teams we have quarterbacks who will go down as some of the greatest of all time, being Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, as well as an offense in the Broncos that may very well be the greatest offense of all time.
The matchup between Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson is a new one, but still fierce. At 26 and 25 respectively, they are both young talents with high skill and football intelligence. Kaepernick stands at 6 feet 4 inches tall and runs consistently with a gazelle-like stride. Wilson runs too, but usually because he has to. At only 5 feet 11 inches, Wilson must often scramble out of the pocket and use his smarts to create plays.
Both quarterbacks are highly capable, as are both teams, overall.
On Seattle, running-back Marshawn Lynch has proven to be one of the best in the league. Seattle’s defense is phenomenal, and probably is the best in the league, especially with Richard Sherman, who has been amazing all year.
San Francisco is no slouch either. With a better receiving core, good defense, veteran running-back and highly successful head coach, the 49ers have proven they know how to win.
In the AFC, both teams have every opportunity to win as well. Tom Brady creates receivers, and it has been no exception this year. With Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker—his favorite three targets—gone this season, he has still been able to use what he has in order to make it to the AFC Championship.
The Denver Broncos, on the other hand, have no weakness of offense. With one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Peyton Manning, the greatest slot receiver of all time in Wes Welker, and other prime talents like Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, and Eric Decker, Denver’s offense is built to eat up any defense.
Manning is 10-4 against Brady in his career, but most of those games were played with a weaker offense than that of Denver’s right now.
Both teams, however, have weak defenses, which will make for an entertaining exhibition of two fantastic quarterbacks.
My prediction is that San Francisco will just barely beat Seattle, and that Denver will be able to top New England.
From there, in a Super Bowl matchup between Denver and San Francisco, I believe Denver’s offense will trump San Francisco.
Of course, all four teams are capable of winning it all, but Denver has simply been the best all year.
This year’s final four were, in most cases, the top four predicted teams since the beginning of the season.
Regardless of who wins it all, it’s going to be a great set of games.