Baseball may be America’s past time, but there was a nation-wide excitement for the return of NFL Sunday’s this past week. And I know that Opening Day in baseball is huge, but there really is nothing like the first Sunday of NFL football every year.
Week 1 means so much to the psyche of every single team yet it so often means absolutely nothing for how each team’s season will work. There have been some really good teams in years past who lost their week 1 matchup; this is the same for this year as well.
Some of the top teams who were favored to contend for a Super Bowl title this year came up short in their first game this past Sunday, including the Falcons, Packers, Giants, and the defending champion Ravens (who lost the NFL opener on Thursday).
While at the same time there were teams who did exactly what they were expected to do, and that was lose their first game. Teams like the Browns who are an astounding 1-14 in their last 15 season openers and the Raiders and Jaguars who all continued their struggles. In fact, the entire AFC North lost their first game this week.
It will be interesting to see how well Adrian Peterson can continue his incredible form from last season into this new season. He said that he is going to try his best and beat the record he came so close to beating last year, and on the first carry of the season it seemed pretty good for him, a standard 78-yard touchdown run from the defending NFL MVP – nothing new in Minnesota.
Although the Lions did do a good job of limiting Peterson to just 93 yards rushing as they went on to their 34-24 win.
This season will come with many surprises just like every other season. So to end the suspense I want to go ahead and give my selections on who will be in the Super Bowl come February.
There are a handful of good teams in the NFC who are more than capable of earning their spot in the Super Bowl, but I personally have a problem with the 49er’s being given the NFC already, a lot of the game’s top analysts are predicting San Francisco to be in the Super Bowl again, but I just don’t think it is that easy for them.
Don’t get me wrong, the 49er’s are a great team, but they don’t have it easy at all. The NFC is very talented and they themselves have to deal with the Seahawks who are also a contender within their own division.
On top of that you have teams like the Packers, Giants, Cowboys, Saints, and my team to win the NFC this year, the Atlanta Falcons. And trust me, I am by no means a Falcons fan, but I truly believe they will figure out their game and become the best team in the NFC.
In the AFC I found it much easier to make a decision, and unfortunately I am picking a team that so many others are also choosing to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. But when you look at the AFC I just don’t know if there is going to be a better team this year than the Denver Broncos.
The Patriots are still very capable of getting back to the big game and the Ravens are still dangerous as well. Houston is still incredibly talented and will put up a fight, but at the end of the day I don’t think any other team in the AFC will be able to compete with Denver.
This sets up a potential Super Bowl matchup between the Falcons and the Broncos, a matchup that some chose last season.
These types of predictions usually don’t go the way you want, but if these two teams do meet in February I find it hard to believe that Peyton Manning wouldn’t find a way to get his second ring — much to the dismay of all my Falcons friends.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to