The NFC used to be a contendah!
From 1985-1997...every Super Bowl played ended with the NFC team hauling off the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Six different teams won those Super Bowls......the Niners , Cowboys , Redskins , Giants , Bears and Packers which ended with Green Bay's loss to the Broncos in 1998.
In those 13 seasons of NFC dominance....the average Super Bowl score was 38-17. The highest point total the AFC had in that time was San Diego's 26 pts scored in 1995. Only TWICE in that span did the NFC fail to score at least that much. The 1989 Niners and 1991 Giants scored 20 pts in two of the most memorable Super Bowls ever....one for the Bengals inability to stop a 92-yard drive and one for the Bills' Scott Norwood missing the winning FG as time expired.
Since Brett Favre, Reggie White and Desmond Howard walked off the Superdome field with the Lombardi trophy....the NFC is 2-6 in title tilts.
Well...the formula for the NFC's success was bruising defense...power running and a well oiled passing attack. The Bears, Redskins, Cowboys, Giants, Niners and Packers all have tough, tough, tough defenses. Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, Ronnie Lott, Richard Dent, Darrell Green, Deion Sanders, Charles Haley among others made their marks with those championship defenses.
Now, the AFC teams do that. The Patriots, Ravens and Broncos all won with tough defenses, power running and formidable passing attacks.
During the NFC's 13-year run.....they faced the Bills four times, the Broncos three times, the Patriots twice....and the Chargers, Bengals, Steelers and Dolphins once. The Bills did have a pretty darn good defense...but the others really didn't. They all [well, not the '86 Pats] had gunslingers...but none could have stellar Super Bowls. The NFC's recent entries into the Super Bowl have all been flashes in the pan. Really, only the 1998 Packers, 2002 Rams and 2005 Eagles were considered great teamsheading into the Super Bowl. The Giants, Buccaneers and Panthers really were cinderella stories.
The reason I've been thinking of this...is my Washington Redskins are welcoming the Chicago Bears into town. Two decades ago...this was a fantastic battle. I still remember Darrell Green hurdling over Bears would-be tacklers in the 1988 playoffs. Now, this game means nothing...except to us Skins fans and my friends in Chicago.
Maybe it is just all cylical. Twenty years ago....the Niners, Redskins, Dolphins and Bears were premiere teams. Now those teams pick in the top 10 in the draft. Twenty years ago...no one wanted to set foot in Green or Tampa Bay....and places like Pittsburgh and Dallas had sorry franchises. Twenty years ago...the Bengals-Browns game would be one heck of a interesting game!!!
Twenty years ago...there were no Panthers, Jaguars, Texans, Titans or Ravens. The Rams and Raiders were in Los Angeles....the Cardinals were in St. Louis.
Of course...some things stay the same. The Chiefs still can't win a playoff game. The Falcons can't put back-to-back winning seasons together. The Seahawks and Saints still are postseason duds.
I just want my NFC to be relevant again. We use to be dominate. We used to matter!!