The Jaguars, Steelers, Panthers and Redskins are in the playoffs, but don't get overzealous and pick them in any Super Bowl pools you may have....no matter how hot you think Washington and Pittsburgh are. Fifth and sixth seeds just don't make it to the Super Bowl.
Since the NFL has gone to the current playoff format....
*There have been 180 playoff teams
*30 Super Bowl teams
*Super Bowl teams that were a #1 or #2 seed [aka, have a first round bye with the second round game at home]: 25
*Super Bowl teams that were a #3 seed: 1 [the 2003 Carolina Panthers]
*Super Bowl teams that were a #4 seed: 4
*Super Bowl teams that were a #5 or #6 seed: 0
In fact, the only #5 or #6 seed that ever even made it to the Conference Championship game was the 1995 Colts and 1996 Jaguars.
But, don't go thinking this will be a Colts-Seahawks Super Bowl either.
The last time the #1 seed in the AFC and the #1 seed in the NFC have met for the Super Bowl was waaaaaaaay back in 1993 when the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys met for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XXVIII. That's 12 straight seasons without the top teams from each conference meeting up. Amazing stat.
Also, in the past 5 years...only ONCE has a Super Bowl champion been the #1 seed in their conference. The 2003 New England Patriots. Think about it...
*2004 Patriots had to go into Pittsburgh to win the AFC title.
*2002 Buccaneers had to go into Philadelphia to win the NFC title.
*2001 Patriots had to go into Pittsburgh to win the AFC title.
*2000 Ravens had to go into Oakland to win the AFC title.
Ah...so a bit more thinking needs to go into this, eh?
So, we've eliminated the possibility of the Redskins, Steelers, Jaguars or Panthers in the Super Bowl.....and the possibility of the Colts AND Seahawks getting there. We've also shown that the Bengals, Patriots, Buccaneers or Giants have a slim shot at it. So one of these teams will pull the upset: Bears or Broncos.
So, let's break that down.
Denver has silently been an elite team all season long. They started the season with a dud in Miami....but have since been 13-2. The Chicago Bears started 1-3 before winning 10 of 12.
I think the Colts are on a mission. I think they have the best team in the NFL and will be in the Super Bowl. So, if they are there...then Seattle isn't. And if that is the case...then the NFC Champion will be the......Chicago Bears?
Why not? Imagine. Super Bowl XL. Detroit, Michigan. Indianapolis v Chicago. The NFL's best offense against the NFL's best defense. Imagine that kind of game!
What a postseason this may be!