Every year the NFL begins the same. Thirty-two teams kick off training camp believing they can win the Superbowl. This year, even with the lockout, it remained the same. The NFL’s league-wide parody has contributed to a consistent overturn of teams from one year to the next. This has kept the league ultra competitive. It has been steady enough to become the envy of leagues like the MLB, NBA, and NHL. This past weekend, the NFL once again proved its unpredictable “Any Given Sunday” nature.
Two of the NFC favorites, and most potent offenses in the league were eliminated from the playoffs. The underdog San Francisco 49ers, and the New York Giants respectively defeated the New Orleans Saints and the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. This marks the end for both reigning conference champions hopes of appearing in another Super Bowl. The defending AFC champion Steelers fell last week to the Broncos.
The Packer’s were poised for a record breaking undefeated season until week 14 when the Kansas City Chiefs derailed them with a 19-14 victory at home in Arrowhead Stadium. However, the Packers still ended the season with a league best 15-1 record, and were the clear favorites to again win the NFC.
This weekend marks the second consecutive year in which the NFC’s number one seeded team fell at home. Last year it was the Packers who defeated the number one seeded Falcons in Atlanta, en route to a Superbowl victory. Of the surviving teams remaining: The Patriots, Ravens, Giants, and 49ers. Half of these teams were not present for the playoffs last year, including the 49ers and the Giants.
The Patriots and Ravens will begin their pursuit to the Superbowl on Sunday at 3:30 eastern time, while The Giants and 49ers will square off at 6:30 eastern time. Both games are sure to prove once again, parody rules the NFL.