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MOtorboat
09-15-2008, 11:30 PM
Has the balance shifted?

By MissouriBronc

Has the balance of the league shifted again?

When the Broncos won the Super Bowl for the first time on January 25, 1998, it was significant for more than one reason. It marked John Elway’s accession to the greatest quarterback of all-time, and, maybe more importantly to the future of the league, it ended a 13 year run for the NFC. That started way back in 1985 with the 49ers beating the Dolphins. Ironically, it was Dan Marino’s only appearance in a Super Bowl.

Likewise, the Giants stunning upset of the undefeated Patriots ended a period of time where the AFC won eight of 10 Super Bowls, with the Rams and Bucs being the only two teams to win the Super Bowl from the NFC in a 12-year period.

Historically, there have been several shifts in power between the conferences. One occurred in 1998, during that Super Bowl, and another may have happened last year.

What are the similarities between last year’s Super Bowl, and the Broncos win? Both were underdogs that were given little chance, if any at all, by the media, and by fans of other teams. Both teams were lead by a good pass rush, and a great running game. (However…as a side note, no one is anointing Eli Manning as the next great quarterback, but he was brilliant in the playoffs)

So could this be another shift in power between the two leagues?

Absolutely.

Let’s take a look at the AFC, and the teams expected to be at the top – the teams that make this conference so “dominant.”

New England Patriots – Tom Brady is hurt, and they are being led by a quarterback who hasn’t STARTED a game since high school. Not to mention that their offensive line and defense are aging, and their running game is deteriorating.

Indianapolis Colts – Peyton Manning appears to be hurt, and they barely squeaked one out against a Minnesota team that couldn’t even get it in the endzone. Defense has always been a question in Indianapolis, and the answer has always been the high octane offense. Manning isn’t old by any standard, but he is starting in his 11th season.

Jacksonville Jaguars – A perennial dark horse, yet they sit at 0-2, and haven’t played well at all. Is it possible that Fred Taylor, the lack of talent at wide receiver and the utter obsession over big players has finally caught up with the Jaguars?

Pittsburgh Steelers – Maybe the only argument for AFC dominance still left. Roethlisberger is the real deal, and continues to be. Willie Parker is a good running back, and Mendenhall lies in waiting. Meanwhile Santonio Holmes is up and coming and Hines Ward continues to produce.

San Diego Chargers – 0-2 again. LaDainian is hurt, Rivers is still whining and still is trying to throw with that noodle, and Michael Turner is running over people in the NFC.

Denver Broncos – The Broncos have a great offense – maybe the best in the league, and certainly the best in the first two weeks – but the defense is questionable.

Buffalo Bills – Are we seriously putting our faith in the AFC over the Bills, who aren’t even sure where they will host home games in the next few years?

Meanwhile, the NFC continues to build. Green Bay looks like it could be a contender in the next five years, the NFC East is the best division in football with two teams that look better than the defending champs, and Seattle is a contender out west. Don’t forget about Drew Brees, the most under-rated quarterback in the league, and the Saints in the South.

Its hard to say if there’s been a complete shift in the dominance of the NFL, but judging off the first two weeks of play, and the Super Bowl back in February, control of league dominance may have just shifted back to the NFC.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

broncobryce
09-16-2008, 12:21 AM
Good article, well written

Northman
09-16-2008, 12:25 AM
Not quite yet, but in another year or so look for Denver to regain their dominance of the AFC West. Excellent article MB.

frenchfan
09-16-2008, 09:44 AM
MB,

I think NFC East is the tougher division in NFL right now. That makes me back to 20 years ago, when NFC East teams had terrific D and a great ball control.

I think Peyton will rebound. He was hurt and lacks ryhtm.
Broncos look like Colts : great O, questionable D indeed.

AFC is opened this year for sure. We have a chance to have another exciting superbowl !!!

Very good article. Thanks.

:beer:

MOtorboat
09-16-2008, 09:52 AM
MB,

I think NFC East is the tougher division in NFL right now. That makes me back to 20 years ago, when NFC East teams had terrific D and a great ball control.

I think Peyton will rebound. He was hurt and lacks ryhtm.
Broncos look like Colts : great O, questionable D indeed.

AFC is opened this year for sure. We have a chance to have another exciting superbowl !!!

Very good article. Thanks.

:beer:

This comment is probably not going to be real popular, but I see the Broncos as the Bengals of about two or three years ago (on the field, not off of it), now the Broncos have to turn the corner that the Bengals couldn't turn. And they have to build their defense, to where they then become the next Colts, a great offense, decent defense, and then a Super Bowl contender.

frauschieze
09-16-2008, 10:00 AM
Great article, MB but I don't know that I agree Seattle is a contender. They look terrible.

Flatinum
09-16-2008, 10:15 AM
Great article, MB but I don't know that I agree Seattle is a contender. They look terrible.

Agreed, Seattle is an average football team at best.

AGap
09-16-2008, 10:17 AM
Agreed, Seattle is an average football team at best.

MB thinks Seattle is a good team? what an idiot :pound:

Flatinum
09-16-2008, 11:12 AM
MB thinks Seattle is a good team? what an idiot :pound:

Has he actually watched them play this year? If he has there's no way he can possibly think they're a good team. They lost at home to the Niners, who spotted them 14 pts.

AlWilsonizKING
09-16-2008, 11:27 AM
Not sure how good Pitt is gonna be in the long run, as Big Ben is playing with a sprained shoulder.....they say it COULD get worse....not will, but could....



PEACE!!!

MOtorboat
09-16-2008, 11:46 AM
I did watch Seattle on my second television on Sunday...and yes, they had a bad week. But when Engram and Branch come back, they will easily walk away with that division. And you get into the playoffs with an experienced quarterback, anything can happen.

frauschieze
09-16-2008, 12:32 PM
I did watch Seattle on my second television on Sunday...and yes, they had a bad week. But when Engram and Branch come back, they will easily walk away with that division. And you get into the playoffs with an experienced quarterback, anything can happen.

Did you happen to catch the Seattle/Buffalo game in week one? Both lines played absolutely atrociously. They would have a lot of work to actually go anywhere except division title (and only that because their division is so incredibly weak).

AGap
09-16-2008, 12:33 PM
Did you happen to catch the Seattle/Buffalo game in week one? Both lines played absolutely atrociously. They would have a lot of work to actually go anywhere except division title (and only that because their division is so incredibly weak).

Mo?

MOtorboat
09-16-2008, 12:36 PM
Mo?

Sorry...sticking to what I think...I still think Seattle, come playoff time can be right there.

frauschieze
09-16-2008, 12:41 PM
Sorry...sticking to what I think...I still think Seattle, come playoff time can be right there.

Agreed to disagree. :salute:

MOtorboat
09-16-2008, 12:43 PM
Agreed to disagree. :salute:

You're kind of in Seattle-land, aren't you?

frauschieze
09-16-2008, 12:54 PM
You're kind of in Seattle-land, aren't you?

Yup. Of my close friends, half are Broncos fans, the other half Seattle fans, so I tend to follow the Seahawks closer than any other team except the Broncos.

EastCoastBronco
09-17-2008, 12:08 PM
Seattle's D is the exact opposite of ours. They have an amazing front 4 that generates tons of pressure (I think they had 8 sacks Sunday alone) but their secondary just outright sucks. How do you have eight sacks, score 30 points and still manage to lose the game...Shitty secondary, thats how.
I only know this because my cousin is a Hawks fan. Normally I don't give a shit about the Hawks...;-)

AGap
09-17-2008, 12:47 PM
Yup. Of my close friends, half are Broncos fans, the other half Seattle fans, so I tend to follow the Seahawks closer than any other team except the Broncos.

YOu live in Montana don't you Frau?

Lonestar
09-17-2008, 01:01 PM
Good article..but let me point out coaching will overcome some deficiencies in player talent..

Also just because Brady is hurt and manning in not Manning Payton that is.. most of the great young QB's are in the AFC. without one your not going to win many if any SB's.. Will all know that last years SB was a fluke with an absolutely great DL dominating a great O..

There is DAL with great talent, GB with talent but I'm not yet sold on QB rogers yet, SEA with hasslebeck if he can find WR's to play catch with. NOL with a great QB/offense and NO D and last but not least MIN with a great team but NO QB. beyond those teams the NFC is not deep at all..

IN the AFC
West DEN and SAN could win it.
East there is a new sheriff in town and the Jets could do some major damage, but there is also BUF and NE
South If Texans can find some D, the Jags and Colts are all strong.
North we have PIT and CLE and a dark horse in CIN/Ravens.

only weak sisters we have right now in the AFC are KC, OAK and MIA..

NFC weak sisters SFO, STL, PHX, ATL and DET and they are really bad..

frauschieze
09-17-2008, 05:39 PM
YOu live in Montana don't you Frau?

That I do, Nut. I'm about 8 hours from Seattle and 12 from Denver.

omac
09-17-2008, 06:11 PM
On offense, Denver has impressed the most; if our D and ST could only keep up half way, the SD game should've been anywhere from a comfortable win to a rout. After Denver is Dallas and Philly.

Of the teams that are impressive in all aspects of the game, I'd pick Carolina and Buffalo. Unfortunately for us, not only are they on our schedule, but they're 2 of the last 3 opponents we face, rounding out the season against SD. That's a tough way to finish out the season. :fight:

Skinny
09-17-2008, 09:19 PM
Looking at it over the past few years, I think the NFC is starting to catch up to the AFC with Dallas and GB really coming on strong the past couple of years and then you have NY last year wininng the SB over a very good NE team.

Today, It's hard for me to say right now if the balance has shifted this season, but it looks to be definitely evening out with a few AFC teams underacheiving. That's leaving the door open for the upper tier teams in the NFC to look even better and more dominant. Dallas, GB, NYG, and Philly almost look like mirror images of NE, Indy, SD, and Pitt.

But from top to bottom, i would have to say the majority of the quality teams in the NFL are in the AFC. And i think that's mostly do to the QB play, and high scoring.

WTE
09-18-2008, 07:34 AM
New England Patriots – Tom Brady is hurt, and they are being led by a quarterback who hasn’t STARTED a game since high school. Not to mention that their offensive line and defense are aging, and their running game is deteriorating.



Aging offensive line and defense? Deteriorating running game? That's not what I'm seeing.

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/8476/2512208103296733ui7.jpg

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/6357/091408patriotsmw32ka5.jpg

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/9982/091408patriotsmw14qh9.jpg

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/439/091408patriotsmw13db4.jpg

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/1193/091408patriotsmw04wr0.jpg

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/6976/3912208243841351kj9.jpg

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/9905/091408patriotsmw41ry2.jpg

NightTrainLayne
09-18-2008, 09:57 AM
Aging offensive line and defense? Deteriorating running game? That's not what I'm seeing.

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/8476/2512208103296733ui7.jpg

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/6357/091408patriotsmw32ka5.jpg

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/9982/091408patriotsmw14qh9.jpg

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/439/091408patriotsmw13db4.jpg

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/1193/091408patriotsmw04wr0.jpg

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/6976/3912208243841351kj9.jpg

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/9905/091408patriotsmw41ry2.jpg

Wow. And those performances against stalwarts like the Chiefs and Jets.

Medford Bronco
09-18-2008, 02:41 PM
Wow. And those performances against stalwarts like the Chiefs and Jets.


especially the Chiefs who could not even beat that powerhouse the Oakland Raiders at home

at least the Jets are respectable.

omac
09-18-2008, 10:49 PM
Aging offensive line and defense? Deteriorating running game? That's not what I'm seeing.

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/8476/2512208103296733ui7.jpg

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/6357/091408patriotsmw32ka5.jpg

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/9982/091408patriotsmw14qh9.jpg

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/439/091408patriotsmw13db4.jpg

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/1193/091408patriotsmw04wr0.jpg

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/6976/3912208243841351kj9.jpg

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/9905/091408patriotsmw41ry2.jpg

During the superbowl, the sportscasters were saying the defense was starting to show their age, and the offensive line were showing weaknesses; I'm not so sure about that. I think the Giants just had the best pass rushers in the league, and they used Brandon Jacobs a lot to wear out the defense for the 2nd half. Great gameplan and execution. One of the few times Belichick's been outcoached.

EastCoastBronco
09-19-2008, 08:12 AM
During the superbowl, the sportscasters were saying the defense was starting to show their age, and the offensive line were showing weaknesses; I'm not so sure about that. I think the Giants just had the best pass rushers in the league, and they used Brandon Jacobs a lot to wear out the defense for the 2nd half. Great gameplan and execution. One of the few times Belichick's been outcoached.

I've got a smile on my face a mile wide because I'm going to be in Gillette stadium and personally witness the next time Belichick is outcoached...Oct 20th can't come fast enough...;-)

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