By Niles Pender: With the 2012 NFL season winding down, the playoff picture is starting to take shape and the true Super Bowl contenders are starting to round into form. As fans always love to do, the talk has already started about the best possible Super Bowl matchups. With several excellent teams in both the NFC and AFC, there are several high quality Super Bowl matchups fans would love to see this February.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens
This Super Bowl matchup between the 49ers and Ravens would be intriguing more because of the coaches rather than the players on the field with two brothers going head-to-head for Super Bowl glory. Jim Harbaugh has done a masterful job restoring the San Francisco 49ers to NFL relevance while John Harbaugh has built a powerhouse in the Baltimore Ravens who were one play away from making the Super Bowl last season.
In addition to the compelling coaching matchup, there are plenty of great players on both sides of the ball for either team in this matchup. Ray Rice and Frank Gore are two excellent running backs while Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis are two premier linebackers. There is no doubt this Super Bowl matchup would be hard hitting, smash mouth football at its finest.
Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants
A Super Bowl matchup between the Denver Broncos and New York Giants would provide NFL fans with the Manning vs. Manning Super Bowl they have wanted to see ever since Eli Manning joined the league. Having two brothers face off at quarterback in the Super Bowl would create an unusual element to the biggest football game of the year and undoubtedly would create even more of a circus-like atmosphere.
It would also be nice to see Peyton Manning return to the big game after sitting out last season with a neck injury. There is no question that Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time and being able to see him in one more Super Bowl before he retires would be a treat for every NFL fan.
This game would also be an excellent defensive battle as two fierce pass rushes would meet in this game. New York has one of the best defensive lines in football, with a number of players who can make big plays while Von Miller of the Denver Broncos is quickly emerging as an NFL sack machine.
New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers
If the New England Patriots were to meet the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, NFL fans would see two of the most iconic franchises in all of sports competing for an NFL title. This matchup would be seeped in history as both the Patriots and Packers have a long line of success. Add in the fact that the game’s two best quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers would square off and fans would get to see an excellent offensive game.
Most Super Bowls start off a little bit slow in terms of excitement as both teams try to feel each other out in the opening quarter. This would likely not be the case as Brady and Rogers love to sling the ball all over the field in their pass happy offensive schemes. Plenty of points would be put on the board in this Super Bowl, which is why many fans would not mind seeing the Patriots do battle with the Packers.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Anyone
What the Indianapolis Colts are doing this season is quite remarkable. Behind the solid play of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, the Colts are poised to grab one of the wildcard spots and make the playoffs this season after a dismal 2-14 record a year ago. This turnaround has become even more impressive considering the team lost its head coach, Chuck Pagano, during the season when he left the team to battle cancer.
The Colts have rallied behind their coach and regularly draw motivation from his situation. If the team is able to make it all the way to the Super Bowl, plenty of casual fans are sure to jump on the Indianapolis Colts’ bandwagon as they would love to see Luck and company win a title for their head coach.