Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. As we prepare to kick off the 2013 regular season, all 32 teams have a legitimate shot at the Lombardi Trophy. Each and every one of the 1,696 players in the NFL get paid and all of them take pride in their on-field performance. So who’s to say the Cleveland Browns couldn’t catch lightning in a bottle and win football’s ultimate prize? I am, for one, and though not very likely, it could happen. Who knew Kurt Warner before his MVP, Super Bowl MVP season of 1999? NOBODY that wasn’t a fan of the Iowa Barnstormers! Just sayin’, anything can happen. Now, having said that, here are the teams with a legitimate shot and the one that will be crowned Super Bowl Champion in early 2014.

The Baltimore Ravens rose above all others last year to an improbable victory in the season finale at Mercedes-Benz Super Dome. Don’t expect it to happen again this year. There’s a reason Super Bowl Champs don’t repeat. It’s way too difficult, getting every team’s “A-game” week in and week out. Beating the Ravens will be a season-maker for more than one club. Cincinnati from the same division, a lock to make the playoffs, simply isn’t ready to make the next step. Win a first round playoff game then hit me back. Enough on the Bengals…

Tom Brady and the Patriots picked a bad time to re-load at receiver. Who knows where Gronk is going to be health-wise when it counts, and besides Amendola, name the other Patriots receivers. Precisely! Plus it’s been quite awhile for Belichick and company. You have to wonder if they still know how to git ‘er done. As far as I’m concerned, there are 4 teams poised to play on the NFL’s final weekend before the pomp and pageantry that is Super Bowl Week. In the AFC, Broncos vs Texans. And, San Francisco will battle the Falcons for the chance to represent the NFC. I see the Texans hosting and beating the Broncos in the AFC. San Francisco will beat the Falcons at home as Kaepernick continues to demonstrate he’s a Top 5 quarterback in this league. San Francisco will practice in the snow of Toronto the week of the Super Bowl, getting them prepared mentally for the New Jersey winter, in what will turn out to be a snow-free spectacle, sealing Harbaugh’s odd genius. Little brother’s ‘9ers beat the Houston Texans handily in their 2nd straight Super Bowl and first victory since Seifert, 44-20, earning Colin Kaepernick MVP honors. You heard it here first.


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