There hasn't been such a heated race for domination since the Cold War. Instead of the Moon being their prize, the Super Bowl is the prize, which is more prestigious depending on who you ask. You have the Pats and Colts. They are the big players, the USSR and USA if you will. Personally, I believe that the Pats are pure evil (Soviet Russia) and the Colts are Godsent (USA). But now you have some small people who will cause some trouble a la Vietnam, Korea, and China.
Pittsburgh seems to be the Vietnam. They are sneaky. Their new leader looks like a good guy (Dungy prophet?), but he may turn out to be trouble for his former mentor. The Broncos will be Korea. They will cause some problems at the beginning, but let's be honest; who will take them seriously? They've beaten two winless teams by a combined 4 points on two game-winning field goals. What will happen when Jay Cutler meets Richard Seymour or Dwight Freeney? Not good. The Chargers are China. They are big players who will fly under the radar. They look the best on paper, but are they led well? No one would question Mao Zedong, but Norv Turner? Eh. They already have one loss. That may be too many to catch the powers. Let's see the odds of these teams.
New England Patriots: As Montgomery Burns would say-"Excellent." The Pats have looked as sharp as ever against their tough opponents. Tom Brady and Randy Moss look like they have clicked well. If Moss can stay out of trouble, then they could become trouble to the '72 Dolphins. Have you seen a flaw? I haven't. Wes Welker has been great in the receiving game. Sammy Morris has been surprisingly good as Laurence Maroney's sidekick. Remember, this is without their two leaders on defense: Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour. The Pats also have the extra advantage of cheating. That should help big time.
Indianapolis Colts: Very, very good. They may not be on the Patriots' level, but they are amazing. Tony Ugoh was suppose to have trouble. I haven't seen it. If he would gain a couple tons, then I would think he was Tarik Glenn. What a surprise. Another good draft pick from the Colts. You may say, "The Colts run defense took a turn for the worst last week!" What team would shut down the trio of Vince Young, Chris Brown, and LenDale White without their outside linebackers? I don't think any team would be smashmouth. The depth on defense is what's so surprising. Tyjuan Hagler stepped in great last week. I like the Colts chances IF they stay healthy.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers have been surprisng. Coming off of a major Super Bowl hangover when their star QB almost died, they have come back strong. The held the Browns offense to 3 points, which looks great when the Browns score 51 points the following week. Mike Tomlin has been a nice change in style. Instead of being in your face, he is calm like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith, his mentors. The defense has been better under Tomlin than Bill Cowher. That's very surprising. The Steelers aren't going to contend this year, but once Tomlin has his style completely set, they will be up there with the Colts and Patriots.
Denver Broncos: The Broncos were expected to contend at the beginning of this year. They had the coach, the defense, and the running game. Anytime you give Mike Shanahan a quality back, he can destroy you. He has shown this. Henry has been making more big plays than he has kids. The one problem I see in this team is just inexperience. Henry, Cutler, and Walker have never been there before. They are the offensive stars. You need people who have at least been to the conference championship. Cutler will end up winning the Broncos games, just not right now.
San Diego Super Chargers: That fight song sure was catchy. Back on topic-The Chargers are the face of a paper team. Will anyone argue with a team who had around 150 Pro Bowlers last year? No, but intangibles win championships. It comes down to good coaching and pure luck. The Colts had good coaching, and don't tell me it didn't take luck to come back in the AFC Championship Game. In the case of the Pats, a little video camera will work. Of course, we can't blame the video tape on their Super Bowls. The video tape didn't invent the tuck rule or pick off Peyton one thousand times like Ty Law. The Chargers don't have these intangibles. The only thing less experienced than the Chargers themselves is their coach, Norv Turner. He is a glorified offensive coordinator. His teams don't rally around him. He is a great coordinator and assistant, but I wouldn't hire him as a head coach.
As you can see, the Colts and Pats are the main leaders, but these three teams can catch them. If the Pats and Colts somehow face each other in the Divisional round, then the Steelers, Broncos, or Chargers could have their shot at the Super Bowl crown. The NFC you say? They can win the Super Bowl? That's news to me. It doesn't look like they try to win it. Let's just call the AFC Championship game the Super Bowl and have the Super Bowl be the first preseason game. The AFC is way too superior. These five teams are the cream of the crop. One of them will win the Super Bowl. But who will it be? Right now, it looks like the Pats or the Colts. It's not a lock yet. I guess we will just have to wait for the Super Bowl in late January.