Way-Too-Early Super Bowl Prediction

We are quickly approaching the start of the 2017-2018 NFL football season (although not quick enough), teams are starting to form together once again. Those end of the season questions are starting to be answered while creating new ones (I’m looking at you Chicago… four picks to move up one spot for Trubisky? With Watson still on the board?). With the schedule released and the draft over, it’s time to start seriously looking at what this upcoming season will entail.

Here is my Super Bowl 52 prediction.

AFC Championship Game: Oakland Raiders vs New England Patriots

Now before all you Bronco fans start tying your nooses for me, trust me, I don’t want this to happen, but I have to be honest with myself. Plus, if you don’t deep down know this is a very likely possibility, you clearly don’t follow football. Let’s take a look at why this is going to happen:

  1. The Raiders should have been fighting for that AFC Super Bowl spot last year. It was just unfortunate that Derek Carr went down so late. This team also didn’t lose any major components (other than the loyalty of their fan base). They did, however, sign #BeastMode. Oakland’s run game last year was pathetic to say the least, yet Carr was still able to carry that team on his shoulders. Give him a legend of a running back who doesn’t take crap from any defense, and you have something scary.
  2. The Patriots still have Tom Brady and the majority of their Super Bowl 51 team. In addition to a team that didn’t need any more help, the Saints practically gifted them their best receiver. Come on New Orleans, it’s like your TRYING to give Brady another ring.

As much as I hate to say it, I have the Patriots going all the way once again. Assuming they’ll be playing the title game at Gillett Stadium, I don’t think this young Raiders team has what it takes to beat Bill at his own game.

NFC Championship Game: Green Bay Packers vs Dallas Cowboys

This one is pretty easy to justify. Nobody can deny that the NFC has been rather lack luster the last few seasons. The only other teams that I could see being a legitimate title contender would be Seattle or Atlanta, but after seeing how Atlanta responded to losing in the Championship game in 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went 5-11 this season. And for Seattle, while they are a really solid team, they have been far too inconsistent the last two season for me to have any real faith in them beyond the first round. That leaves Dallas and Green Bay as the remaining power-houses left. For those of you still skeptical, here’s why these teams will make it this far.

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. The Cowboys were scary enough as it was last year with their kill rookie duo, but now they have experience. Also Dallas somehow managed to upgrade its already nasty O-Line. If the Cowboys don’t make it to the Conference Championship game, their season will be a disappointment, especially with the lack of competition in NFC as a whole.

The king of the NFC (which is not as glorious as it sounds) will end up being the Cowboys. Aaron Rodgers is probably the best quarterback of this era, but the fact is he just doesn’t have a Super bowl caliber team around him. Rodgers will be able to pick apart every other team in the NFC with ease without an all-star roster, but when he comes up against a team that can actually score, it will just be too much for him to do all on his own (see Atlanta-Green Bay last year).

This leaves us with a Dallas vs New England Super Bowl. Yuck. As much as I dislike both teams, I can’t deny the talent these two teams have. But the real question is, who will be the Super Bowl 52 Champs? Well that’s easy.

The New England Patriots will repeat AGAIN, cementing their claim to the best dynasty in football history, and you can thank our friends down in The Big Easy for that. As this team showed against Atlanta in last year’s season finale, no matter how many points you put up on them, you will still lose. This team just has too much experience and talent. I hate saying this because I absolutely cannot stand the Patriots or Brady, but New England is just better than any team in the NFL by a long shot. While the Cowboys should put up a fight and not just roll over in the fourth quarter, their young team just won’t be able to hang on such a big stage. If there is one thing the Cowboys are good at, it’s disappointing their fans, and I expect nothing less from them this year.

So with only a few months until pre-season, let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope I’m terribly wrong.

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Champions League Semi-Final Battles

With the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League right around the corner, Europe’s best square-off in two epic ties that will decide who will move on to fight for the Champions League Crown. The four teams involved showcase some of the world’s best players.

Spain has a strong showing in this semifinal with two of the four teams coming from their premiere division. Better yet, both teams are based in one of the world’s top soccer powerhouses: Madrid. The team that has been favored to win the tournament from group stage, Real Madrid, will take on their intercity rival, Atletico Madrid. While Real is heavily favored in this match-up, the two teams are known for their top-class duels when playing in the Spanish league. Fighting for both the Champions League and La Liga titles, Real Madrid is led by the player who many consider the greatest footballer to ever grace the game. Cristiano Ronaldo, having just reached 100 all-time goals in UEFA Champions League games, will lead the charge. On the other side of the field, Atletico will be looking to exploit Real’s missing Welsh super star, Gareth Bale, who reinjured his leg in a competition against FC Barcelona last week. Atletico’s lightning-fast Yannick Carrasco and highly skilled Antoine Griezmann will be working hand-in-hand in an effort to upset their rivals, seeking their first ever Champions League title.

The other match-up features AC Monaco FC taking on Italy’s best, Juventus. While Juventus is favored in this competition, Monaco showcases an incredible young talent in Kylian Mbappe. Mbappe has torn up the competition in this year’s tournament, showing he is more than capable of competing at the highest level, even though he is only 18. However, Mbappe and his team will face their tallest order yet. Juventus boasts one of the best defenses in the world, backed by World Cup champion Gigi Buffon. Juve’s defense has only conceded five goals throughout the tournament, and was able to completely shut out their quarterfinals’ foe, and 2015 Champions, FC Barcelona. With such a daunting task ahead, Monaco must play a perfect game to advance to the finals.

So, who will emerge victorious and claim the right to play for the most coveted crown in European football? Only time will tell.

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