The 2010-2011 NFL playoffs are upon us, so let the post-season prognostication begin! The AFC is boasting its usual murder’s row of juggernauts, including the Steelers, Colts, and Jets. While Tom Brady and the Patriots have garnered much of the attention as heavy favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at season’s end several AFC teams have the potential to be serious contenders and create some epic playoff matchups.
The NFC… well, that’s a different story. The senior conference holds the dubious honor of having the first sub-.500 team win a division, and boast the first team with a losing record since the 1970s to make the playoffs. Despite having several explosive offenses, led by some very exciting players, the lack of any one dominant team has caused many to give the advantage to the AFC before the post-season even starts. It has even prompted one sports writer to appropriately dub the conference, “a five team grab bag.” (Sorry Seattle, I guess a 7–9 record and .438 winning percentage just doesn’t earn as much respect as it used to.)
Judging by the standings and conventional wisdom, it seems the AFC will be better than their NFC counterparts for the upcoming post-season. But, conventional wisdom can sometimes be misleading. With all the parity that the NFL has displayed as of late, you can’t count any team out. The Giants proved that against the nearly perfect Pats just a few seasons ago, which brings us to today’s debate: Which conference will reign supreme during Super Bowl XLV?
Loyal Homer will plead the obvious case for the favored AFC. He will need to do more than just rely on the legacy of the conference’s top teams – like the Patriots and Steelers – and prove that this year’s teams can win the big one.
Optimist Prime, on the other hand, is forced to live up to his name by finding the bright side of being the underdog. To win this debate he will need to do more than rely on the “Any Given Sunday” motto and explain thoroughly how and why the NFC upstarts can pull it off.