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Rosenthal's Super Bowl pick

We picked our Super Bowl teams back in late May for the PFT Season Preview.  I remember narrowing down my candidates by using two simple, if flawed factors. 

1. Which quarterback/passing game did I trust?   Offense is simply more consistent than defense.  It’s not impossible to win without a great passing game, but it’s very tough.  And it’s far less predictable.

The teams that best passed this test: New England, Indianapolis, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Dallas, and New Orleans. 

2. My other factor: Who had a good chance to get a bye in the playoffs because of their schedule and division?  You can make the Super Bowl without a bye, but it’s a lot harder to do.

The Patriots, Steelers, and Cowboys’ schedule knocked them out here.  An NFC team didn’t leap out as the clear winner, but I like Atlanta to win 11 games and challenge the Saints for the NFC South crown.  That left Green Bay in the NFC.

As my NBC playoff predictions show, I think the Vikings could fall right out of the playoffs.  It won’t be a popular opinion, but I see a graying roster, mediocre defense, miserable looking quarterback, and a latent but potent team-wide distaste for a shaky head coach.  I don’t see the NFC North being close.

In the months since I made that pick, the Packers have become the consensus pick to win it all. (This makes me sick because I hate picking that team.  It means they probably won’t make it and that anyone smart enough to play the prediction odds should avoid taking them now. I still like the pick anyhow.  Even though I also picked them last year.) 

In the AFC, the Chargers and Colts were left.  I picked the Chargers because Philip Rivers deserves the recognition Drew Brees got last year and it will happen one of these years.  He’s that good. Their pass rush has me more worried than I was in May, but the decision was made.  There’s no debating the Chargers schedule ranks easiest among division favorites.

San Diego has plenty of issues, but they should get a vastly upgraded running game, and taking Antonio Cromartie out of their secondary was addition by subtraction from all accounts. 

Both the Chargers and Packers will have to blow teams away on offense because their defenses have soft spots.  Sort of like the Colts and Saints in 2009.

We’re living in a golden age of quarterbacks and a Super Bowl victory by the Packers over the Chargers would help point it out.  Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers aren’t Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, but they don’t need to be. They are ready to write their own legacy.

Packers 31, Chargers 24.

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32 Responses to “Rosenthal's Super Bowl pick”
  1. Terrell Blowens says: Sep 9, 2010 1:40 AM

    I think you’re right about the Packers but I think the AFC rep in the Super Bowl will be the Ravens

  2. Larry David says: Sep 9, 2010 2:04 AM

    The Chargers window closed the year Troy Brown stripped that Charger DB and the Pats beat them in the playoffs. This year will be the same old story for the chargers. They’ll win the division but lose early in the playoffs.

  3. Lxvythrs says: Sep 9, 2010 2:20 AM

    You lost me at Hotlanta is going to win 11 games and trumps the Saints.

  4. BonerJams'03 says: Sep 9, 2010 4:11 AM

    What team that will end up drafting in the Top 5 is Florio picking this year to win it all?
    My God his Redskins pick was awful close last year wasn’t it

  5. RexR#1 says: Sep 9, 2010 4:22 AM

    Giants – not one of the experts like them- all of who only see and pick by last year’s playoffs results! Like they do week to week always picking ‘last’ weeks winner to win’ this’ week.

  6. Emmet50 says: Sep 9, 2010 5:57 AM

    Very harsh on the Vikings. A line with the Williams Wall and Jared Allen could never be called mediocre. Greenway and Henderson are both possible Pro Bowlers and the secondary will be improved with Chris Cook and Asher Allen developing. All this stuff about the team not liking Childress is very questionable as well. The facts are that the team has won the last two division championships and won 12 games last year. Also in all these predictions its all the good teams from last year being picked, the Saints were an 8-8 team in 2008 as were the Cards in 2007. Its rarely the favourites who make it. The Texans would be my pick for the surprise SuperBowl team

  7. brasho says: Sep 9, 2010 6:07 AM

    At least he spelled “Packers” right.

  8. Love_Boat_Scandal says: Sep 9, 2010 8:00 AM

    Excellent pick, Rosenthal.

  9. andymc58 says: Sep 9, 2010 8:31 AM

    Weren’t the Packers even “that pick” last year? This was never going out on a limb.

  10. Playmaker's Dealer says: Sep 9, 2010 8:47 AM

    Vikings aint making the playoffs

  11. EverybodyGotAIDS says: Sep 9, 2010 8:49 AM

    Packers and Chargers? Too chic. Might as well have just said that the Texans and 49ers will play for it all. I’m told that’s who the girls down at the hair salon are picking.

  12. Hauschild says: Sep 9, 2010 8:51 AM

    The Packers will not win the Super Bowl with that defense.
    Playoffs? Certainly. But, Super Bowl win? Little chance.

  13. overkil2 says: Sep 9, 2010 8:54 AM

    What? You aren’t picking the Jets? Blasphemy!! Just ask Rex Ryan and his merry band of idiots.

  14. Phil in Austin says: Sep 9, 2010 9:33 AM

    The Jets improved their secondary by adding Cromartie. The Chargers improved their secondary by trading Cromartie. Does that mean that if every team traded each of their players to other teams, then every team in the league would make the playoffs?

  15. Supersuckers says: Sep 9, 2010 9:40 AM

    Hauschild says:
    September 9, 2010 8:51 AM
    The Packers will not win the Super Bowl with that defense.
    Playoffs? Certainly. But, Super Bowl win? Little chance.
    —————————
    They can score at will. Honestly, their offense might be the best I have ever seen.

  16. SJ Apollo says: Sep 9, 2010 9:47 AM

    “The Packers will not win the Super Bowl with that defense.”
    You do realize that the Saints had the 25th ranked defense last year, right? You do realize that the Packers had the 2nd ranked defense? Yes, said defense didn’t have good games against the Vikings, Steelers, and Cardinals – although 21 of the Cards points came off turnovers which is uncharacteristic of the Packers since they also led the league in turnover ratio.
    To win the Super Bowl, you really just need to be extraordinary at one thing and average at everything else. I think the Packers, Saints, and Colts have extraordinary offenses. If Favre plays like last year, if Rice comes back strong, if Harvin’s headaches stay away, if the o-line doesn’t play like it did in the second half of ’09 (lots of ifs), then the Vikings can be included in that group. I think the Jets, Steelers and Ravens have extraordinary defenses although I am not sure if the Jets have even an average offense.

  17. swede700 says: Sep 9, 2010 9:52 AM

    When the Vikings do end up winning the division again, Rosenthal, I expect an apology from you for your inane analysis. While the roster is getting older, calling their defense “mediocre” is ridiculous.

  18. somesome says: Sep 9, 2010 10:23 AM

    Chargers will falter in the post season just like every year, they will not get passed the Pats, Ravens or Jets and they will have to play two of those …

  19. purpleguy says: Sep 9, 2010 10:47 AM

    Another lemming following the Pack, noting the deficiencies in all the other teams, but failing to note the deficiencies with the Pack — what else is new? The Pack will be good, Rodgers is a superstar, but the O-line won’t last the year, they are thin at RB, CB and DL, and the defense will regress, not to mention their schedule late in the year is a killer. And check out the “aging” Viking roster — no team has drafted much better than the Vikes the last 3 years, and except for Lord Favre, young/good replacements are on tap to spell all the old guys (CB, DL and OG). The Vikes had the same question marks last year (would Favre fall apart, who is Rice, Chilly can’t coach) and did just fine. The year probablywon’t be as good record-wise, but the team will be in the playoffs. By that time the media lemmings will have changed their tune, minimized their lame-ass predictions, and be following the latest story like bears to honey.

  20. LowVoltage says: Sep 9, 2010 11:48 AM

    Packers, maybe. Chargers, never as long as AJ Smith is the GM and his boy Norv is the coach.

  21. mission says: Sep 9, 2010 11:53 AM

    oh the defense that was #1 against the run last year and who has two pro bowlers / 1 dpoy in the secondary?
    they might be a bit soft in the secondary for the first 6 weeks but getting harris and bigby back in week 7 ,with all that experience for rookies shields and burnett, should bode well for a strong playoff run.

  22. RC IV says: Sep 9, 2010 12:30 PM

    mission says:
    September 9, 2010 11:53 AM
    oh the defense that was #1 against the run last year and who has two pro bowlers / 1 dpoy in the secondary?
    =====================
    You cheese turds keep telling us last year doesn’t mean anything.
    Who cares what thier stats were last year?
    You don’t start 2 rookies in the secondary and not miss a beat!
    You just also assume that Bigby and harris just step right in w/o any problems……uff!
    Must be nice living on Fantasy Island, say hi to supersuckers for me, he;s living there too.

  23. RC IV says: Sep 9, 2010 12:34 PM

    Supersuckers says:
    September 9, 2010 9:40 AM
    Hauschild says:
    September 9, 2010 8:51 AM
    The Packers will not win the Super Bowl with that defense.
    Playoffs? Certainly. But, Super Bowl win? Little chance.
    —————– ———-
    They can score at will. Honestly, their offense might be the best I have ever seen
    ================================
    You said the same thing verbatim last fall.
    Preseason hype, you fall for it every year.
    You HAVE to be smarter than this, don’t you?
    Maybe I give you too much credit?

  24. Grinder12000 says: Sep 9, 2010 1:13 PM

    The Vikings won’t even come in 2nd place in that division 2nd. The Beat have a MUCH better defense the the Vikings and an easier schedule. Last year everything went right for the Vikings – how often does that happen twice in a row. Plus Vikings have a pretty poor special teams unit (like the Packers) while the Bears.
    Packers seem like a good pick and can score at will. Lots of 35 to 21 games.

  25. lemmyk73 says: Sep 9, 2010 2:10 PM

    Steelers. Roethlisberger will come out and shut everyone up and florio will hate life.

  26. Canned Gravy says: Sep 9, 2010 2:21 PM

    RC IV says:
    September 9, 2010 12:30 PM
    mission says:
    September 9, 2010 11:53 AM
    oh the defense that was #1 against the run last year and who has two pro bowlers / 1 dpoy in the secondary?
    ==================== =
    You cheese turds keep telling us last year doesn’t mean anything.
    Who cares what thier stats were last year?
    You don’t start 2 rookies in the secondary and not miss a beat!
    ___________________________________
    Morgan Burnett won’t come off the field all year for GB. Bigby and Harris may never make it back on.
    This team will torch any team in the league on offense. Even with your mystery premonitions of the Packers O-line being in bad shape. Your boy BrINT does real well throwing into double coverage when playing from behind…which he will be. Your D is good in MN, but is going to be overworked and tired all year.
    Bank on that. Or go into denial.

  27. Charles Wood says: Sep 9, 2010 2:28 PM

    My Top 10 reasons why the Packers will be winning the Super Bowl this season:
    1.) A much improved O-line. Tauscher and Clifton are healthy to start the season, whereas last year that was not the case. We also drafted Brian Bulaga and disposed of Allan Barbre. My guess is Rodgers is sacked less than 20 times this year.
    2.) The Packer Defense is in year 2 of the 3-4 D install. Dom Capers is a mastermind and co-inventor of this defense. By the time the schedule starts getting tougher- Bigby and Harris will be back in the fold.
    3.) Jermichael Finley will be the best TE in all of football. He’s a physical freak and a matchup NIGHTMARE… all this and without a single weakness. Big, fast, great hands and speed, above average blocking skills. With a Pro Bowl QB throwing him the ball, look for 80 catches 1,000 yds, 10 TDs easy.
    4.) Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones & Jordy Nelson. It’s debatable- but they are one of the top 3 WR corps in the league.
    5.) The biggest reason why GB lead the NFL last season in turnover differential is because of their big play D. The second reason is because Ryan Grant doesn’t fumble. He fumbled once last season to go with his 1,250+ yds and 11 TDs. Compare that to A.P’s 1,380 yds, 18 TDs and 10 fumbles.
    6.) The Packers were #1 against the run last season. Losing Jolly was big… but not that big. B.J. Raji anchors a HUGE D-line this year after only starting 3-4 games as a rookie. ’09 2nd rd pick DE Mike Neal is a Purdue weight room legend. The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder has thrown up 510 pounds on the bench press on several occasions, along with a 615-pound squat and 385-pound power clean.
    7.) Aaron Rodgers is a Super Star in the making. He’s the first to ever throw for over 4,000 yds in first 2 seasons as a starter and he’s nearly as accurate as they come. And oh yea… he’s mobile too. 500+ yds and 9 TDs while on the run over the last 2 seasons. Could be the leader of the most dynamic offense EVER. Stay tuned.
    8.) Improved special teams. Coach McCarthy dedicated an extra 10-15 min of practice time every practice to the Special Teams units. Mason Crosby had a great offseason and was on fire over the preseason. Look for him to improve greatly upon last years less than stellar 75% accuracy. Tramon Williams will be returning punts (career: 30 kickoff returns for a 22.8 average, with 6 punt returns for a 19.7 average, a touchdown) and the punting position is much improved.
    9.) Clay Matthews III is a STUD. As a rookie, Clay had 51 tackles and 10 sacks despite starting only 8 games and playing in 13. This year he’s been moved from the right OLB to the left- where is should be easier for him to get to the QB.
    10.) Coach Mike McCarthy has lost a few pounds. Check it out. He’s slim and trim and no longer a “Schlub”.

  28. packerssuck says: Sep 9, 2010 3:42 PM

    Is Mike Neal as big of a weight room legend as Mike Mamula? And no, despite my ID, I am not a Vikings fan. Just someone who loves to watch Packer fans get carried away by preseason stats every year.

  29. muchmaligned says: Sep 9, 2010 3:53 PM

    Erin Rogers is just slightly better than average and his o-line is going to get him killed. The defense is porous.
    8-8. GFY, Rosenberg.

  30. Mike Daly says: Sep 9, 2010 6:29 PM

    Patrots 38, Falcons 34.

  31. Murgen says: Sep 11, 2010 3:11 PM

    Hey look, it’s Hauschild, Gravey and RCIV, the resident Viking trolls. Hey guys, say hi to King Goofus Childress.
    They are so jealous their Brint Farve and purple pukes aren’t being picked this year to win it all. Sorry boys, your door to win it all closed last year.
    Keep up the hate you guys are better than a night at the improv.

  32. Deb says: Sep 13, 2010 12:15 AM

    @Mike Daly … You still sticking w/that Falcons pick??
    Well, Gregg, the Packers isn’t a bad pick. They’ll definitely be in the hunt. At this point, I’m going to stay with the Saints and the Ravens. But deep down, of course, I’m hoping Dixon won’t drop more than two and Ben will come back on a mission :)

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