“A quick recap: Arizona used its first-round pick to select Temple linebacker/pass rusher Haason Reddick, then grabbed Washington safety/corner Budda Baker in the second, while Carolina’s top two selections were Stanford running back/receiver/returner extraordinaire Christian McCaffrey and Ohio State hybrid receiver/running back Curtis Samuel. Collectively, these four picks are a great illustration of a simple truth: The NFL is a matchup league.”
This is true. College offenses have been all about finding matchups that benefit the offense. This is why scoring in the college game is through the roof, because defenses don’t have has many playmakers as offenses do, in general. The NFL is headed that way too, and that’s why Carolina made the picks they did. To create matchup problems. They will be fun to watch, if nothing else!
This year has been interesting for me as a football fan. I was in the UK and didn’t watch either of the Conference Championship games, and I will be in Australia and probably not watching the Super Bowl tomorrow. So, I can’t really say that I’ve been studying and analyzing the teams at all.
That being said, two things jump out at me. First, what a story it would be for Peyton Manning to leave the NFL after winning a Super Bowl that no one thinks he can win. Isn’t that exactly the kind of story we watch sports to witness? Isn’t that the sort of ending we wish for all of our favorites? Wouldn’t that get play on every single network for days on end? Of course it would!
But there’s something else that Denver reminds me of. They have that feel to them, of a true underdog who somehow keeps winning, who never looks dominant, but finds a way to just get by. The team we just assumed wouldn’t get this far, and yet here they are. Those are great stories too, until the run ends, and it usually ends abruptly and ugly. Think Notre Dame against Alabama in the National Championship, or countless other examples.
It’s that feeling that leaves me thinking this is going to be a Panthers blowout.
I hope I’m wrong, but….