Following the divisional round of play off matches over the weekend where only one road team won but nevertheless every game was tight and entertaining. We are two games away from the Superbowl, the mecca of American Football, fittingly taking place in a desert.
For all four teams left - Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts - are just one game away from the game of immortals. I'd like to take this moment to size up the possible games we could have at Glendale, Arizona on Sunday 1st February. What possible storylines could we envisage and forsee occuring?
Seattle Seahawks v New England Patriots
The team that is on the cusp of greatness goes up against the current dynasty of the NFL. The defending champion Seahawks go up against the last team to repeat as Super Bowl champions when the Patriots did it in 2004 for their third Lombardi trophy in three years. Russell Wilson v Tom Brady is not so much the storyline as others but more that defence against an offence that can adapt and offer variations. The last time these two played was two seasons ago when a Richard Sherman interception stopped a possible Brady game winning drive. The handshake and exchange of pleasantries cemented Sherman's reputation as someone who can back it up off the pitch as well as on it, Brady would be wanting to put the record straight. And winning his fourth ring might just do it. And to think of West Coast muscle versus East coast brain power in the guise of Carroll v Belichick; the tan versus the hoodie.
Seattle Seahawks v Indianapolis Colts
Two of the three top quarterbacks taken in the 2013 draft, Russell Wilson v Andrew Luck. The champion v the blueprint. Luck was supposed to win a Super Bowl first but Wilson got to it first. This would be Luck's legacy on the line, it would not be his last appearance and to spare the continual comparison to Peyton Manning he might want to win his first Super Bowl appearance. Yet in terms of match up, with no running game to speak of, can you imagine Luck having to throw against this secondary and try to win the game.
Green Bay Packers v Indianapolis Colts
A gimpy Aaron Rodgers against a fast improving Colts offensive line with Jonathon Newsome off the edge and Cory Redding. The only drawback of the Colts win in Denver was the tackling or failure to of CJ Anderson who gained yards when he should have been stopped, imagine a better runner like Eddie Lacy whose workload will be elevated based upon Rodgers fitness. Luck would prefer to throw on this secondary and if it is a shootout would you not rather have a gunman with two legs.
Green Bay Packers v New England Patriots
The two best quarterbacks of the season going head to head for all the marbles. Rodgers going for his second Super Bowl, Brady going for his fourth to join his idol Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw in immortality. Should Brady get that elusive fourth ring, remember he has lost the last two Super Bowl appearances, it should put to bed the arguments over the GOAT debate. Brady with a compotent offence may appear to be overly reliant on Rob Gronkowski but that is the beauty of having a beast, try and match up with him which secondaries may do and that leaves options open in the form of Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola. Never mind Shane Vereen and LaGarrette Blount in the backfield. And the defensive line of New England led by Vince Wilfork will match up well against Lacy and welcome the chance to reverse the scoreline 26-21 at Lambeau back in Week 13.
With it taking place in the desert not far from the Old West, what finer sight than to see Brady and Belichick head into the sunset with a fourth trophy on their back.