Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 12/13/12
It took three consecutive years of NFC supremacy in the Super Bowl, an MVP from Green Bay, and a season without Peyton Manning for it to happen, but in September 2012 football analysts across the country were ready to label the NFC as the dominant conference in the National Football League.  The pundits argued that the era of Brady vs. Manning had become the time of Rodgers vs. Manning; Eli Manning, not Peyton; that Drew Brees’ demolition of quarterbacking streaks was too difficult to ignore. They saw a revival in San Francisco, three playoff caliber teams from both the NFC North and NFC South, and the evolution of the QB position in Michael Vick, Cam Newton, and rookie Robert Griffin III. Top to bottom, the NFC looked poised to claim their fourth Super Bowl Championship in a row, with only a handful of AFC teams within striking distance of the Packers, Giants, Saints, 49ers, Bears, and Falcons. Yet through 13 weeks, 3 of the 4 teams with double digit wins are AFC division leaders. So what happened?   Well, the Packers started 2-2 with the help of the Golden Gate scandal, the Giants are who we thought they were: inconsistent, the Saints killed their head and left the body to die, the 49ers took an expected step back in the midst of an unnecessary quarterback controversy, the Bears proved their O-line was holier than the pope, and the Falcons have benefitted from a schedule with so many cupcakes BJ Raji is requesting a trade. That’s not to say that those teams are bad or out of Super Bowl contention, it just means that nobody is shaking in their boots at the mere thought of playing them. Nobody is saying, “this is the biggest game in franchise history” before a matchup with these guys. That honor goes a team in the American Football conference: the New England Patriots. The only other team capable of that category right now also lies within the AFC: Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos. Looks like it’s still Brady vs. Manning after all. Consider this, in thirteen games played this season; the Broncos have scored 30 points 10 times and have lost to Houston, Atlanta, and New England; three teams who have a combined record of 31-7. The Patriots, on the other hand, have scored 40 points five times this season.  But don’t forget the Texans. Plenty of people are writing them off following a 42- 14 drubbing by the Patriots, but as of right now the road to New Orleans still goes through Reliant Stadium. The NFC may still have an overall advantage on the AFC as far as depth is concerned, but the difference between the top teams is smaller than advertised which is probably a good thing anyway. Just consider some of the possible Super Bowl matchups that are in the works: The Harbowl, Manning vs. Manning, Patriots vs. Giants III, or even a preview of the next decade in the Rookie Bowl (Redskins vs. Colts). Either way the NFL season is headed for a wild finish. In the end, the Lombardi trophy will be raised by the team that executes when it matters most, just don’t be surprised if that team is an AFC team.  Hold on to your hats race fans, you’re about to get your money’s worth…. Maybe. -Fenton
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

WATCH: John Calipari loses his mind, gets ejected

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to speak at John Kasich rally

Peyton Manning's alleged not-so-wholesome image

Hawks not shopping Al Horford at NBA trade deadline

Report: Lincecum has been throwing in secret location

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

Popovich would 'buy ticket' to watch Warriors play

Jamal Murray destroyed South Carolina defender with dunk

WATCH: Lon Kruger gets Oklahoma hoops squad hype for Kansas test

Texas signee glad he didn’t pick Texas A&M after alleged racism

Dallas Stars have passed the early tests in February

Could Matt Forte become the revival for Patriots run game?

Are the Celtics legimate contenders in the East?

WATCH: Jabari Parker is no joke at NBA Rising Stars Challenge

How Marvelous Marv Throneberry became a Met

WATCH: Filip Forsberg goes beast on Lightning with this goal

Carmelo Anthony on trade rumors: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

Report: Cavaliers shopping Kevin Love, price tag very high

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker