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Blog Entry

Assessing the X-factors: Super Bowl hopefuls

Posted on: January 20, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Posted by Andy Benoit

Only four teams are still standing in the 2010 NFL season, and each believes they’re destined to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Feb 6. The Steelers have hoisted the trophy a record six times. The Jets have hoisted it zero times but only because the stingy NFL does not hand out hardware for self-proclaimed preseason titles.

The Bears have won gobs of titles, but only one of them has been in the Super Bowl era (1985). The Packers have won three times that many Super Bowls (’66, ’67 and ’96). Neither the Packers nor Bears ever had to go through the other during the postseason to claim their title. In fact, they’ve only met in the playoffs once – and that came a week after Pearl Harbor. Yet, many fans have acquiesced to the television executives and marketing gurus telling them to view this as the best rivalry in football. In the spirit of Championship Week hype, we’ll go with it.

It will stoke the Bear-Packer rivalry when one of the teams ruins the other’s Super Bowl chances this Sunday. We’ll assume the same concept will also lay the groundwork for a Jets-Steelers rivalry (so far it’s been a bizarre love fest between those two teams).

So what are all these teams’ chances at actually making it to Arlington and having a shot at the Lombardi Trophy? Well, technically, 50 percent each. But vagueness disguised as mathematics is no fun. And neither is breaking down the same key matchups a million times. So, instead, we’ll drum up some Super Bowl appearance odds based on various X factors.

*taking the opponent’s factors into consideration


Green Bay Packers

Known to Football Fans for:
Offensive weaponry, aggressive 3-4 defense
C. Woodson (US Presswire)
Known to Non-football fans for: Cheeseheads

Most dangerous X factor: Charles Woodson

Most subtle X factor: Mike McCarthy’s occasionally questionable clock management

Injury factor: Nothing new this week (a nice changeup for a team that’s been a mash unit all season)

External conditions factor: Must adapt to the unfamiliar and unstable Soldier Field surface

Favorable karmic factor: Taking a hard line against Brett Favre’s wishy-washiness three years ago by turning to Aaron Rodgers
Unfavorable karmic factor: Stringing Rodgers along for three years before that (though to be fair, that Favre guy was pretty darn good)

Overall factor impact on Super Bowl chances*: +8

Final Super Bowl appearance chances: 58 percent



Chicago Bears

Known to Football Fans for:
Black and blue offense that we’re all still trying to remember is actually more of pass-first Mike Martz offense now. Also, known for classic Cover 2 defenseJ. Cutler (US Presswire)

Known to Non-football fans for: Da Bears

Most dangerous X factor: Devin Hester

Most subtle X factor: The offensive line’s ability (or inability?) to diagnose blitzes before the snap

Injury factor:
Safety Chris Harris missed practice earlier this week with a sore hip

External conditions factor: Haven’t faced an above .500 team in the postseason since losing to the Colts in Super Bowl XLI

Favorable karmic factor: Jay Cutler and Mike Martz have been able to put their big egos aside and get along just fine

Unfavorable karmic factor: Cutler and Martz are only here because so many others got sick of dealing with those big egos
Overall factor impact on Super Bowl chances*: -8

Final title chances: 42 percent



New York Jets

Known to Football Fans for:
Complex defensive scheme, run-first offense led by young quarterback and brashness
Known to Non-football fans for: Hard Knocks, Ines Sainz, foot fetishes and, before those things, being that “Oh that’s right, there are TWO teams from New York” team
R. Ryan (US Presswire)
Most dangerous X factor: Brad Smith

Most subtle X factor: The unheralded defensive line’s ability to get penetration against the run.

Injury factor: WR/KR Brad Smith (groin) practiced this week after sitting out against the Patriots; OLB/DE Jason Taylor did not practice (concussion)

External conditions factor: Attempting field goals in Heinz Field is unsettling. Attempting field goals in Heinz Field with a bewilderingly up-and-down kicker like Nick Folk? Downright nerve-wracking.

Favorable karmic factor: Their confidence

Unfavorable karmic factor: Their arrogance

Overall factor impact on Super Bowl chances*: -13

Final title chances: 37 percent



Pittsburgh Steelers

Known to Football Fans for:
Being the consummate NFL franchise

Known to Non-football fans for: Being the last true remindB. Roethlisberger (US Presswire)er that Pittsburgh once had a burgeoning steel industry

Most dangerous X factor:
Troy Polamalu

Most subtle X factor: Nose tackle Casey Hampton’s immovability against the run

Injury factor:
SS Troy Polamalu once again rested his sore Achilles; CB Bryant McFadden sat out with a strained abdomen; DE Aaron Smith (triceps) practiced for first time since October but will not play Sunday.

External conditions factor: Because they didn’t lose them all in a row like their intrastate neighbors to the east, you don’t hear much about this: the Steelers have lost four AFC title games since 1994. All at home, by the way.

Favorable karmic factor: Management dumping bright star Santonio Holmes after his off-field transgressions

Unfavorable karmic factor: Management not dumping brighter star Ben Roethlisberger after his off-field transgressions

Overall factor impact on Super Bowl chances*: +13

Final title chances: 63 percent


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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:00 pm
 

Assessing the X-factors: Super Bowl hopefuls

Now you have an engaging presentation during the. Make certain to keep the excellent top of the line blogposts heading. I'm really inclusive of that to help tagging.


dsfjwerw
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 5:43 pm
This comment has been removed.

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jhfgdters
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 11:10 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 12:35 pm
 

Assessing the X-factors: Super Bowl hopefuls

I am with jojo kinda makes you think thisn guy has no clue huh?



Since: Aug 1, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2011 1:56 am
 

Assessing the X-factors: Super Bowl hopefuls

@jojomw,
Andy Benoit states that each feels they are destined to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, not just the Super Bowl trophy. It wasn't named the Vince Lombardi Trophy until 1970, after the Jets won Super Bowl III. I know, seems kind of a sneaky way to state it, but technically the author is correct. So no, the Jets have never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.



Since: Jan 21, 2011
Posted on: January 21, 2011 12:47 am
 

Assessing the X-factors: Super Bowl hopefuls

AFL championship, as I recall, although the article mentions Packers winning it in '66, '67...



Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 12:16 am
 

Assessing the X-factors: Super Bowl hopefuls

In your first paragraph you mention the Steelers hoisted the Super Bowl trophy 6 times:Correct! The third sentence you say;
The have hoisted it zero times but only because the stingy NFL does not hand out hardware for self-proclaimed preseason titles.
What about Super Bowl III? Seems they did hoist the trophy at least "1" time.


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