The NFL field has been whittled down to worthy set of 12, and the wild ride to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII begins this weekend. Make no mistake about it, this will be a wild ride and the Patriots will be right in the thick of the madness. We're talking twists and turns and all the electricity that will be sure to fool us as the NFL playoff teams are further pared down en route to Dixieland.
We know the Patriots will be at the forefront of crazy playoff expectations, doubt, and possibly even hate. The hoodie's shadow looms long. But we also have to consider the other guys, their lust for glory, and the miracle of happenstance that may dupe us along the way. We have to consider that there are three rookie quarterbacks to evaluate on such a grand stage, two second-year QBs, a refurbished MVP quarterback, the two most amazingly reconstructed knees in NFL history, and an imploding front-runner that still might have some fight left.
There are no New York Giants to consider as repeats, nor runaway favorites (despite what Las Vegas may offer), and no tingling fear of God emanating from the field of competition.
So who will be standing on that stage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when the confetti is dropping? Let's not just take a look, let's be bold. Let's make some predictions.