Super Bowl 2014 News and Update: Who Will Make it to NYC for Super Bowl 48?
The road to Super Bowl 48 is starting to get less congested. Only 4 teams are left in their quest for the Lombardi Trophy. NFL fans are close to finding out if the 49ers, Seahawks, Patriots or Broncos will win it all in the Meadowlands.
The San Francisco 49ers punched their ticket to the NFC title game after a big win over the underdog, with the better record, Carolina Panthers. Despite having more playoff experience, the 49ers were facing a Panthers team that had the longest winning streak in the NFL. The Panthers also beat the Niners at home 10-9. None of that mattered, thanks in part to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's gaffes. Newton had an opportunity to show the fans at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte that he was an elite player. Instead, he delivered an lousy all-around performance complete with a momentum burning red zone interception by Donte Whitner in the third quarter.
It was evident that the Panthers wanted to tame the high flying 49ers offense but instead of bruising the California kids' egos, the Panthers got emotional. In the third quarter, Kaepernick kept the ball himself and ran to his left. A missed crack block by Drayton Florence led to a fairly easy score to make the game 19-10. While in the end zone and facing the rowdy Panther's crowd, Kaep mocked Newton's superman celebration. Not only was the hometown crowd even more amped up after that, the Panthers players themselves were seething. That score pretty much ended the game... you can't win a playoff game with turnovers, let alone losing your composure over a silly endzone tactic. Now Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Colin Kaepernick will try and lead the 49ers to their second straight Super Bowl appearance with a win over the #1 seeded Seattle Seahawks next week. The Seahawks defeated the New Orleans Saints yesterday 23-15.
The AFC is where things get really interesting. During last weeks wild card playoff game the Indianapolis Colts staged a rally for the ages. Down four touchdowns to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Colts stormed back to win 45-44. They had no such luck tonight as a 21-7 deficit versus the at home New England Patriots snowballed into a 43-22 defeat. Despite the final score this was a bruising matchup between two strong willed teams.
Pat's running back LeGarrette Blount managed to overshadow the play of his quarterback Tom Brady. That's hard to do; after all, Brady is the winningest QB in NFL playoff history with 18 Ws. But the former 1,000 yard rusher broke a Patriots team record with 4 rushing touchdowns (counting playoff and regular season games). Blount's 166 yards were also a personal best and tied the Pat's team playoff record set by Hall of Famer Curtis Martin. Martin previously held the TD mark and had sole possession of the yardage mark.
Amazingly, nearly half of Blount's ground game came on one play -- a 73 yard romp across Gillette Stadium. Blount turned a lot of heads. Still, he's best known for sucker punching a Boise State player after a loss while playing for the Oregon Ducks in 2009. More noteworthy performances like yesterday's will go a long way in making people forget about that incident.
In the last divisional playoff game of the day (and the playoffs) the Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 24-17. The Mile High faithful witnessed a dominant defensive performance by their sqaud despite missing injured linebacker Von Miller. The Broncos' defense was supposed to be their weak point, especially when compared with the team's historic offense. Quarterback Peyton Manning didn't have to do too much in the victory.
Who do you think is going to win the Super Bowl? Let us know in the comments section below.