The first decade of the 21st Century was dominated by three teams: the Colts, the Patriots, and the Steelers. Those three teams accounted for six of the ten SB champions. Philadelphia, Baltimore, and San Diego had good teams that always came up short. And the AFC was the stronger conference.
The landscape seems to be changing in decade number two. The Colts have already collapsed, and both the Steelers and Patriots seem to be living on borrowed time. San Diego has fallen from best team to always fail to just average. Philadelphia and Baltimore are still good, but not good enough. And the NFC appears to be the stronger conference now.
In the AFC, the Texans appear to be emerging as a powerhouse, but none of the other teams currently exhibit that potential. In the NFC, however, there are several big time teams that will be good for many years. The Saints, Packers, Giants, and, yes, our very own San Francisco 49ers. It’s gonna be a ten year war, folks.
Of these four NFC teams, three have already won SBs and the other one, we’uns, haven’t. The 49ers first have to prove that 2011 wasn’t a fluke year before anybody outside the Niner fan base would consider them in the same elite breath as the other three teams.
The Giants are a weird group. They tend to flounder around each season, never more than a 50% chance of making the playoffs, and every fourth or fifth year, when the planets align correctly, they ride their defense and luck to a title. They are more likely to be unseated in the NFC East next year by the Eagles than go 13-3 and wow the league.
The Saints are the NFC version of the Patriots. All offense, little defense. Awesome regular season, phhffftt in the playoffs. Drew Brees is 33 and his window of excellence, like that of the soon to be 35 year old Tom Brady, will be closing soon. There’s also a young QB rising in Carolina that could make it a tough haul in the NFC South in the coming years.
The Packers look good to go for many years, especially if they fix their defense. And the 49ers can join them with another superior performance in 2012, especially if they fix their offense.
It might be noted that the Cowboys have not been mentioned here. Hahaha. Those clowns will never win anything as long as Jerry Jones and Tony Romo are running the circus. Even if Romo goes, there’s still Jerry. Jones is heading down Al Davis road. But Davis knew football. Jones doesn’t. It can’t get anything but worse as his brain cells fail to keep up with his face lifts. That’s another difference between Jones and Davis. Al rode his face hard and scarred to the very end. Real football guys just don’t do cosmetic surgery.