Lombardi Trophy up for Grabs

The Lombardi Trophy made it back to where it began in 2010 as the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. This year the Packers will be looking to travel to Indianapolis as Lucas Oil Stadium will host Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012. There will be many team competing for their shot and going into the annals of the NFL as the champions of the 2011 season. The parity in the NFL is among the best in all of sports as the last repeat champion was the New England Patriots in 2004 and 2005. The Packers are hoping to become the next back to back champions but there are many teams looking to dethrone the champions.

A Battle Between Giants (AFC East Preview)

One of the strongest divisions in the last decade has been the AFC North but really because of one team. The New England Patriots were the NFL’s team of the 2000s as they continued to win every year and if they didn’t win they were very close. With Tom Brady and Bill Belichick leading the Pats they have been able to dominate the league for years. The last few years has seen a small shift in the power structure as the New York Jets have welcomed Rex Ryan.

Can the “Dream Team” Match the Hype (NFC East Preview)

The NFC East is has been one of the best divisions in the NFL as they have teams that could win any year. They also have four of the most legendary teams in the NFL as every team has a history that some teams would love. The Dallas Cowboys were one of the first teams to be in almost every home in the U.S. This gave them the moniker of “America’s Team” and has made them the richest team and the most recognizable team in the NFL. The New York Giants are also in this category as they were one of the original NFL teams and have been a staple in the New York sports scene for as long as the NFL has existed.

Can Indy Manage to Hold on? (AFC South Preview)

The AFC South has been dominated by one team and really one man for the last few years as the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning have won the South consistently. Peyton Manning has been one of the best QBs in the NFL and he has led his team to the AFC South championships repeatedly. Meanwhile the Houston Texans are beginning to show some life after coming into the NFL in the 1997. The Texans have been getting better every year and will be looking to challenge the dominance of the Colts this year.

Battle at the Top in the South (NFC South Preview)

The NFC South could be one of the toughest divisions this year as every team has a chance at winning, although some might need more stars to align than others. The Atlanta Falcons are coming off of their best season and hope to improve one more step from last year. This year they have been pegged by many as a Super Bowl favorite and hope to make this a reality. The 2009 champions will have something to say about that as the New Orleans Saints look to get over the Super Bowl Hangover and make it back this year. Again the Saints have also been pegged by many as a Super Bowl favorite this year. These two teams will be the ones to watch in the NFC South as they will be the two top teams but the other teams in the division may give them a little trouble.

Chargers Still the Class of the West (AFC West Preview)

The AFC West has been dominated by one team for years as the An Diego Chargers are favorites to win every year. The Chargers have been the class of the division for many years but have never been able to do anything in the playoffs. Last year ended their rein when a surprising Kansas City club took home the division title. They did this with pure speed as they left other teams in the dust for the majority of the season.

Who will win the Wild West? (NFC West Preview)

The NFC West has been the division of the basement dwellers for the last while as last year the winning team had a losing record. It was not always this way as both the St. Louis Rams and the San Francisco 49ers have both been some of the best teams in the NFL. The 49ers were the team of the late 80s and 90s when they had a coach who brought the West Coast offence into the limelight named Bill Walsh. With Walsh at the helm and Joe Montana and Steve Young under centre the 49ers won five Super Bowls. Lately San Francisco has been less than impressive as they have not been able to gain traction. The St. Louis Rams had a briefer strong period as they were known as the Greatest Show on Turf during the end of the 1990s when they won their first Super Bowl in 1999.

Can the Ravens get Past Pitt (AFC North Preview)

The AFC North has been known for the great defence in the division including the two top teams. Pittsburgh and Baltimore have a reputation for have very stingy defences that shut down every offence they face. The Steelers have the best tradition as they harken back to the time of the Steel Curtain defence. The Ravens have created a reputation with their two veterans that are bound to enter the Hall of Fame in the future. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed have made a defence to be feared. Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have battled for the top spot for years as the two teams from Ohio struggle to keep up.

Can the Packers Repeat? (NFC North Preview)

The NFC North is fast becoming one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL with the defending champions squeaking into the playoffs last year. The Packers ended last season with a 10-6 record and 6th in the NFC. The Packers had a rough time in the North as they were second in the division to the Bears and lost both games to the Detroit Lions. With all of that controversy the Packers still managed to make it into the wild card and win the Super Bowl.

Unpredictable Season Ahead

For a while there I got worried, worried that the NFL and NFLPA would think of themselves and not the fans, or their bottom line. The NFL season was heading quickly into a long lasting labour fight that seemed it was never going to be solved. With the many different reports of getting close to a deal and then reports of no such thing it seemed like there was no way to know what would happen. As the preseason approached the sides were still deadlocked not being able to agree on a settlement. Then it finally came the agreement that would allow the NFL to continue playing and letting every NFL fan out there let out a sigh of relief. The only casualty was the Hall of Fame game that is essentially an extra preseason game meant as a part of the celebration for the Hall of Fame inductees.

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