According to Dan Hanzus of the NFL website, the New England Patriots have emerged to be ranked first in his Week 8 Power Rankings. Behind New England is the New Orleans Saints that are neck-and-neck with the San Francisco 49ers, whom he ranked third. Oddshark has the Patriots and Niners ranked first and second in defensive rankings. In terms of record, the Patriots are 7-0 and the 49ers are 6-0 — so they are both undefeated. Since both teams share similar characteristics, will they be likely to both be in the Super Bowl? Maybe, and heres why:
First off, yesterday was a chaotic day in NFL trades. The Patriots decided to trade the Falcons a second round pick for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
This was a power move on the Patriots part. They are going all in now. A second round pick is a valuable asset, but no where near as valuable as Sanu. For years, he was Matt Ryan’s go-to guy for his passes. Usually, there always is a good receiver behind a good quarterback. Talented quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Ryan all had Julian Edelman, Jordy Nelson, and Mohamed Sanu to help them get more passing yards and touchdowns in their careers. Now that Brady has two elite receivers as options for his passes, it’s going to be really hard to beat the Patriots.
But the Patriots were not the only ones that exerted a power move yesterday.
In the aftermath of the Sanu trade, there were rumors that multiple teams were interested in the Denver Broncos’ veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. After some negotiation, the 49ers and the Broncos came to an agreement on a deal: Denver would receive third and fourth round picks, and the Niners would get Sanders.
Emmanuel Sanders is one of the most reliable wide receivers in the National Football League. In recent years, he has not been passed to nearly as much as some of the stars in the spotlight, but he can catch almost anything within a 4 feet radius of his body. He is also a tremendous leader — by rallying his team to get a win. I like to think of him as a more-intelligent Antonio Brown, he just might not be quite as fast because of his Achilles injury from last year.
So, San Francisco has an incredibly talented, young quarterback that has a veteran receiver that is consistent. This combination of the fresh arm of a young quarterback and the wisdom in terms of route-running strategy will only help the team for this year and many other years to come.
What It Would Actually Look Like:
Both the Patriots and the 49ers are the top two defenses so far this year, so in that aspect they will be pretty evenly matched. The real question will be who can do the most offensively that will ultimately decide who gets the victory.
Here are the factors that will decide which offense comes out on top:
1. What quarterback has the most time:– Time has the upmost importance to quarterbacks, if they want to be able to make the best decisions that they are capable of making. The offensive line is directly responsible with how long they can hold the pass rush, so they will need to be on their A-game to win. And if not, crazy talented pass rushers like Nick Bosa might end up on top of Brady a few times!
2. Turnovers:– Turnovers are one of the biggest game-deciding factors in pretty much any scenario. Each offense needs to be very careful to not turn the ball over, especially in their own territory. The worst-case scenario for any team is to have an opposing defense recover the ball and score while you’re on offense. Then, the special teams unit comes back out and the offense comes back on the field all over again. If either team can score on defense in the game, I’m giving them the game-winning edge.
3. Injuries:-All of these assumptions above are if all of the current players can stay healthy. If for some reason someone like Brady or Garoppolo gets injured, their season is as good as done. As long as both teams don’t overplay their best players and keep them healthy, the playing field should be fairly level.
By far the most interesting piece of this matchup to me is that Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo were at one point teammates…
Is it a possibility that we will finally see Brady and Garoppolo the classic master-apprentice battle that we’ve all been waiting for in Super Bowl LIV?
Photo Credit:By SAB0TEUR – New England Patriots grand entrance, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55117928