Fans in Green Bay and Baltimore may want to go ahead and make travel plans for a trip to New Orleans in February, if SB Nation's preseason Super Bowl picks are any indication. A total of 46 percent of SB Nation's NFL bloggers picked the Green Bay Packers as the NFC representative for Super Bowl XLVII. On the AFC side a smaller plurality, 38 percent, picked the Baltimore Ravens to represent the AFC in the big game.
As for the winner, 29 percent picked the Packers to take home the Lombardi Trophy. That narrowly beat the Ravens, who got 25 percent of the vote when asked which team would be the champion.
New England and Houston received plenty of attention from voters as the AFC pick, respectively getting 29 and 25 percent of the vote. Denver and Buffalo also got a vote.
Quarterbacks win games in the NFL. The quarterbacks in the Super Bowl since 2007: Eli Manning(2), Tom Brady(2), Ben Roethlisberger (2), Kurt Warner, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers. This year should be no different, and Brady and Rodgers are simply the best two quarterbacks in the game. They should make it to the Super Bowl -- and when they do, the best quarterback with the best supporting cast will win. That's Aaron Rodgers, leaving Brady in second place once again.
I actually picked the Texans to go to the Super Bowl before the 2011 season. I guess I was just a year ahead. They appear just as ready to go to the Super Bowl this year as last, and they are healthy again, so maybe they can make the run. Amazing that a team that lost Mario Williams could actually be better on defense. As for the Bears, they were hurt by injuries just like the Texans. With a chip on their shoulder to prove that last year's collapse was solely based on those injuries, and with Brandon Marshall teaming up with Jay Cutler again, this team could be the ones to come out of the NFC, despite being division rivals with the Packers.
SB Nation's preseason pick for comeback player of the year should be no surprise -- it's Peyton Manning. The Denver Broncos' quarterback, who missed last season with a neck injury, is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, so he's an easy pick for this award.
Manning's health is the big question in the NFL this year. If he plays like he did when he was racking up MVP awards, the Broncos will be a popular Super Bowl pick. If he struggles, it could be a long year in Denver.
If Peyton Manning can even remotely approach his pre-injury level of play, he should win this awardhands down. The preseason gave us little reason to worry about Peyton's injury, so this award should be his.
The full results:
Peyton Manning: 92 percent Jamaal Charles: 4 Adrian Peterson: 4
The vote on SB Nation's preseason award for NFL coach of the year was hotly contested with 13 coaches getting at least one vote. There can be only one winner though, and that's Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who pulled down 17 percent of the vote to make him SB Nation's preseason pick for NFL coach of the year.
The Seattle Seahawks are a team that isn't built conventionally, and Pete Carroll doesn't adhere to the normal rules for an NFL head coach. With the emergence of Russell Wilson this team can be good enough to win the NFC West - and Carroll should get plenty of praise if he manages to beat out last year's coach of the year for the division title.
I think the Eagles will have a good season and make the playoffs. So after missing them last year, that's probably enough of a turnaround to at least get Reid in the conversation... And I think if he's in the conversation, sentiment could carry him to theaward this season.
While picking Mike Mularkey as the manager of SB Nation's Jaguars blog might seem a bit homerish, I do feel like he has a legitimate shot of earning coach of the year honors. Mularkey is coming into a situation where in the previous season the football team struggled to win five football games and had the worst passing offense in the NFL with a quarterback in Blaine Gabbert who was just abysmal to the point at which people were already writing him off. Through training camp and the preseason, Mularkey has already made a night and day difference in Gabbert and if it translates into the regular season could see a massive turn around from being one of the worst passers in the NFL and have the Jaguars pushing towards a potential .500 record, maybe more if they're lucky.
Gary Kubiak could have been Coach of the Year last year, taking the Texans to the division title and playoffs for the first time in team history, and doing it with just about every player on the team missing time due to injury. Jim Harbaugh was probably the right choice last year, but I think Kubiak will turn around and continue the success he had last year, and pick up the award this year.
The full results:
Pete Carroll: 17 percent Andy Reid: 13 John Harbaugh: 13 Gary Kubiak: 8 Jim Harbaugh: 8 Tom Coughlin: 8 Marvin Lewis: 4 Romeo Crennel: 4 Lovie Smith: 4 Mike Mularkey: 4 Lovie Smith: 4 Bill Belichick: 4 Greg Schiano: 4 Jason Garrett: 4