Over the past two weeks, fellow Sports Wave journalist Jack Tuttle and I discussed our predictions for the NFC and AFC playoff pictures and how they would unfold. In my article about the NFC, I had the New Orleans Saints coming out on top and going to play in Super Bowl LIII. When Tuttle made his predictions for the AFC, he predicted the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the AFC. That means, in our hypothetical situation, that the Steelers and Saints would meet in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on February 3rd, 2019. In this article, I will be giving my take and analysis on who would win the Super Bowl under these circumstances. I will go a little more in depth in this one because it is just one game.
Ah, here we are. All of the Cleveland Browns fans say they refuse to watch the Super Bowl because they believe that the NFL is rigged because Baker Mayfield hasn’t won seven rings yet. And then, when it comes to game time, they all turn their televisions on and start drooling over watching an actually competitive team, and hoping that their team can eventually win once upon a time. Sorry for the rant, but for the record, the Browns are being WAY overhyped. Anyways, this is a really interesting matchup. We have two of the best quarterbacks in the game as well as two of the best run attacks in football (assuming Le’Veon Bell is still in Pittsburgh at this point). Of course, we have to look at the defenses. The Saints seem to have the advantage at every level of the defense. Barring any big surprise, the Saints should have one of the NFL’s top defenses while Pittsburgh should be average at best, considering the loss of MLB Ryan Shazier, who broke his back last season and is extremely fortunate to even be walking right now. There really isn’t going to be a ton of pressure on Drew Brees to throw for 350+ yards and 3 touchdowns, given New Orleans’ fantastic running game and defense. It could be a “pick your poison” situation for the Steelers’ defense. They could be caught between stacking the box in order to stop the run, or dropping 7-8 guys into coverage and allowing Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara to run wild. Pittsburgh’s “Killer Bs” (Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown) will do their thing all night long and keep their team in the game. It should be a great game, similar to Super Bowl LII with the Eagles and Patriots.
Yes, this will be one hell of a game. I do believe that the New Orleans Saints will come out with a win in this scenario. It is history rewriting itself. This case is similar to Peyton Manning’s final NFL year, when he won Super Bowl 50 and then decided to hang up the cleats for good. Brees finally has an elite running game and elite defense, and he is going to win Super Bowl LIII and call it a career. The very idea of this almost brings tears to my eyes, because Brees is one of my favorite players in the NFL. I will now provide my predictions for the end-of-game stats and Super Bowl MVP.
Final Score: New Orleans Saints 42 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 34
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): 27-42, 337 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Le’Veon Bell (PIT): 96 rush yards, 20 ATT, 1 rush TD, 57 rec yards, 8 rec
Antonio Brown (PIT): 103 rec yards, 6 rec, 1 TD
JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT): 79 rec yards, 4 rec, 1 TD
Drew Brees (NO): 23-36, 304 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Mark Ingram (NO): 113 rush yards, 24 ATT, 1 rush TD, 13 rec yards, 1 rec
Alvin Kamara (NO): 67 rush yards, 12 ATT, 77 rec yards, 1 rec TD
Super Bowl MVP: Drew Brees, QB, NO