Yes, the Rams and the Chiefs are the two best teams in the NFL. But does anyone really want two college-style offences with very little history as their end-of-season spectacle?
Two teams that should be getting more love are the Los Angeles Chargers and the New Orleans Saints. These two clashing would make for the best possible Super Bowl come February for a number of reasons.
While bellcow backs have long been the poster boys of the National Football League, this one belongs to the signal-callers.PaddyPower.com’s NFL odds convert on third-and-long
Rivers and Brees are both in the MVP conversation and for good reason. But their connection goes back a long way. For new subscribers to NFL, the fact Drew Brees was a San Diego Charger may well be lost on them.
Indeed, when Brees entered the league back in 2001, he was taken in the second round by Spanos & Co to lead the organisation.
But things went south for him and the Chargers when they drafted Philip Rivers in 2004. The funny thing was, Rivers wasn’t even their primary interest. They wanted to draft Eli Manning, but in an unprecedented move, the worse of the two Mannings spoke out about not wanting to move to that market.
So, a deal was struck. Manning was taken first overall by the Chargers, which resulted in the most awkward draft photo of all time – before the Giants took Rivers – and the two teams swapped, with the Chargers picking up extra picks which they would end up using on Pro Bowl talents.
One of those, ironically, was Brees’ center at Purdue – Nick Hardwick.
After Brees tore his right labrum, the Chargers considered it safer to back their investment in Rivers and Brees was sent to New Orleans. Now, there’s no animosity between the two – they’re two of the best pros in the game – but they’re career trajectories, while being completely separate have always been linked because of that controversy.
Would the Chargers have won a Super Bowl under Brees? Would Brees have won a Super Bowl with the Chargers front office?
Would Rivers have won a Super Bowl that he desperately deserves elsewhere?
These two players’ time is coming to an end in this league and with Rivers’ Hall of Fame status in question without a ring, it would be the ultimate test for him to finally prove that the Chargers’ belief in him was validated – by beating the man he was chosen over.
Alongside this narrative, the Chargers seemingly eternal association with mediocrity while in San Diego has been removed and they look real contenders now. It would both be ironic and harsh on San Diego, should the Bolts finally lift Vince Lombardi under the name of Los Angeles.
Beyond these, the two rosters are stacked. Marshon Lattimore and Casey Hayward are two of the best corners in the league, while Michael Thomas and Keenan Allen are both elite talents.
Good running backs are hard to come by, but the Chargers and Saints have dual-threat at the position with Ekeler and Gordon coming up against Ingram and Kamara.
This would be the Super Bowl of a lifetime – and the veterans’ swansongs whose chequered histories would finally clash would make for one of the most high-stakes matchups of all-time.Touchdown with PaddyPower.com’s NFL odds