NFL fans (and media) love two things: eating terribly and lists. NFL teams appease the former by laying out huge spreads of food before, during and sometimes after games to indulge the gluttonous media. NFL media is incredibly spoiled. To accomplish the latter - lists - we submit power rankings. These lists usually debut on Tuesdays as a way to rank the 32 NFL teams based on preseason expectations and in-season results, in order. Entering Week 14, Seattle is No. 1 in most power rankings. Denver is No. 2. Here's where it gets juicy: Denver is scheduled to play at Seattle next season. They also are the favorites to reach this Super Bowl. This is speculation, but doesn't it make sense the NFL would make Denver-at-Seattle its opening game for the 2014 season? It would be the old AFC West all over again.
Before Peyton Manning altered NFL history by choosing the Broncos, he considered taking his high-scoring act to the Titans. "I think that's why you saw our owner, Mr. (Bud) Adams, so excited about the opportunity to bring him here to Nashville," Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said on a conference call with media. In hindsight, it's fair to assume Manning would have brought the same kind of success he brought to Denver - to any of the teams he considered. Those suitors reportedly included Tennessee, Arizona, Miami and maybe San Francisco, even if Jim Harbaugh said the Niners were happy with Alex Smith (uh, huh). Now we know Manning returned to the game just as good as he was before - if not better. And now we know the Titans are forever destined to play the classic game: What If?
There's a bizarre development going down in the NBA, NHL and NFL: conference disparity. This is the opposite of what the NFL hopes to achieve, parity. Midweek in the NBA, the Western Conference had 12 teams with records of .500 or better. The Eastern Conference had only two teams with winning records. In the NHL, the Avalanche was No. 8 in the Western Conference. In the weakened East, they would be No. 1. In the NFL, by my measure, the NFC has four of the top five teams. (The Broncos would be my only pick in the AFC.) This is great for teams like the Broncos and Patriots; not so great for teams like the Avs and Nuggets. What does it mean on NFL Sundays? The Broncos and Patriots figure to have a relatively easy road to the Super Bowl, while the top seeds in the NFC must travel a gantlet.