By Matthew Cunha
It seems like every preseason there are numerous people who predict a Super Bowl that pits #12 Tom Brady and #12 Aaron Rodgers. Since Rodgers took over for Brett Favre in 2008, the two great quarterbacks have managed to avoid each other in the sport’s biggest stage. On Sunday, the possibility of these two quarterbacks meeting once again still exists. Will this be time we see the duel of the #12’s?
In the 1996 season, the Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. From then until Aaron Rodgers took over, the Patriots won 3 Super Bowls and the Packers, zero. Since 2008, the Patriots and the Packers have been the models of consistency in the NFL. Both teams have been to the playoffs every year since 2009 but somehow have never paired off to dance at the 45 minute halftime show.
The Packers and Patriots collision course started in 2007. Brett Favre threw one of the worst interceptions in history in NFC Championship game before the Giants emerged victorious. In 2010, Green Bay made (and won) the Super Bowl as a six seed over Pittsburgh. The #1 seeded Patriots lost in the divisional round to the New York Jets. The next year, the Patriots made the Super Bowl, but the 15-1 Packers could not escape the Giants in the divisional round. In 2012, the Patriots lost a conference championship game to the eventual champion Ravens. The Packers lost to the 49ers (NFC Champions) in the divisional round. In 2013, both teams had significant injuries that prevented them from seriously contending. (Wouldn’t Browns fans kill to just once “not seriously contend” like the Packers and Patriots did in 2013? Meaning, they only made the conference championship game.) The nearest miss came in 2014, when the Packers were an onside kick recovery away from beating the Seahawks and going to Super Bowl. Last year, the once again injured Packers and Patriots, lost in the divisional and conference championship rounds.
After almost a decade of near misses, could 2017 be the year? Both teams face high powered offenses on Sunday, but If I were a betting man I would pick both these teams to win. However, history has shown that these two teams have a way of avoiding each other. In the most recent game between these two teams, the Packers won one of the greatest regular season games of all-time 26-21. Although that game was over 2 years ago, a battle between these two teams would surely be one for the record books. It is time for these two quarterbacks and these two organizations to finally come together on the biggest stage and create an epic battle. A battle several years in the waiting and a battle that decides who actually is the best quarterback in the league. There is no question what two teams I am cheering for on Sunday.
Matthew Cunha is a producer on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.