Week 9 NFL Consensus Power Rankings
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Like most sites, we looked into our crystal balls before the season began and made our preseason predictions for who would win each division and who would win Super Bowl XLVIII.
Of course, things don't always play out as we expect.
Many expected a major improvement for the Chiefs, but how many projected that they would be the only unbeaten team halfway through the season?
With more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage, Jamaal Charles is on pace for 2,036 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the duo of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are on pace for a combined 40 sacks.
Some of their skeptics point to their relatively soft schedule up to this point, but they have beaten those on their schedule, which is all that they can do.
Now that we are halfway through the season, what is your prediction for Super Bowl XLVIII?
Kevin Hanson (follow on Twitter):
There is little chance that undrafted free agent Case Keenum, who will get another start this week, will turn around the fortunes of the Texans (2-5) enough to make my Super Bowl XLVIII prediction (of Niners over Texans) come true.
After their slow start (1-2), the 49ers are on a five-game winning streak with the look of being one of the NFL's elite teams. Not only have the 49ers scored 30-plus points in all five of those wins, but they have turned around their defense, which has allowed only 61 total points during that span.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has thrown for less than 200 yards in six of his past seven games, but Frank Gore has been running the ball very well. Plus, the team will get back Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham at some point to bolster the team's receiving corps down the stretch.
I'll stick with the 49ers winning Super Bowl XLVIII, but I think they will beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos this year — and then we can all wait anxiously for the next Jim Irsay tweet.
John Trifone (follow on Twitter):
To start the year, I took the Bengals and the 49ers to meet in the Super Bowl, and not a lot has happened to make me change my mind.
I'm sticking with San Francisco in the NFC. The Seahawks are the favorite for the majority of people, but they just have not impressed on the road. They had another ho-hum win at St. Louis—a team that just lost its starting quarterback for the year. I think the Niners will win the rematch and finish with home field.
In the AFC, I picked the Bengals preseason to be different, and I still really like the Bengals as the second-best team in the AFC. However, I do think that Denver will lock up home field and make it to the Super Bowl. Ultimately, I think the Broncos will win it.
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Sean Beazley (follow on Twitter):
My preseason prediction was New England over Seattle in the Super Bowl. New England has been struggling this year, but they find themselves at 6-2. They have been hit by the injury bug this year losing arguably their two best defensive players in Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo. I still wouldn't write off the Patriots, but the only way I see them making it to the big dance is if someone knocks off Denver for them. I expect Denver to be the No. 1 seed, and the Patriots No. 3 seed, so they won't meet until the AFC Championship. I think Denver is the team to beat in the AFC.
In the NFC, I think it comes down to home-field advantage. If Seattle locks up the No. 1 seed, it is going to be awfully tough for anyone to go in there and beat them. Seattle playing on the road is another story, where I think they are vulnerable. San Francisco has rattled off five straight wins after starting 1-2, but none of those wins were versus a team with a winning record.
The team I like the most right now in the NFC is New Orleans. The difference this year for the Saints is their defense. They rank fourth in the NFL in points against (17.1 per game). Rob Ryan has turned around the Saints D, just like Wade Phillips did with the Texans D a few years back.
My midseason Super Bowl pick would be: New Orleans 44, Denver 41.
Dan Yanotchko (follow on Twitter):
I am certain that most people would love a do over at the halfway point when it comes to making a Super Bowl prediction, and you can count me in this majority as well.
We are at the halfway point, and I still feel that my NFC pick of Seattle will still hold true. The Seahawks have an impressive defense, great quarterback play, are about to get back Percy Harvin, and they have the best home-field advantage in the league. On the AFC side, I had the New England Patriots being New Jersey bound, but they are missing too many key pieces on that team with Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Sebastian Volmer just added to IR, that is two All Pro's and one Pro Bowler.
The AFC representative will be the Cincinnati Bengals, as they have an offense that is starting to click, one of the best defenses in the league, and never trust Peyton Manning in cold weather. Your proud New Jersey Super Bowl contestants will be Seattle vs. Cincinnati.