For those of you who thought this past weekend’s NFL games were crazy, just wait until I tell you why the New York Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego.
I’ll start with the path the hometown Bucs will travel.
First, the road to the big game will go through Tampa Bay, just like originally thought a few weeks ago when the Bucs were trying to wrap up homefield advantage. This will happen because Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons will upset another favored team, the Philadelphia Eagles, in this weekend’s NFC Divisional playoff game in Philadelphia.
Vick will stun the Eagles, even with Donovan McNabb back at the helm, just as he did Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Vick combines to rush and pass for 300 yards against a good Philadelphia defense, and the Falcons win, 24-17.
As for the other NFC Divisional playoff game between the Bucs and the San Francisco 49ers, the Bucs cruise to a 28-10 victory at Raymond James Stadium.
Brad Johnson uses the extra time off to come back and throw three touchdowns, including two to Keyshawn Johnson. Michael Pittman earns his first 100-yard rushing game of the season, and the Bucs’ defense shuts down the air attack of Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens to move on to its third NFC Championship game in team history.
And you know what they say, the third time is a charm.
The Bucs have proven they can stop Vick’s playmaking abilities, and the defense will rise to the occasion again as Tampa Bay rolls to a 21-3 victory at Ray-Jay behind two Mike Alstott touchdown runs. Tampa Bay earns the franchise’s first Super Bowl berth, finally giving Warren Sapp and Keyshawn something worth yapping about.
The Jets will have a tougher road to travel because they must knock off the top two seeds in the AFC. But, they’ll get it done — on the road.
First, Chad Pennington continues his marvelous season by out-passing NFL MVP Rich Gannon, and the Jets upset the Raiders 34-31 in Oakland.
Pennington throws for over 300 yards and four touchdowns, putting the Jets in the AFC Championship game against Tennessee.
The Titans get back to the AFC Championship game for the first time since the 2000 season with a shocking 34-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh will come out flat after using all its energy coming back against the Cleveland Browns last weekend. Steve McNair and Eddie George show why the Titans are 10-1 over their last 11 games by having their way with a worn out Pittsburgh defense.
The AFC Championship game will be a thriller, with the Jets moving on to the Super Bowl after a 17-16 victory.
Pennington hits wide receiver Wayne Chrebet over the middle of the field with time winding down, and New York uses its final timeout, stopping the clock with three seconds remaining. With the ball on the Tennessee 30-yard line, Jets kicker John Hall connects on a 47-yard field goal, pushing the Jets into the Super Bowl for the first time since 1969, which was the Joe Namath guarantee.
Jets-Bucs Super Bowl XXXVII?
Think I’m crazy? Just watch.
Contact Adam Adkins at firstname.lastname@example.org