Pats-Packers a Super Bowl preview?

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The Patriots and Green Bay Packers are the 2 hottest teams in the league. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The Patriots have won 7 in a row since starting 2-2 and struggling early. The Packers have won 7 of 8 since starting 1-2 and they've won their last 3 since losing to the New Orleans Saints on the road back in Week 8. That includes blowouts of the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles. They are coming off a narrow 24-21 win in Minnesota against the Vikings. The Patriots beat 3 straight tough teams, and did so impressively. They beat the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions by a combined 79-50, winning by 20+ points in each of those games. So, the question is: Is this game a Super Bowl preview?

Quite possibly. Right now, the Patriots (9-2) are the #1 seed in the AFC and the Packers (8-3) are #2, courtesy of the head-to-head tiebreaker (the Eagles are also 8-3, but the Packers beat them back in Week 11). Right now, the Packers would have to be considered one of the favorites to come out of the NFC, along with Arizona. Right now, I would give Green Bay a slight edge in the NFC over the Cardinals, though. Why? Because the Packers look unbeatable at the moment and they have this guy named Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, who has thrown for 2,957 yards and 30 touchdowns, while only throwing 3 interceptions. The Cardinals have a tough defense, which you can't overlook after the Seattle Seahawks won a Super Bowl on the back of their defense, but the question for me is their offense. Can Drew Stanton do enough to compete with Aaron Rodgers, even with Larry Fitzgerald? I have my doubts. So, at least in my mind, the Packers, are the favorites to come out of the NFC.

And the Patriots, as I wrote last week, are the favorites to get out of the AFC. To summarize what I said there, the Patriots have a couple of ways they can beat you, and they have matched up well with some of the best in the league. Can they continue the trend against Green Bay? They can, but it certainly won't be easy.

When the dust settles, these 2 teams could well be playing for the Lombardi Trophy in February - they both look that good right now. There's still a lot of football to be played between now and then and I could be proven wrong, but I think this game could wind up being a Super Bowl preview.