Will Eli Manning surpass Peyton in Indy

It’s been a tough year for Peyton Manning, and while he’s naturally rooting for his little brother, he might find himself watch Eli surpass him in Super Bowl wins in his home Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Eli Manning is rightfully getting plenty of attention this week after he and the New York Giants upset Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last weekend. Some columnists are already suggesting that he’s the “better Manning.” As usual, sportswriters live in the moment and often get ahead of the story. Let’s see what Eli does in the next couple of games before we start making bold historical judgments.

We might end up with a Super Bowl rematch if Eli takes care of business in San Francisco and Tom Brady is able to lead the Patriots over the Ravens. That classic Giants/Patriots Super Bowl is remembered as one of the best, and you know that Brady and Bill Belichick would love to get another shot at the G-Men.

Outside of San Francisco and Baltimore, most NFL fans are probably rooting for that rematch. Of course, Jim Harbaugh and Ray Lewis will have their say on Sunday. Either way the NFL has had a great season coming out of a brutal offseason with the lockout. Let’s see if they can cap it off with a great final four and a great Super Bowl. Come Monday every NFL fan will be scouring the Super Bowl betting odds, from the game line to who will score the first touchdown.

  

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NFL gets down to the Final Four

NFL Playoffs. UPI/Brian Kersey

With some incredible games and some huge upsets, the NFL has whittled the playoff field down to four teams. New England hosts Baltimore next week and San Francisco gets an NFC Championship Game at home against the Giants after Green Bay fell flat yesterday.

Check out our sports blog at ScoresReport.com for news and updates on the 2012 NFL Playoffs and the road to the 2012 Super Bowl.

  

Bumps on the road to the Super Bowl

If you look at the 2012 Super Bowl lines, the NFC has been a heavy favorite with the dominance of the Green Bay Packers this season. With Aaron Rodgers having an amazing season, the Packers had all the momentum as they were plowing towards a potential undefeated season.

This weekend they hit a pretty big speed bump in the form of interim head coach Romeo Crennel and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have had a miserable season, starting the year with high expectations following a successful 2010 campaign. Ravaged by injuries and squabbles between the head coach and the GM, the Chiefs have been a mess all season.

But they have talent on defense, and now they have a solid quarterback in Kyle Orton to ride out the season, and Green Bay found out how difficult it is to go undefeated in the NFL.

But was this just a speed bump, or did the Chiefs expose some problems with the Packers? Aaron Rodgers is a stud and all the pundits were crowning him the king of quarterbacks even while others like Tom Brady and Drew Brees were also carving up defenses with the new rules. But Green Bay now has a problem on the offensive line with backup tackle Derek Sherrod breaking his leg and starter Bryan Bulaga getting an MRI today for a sprained knee. Aaron Rodgers may be great, but he’ll come back down to Earth if other teams can get pressure on him with four lineman like the Chiefs did yesterday. Just ask Tom Brady about his last Super Bowl appearance.

Speaking of Brady, he gave a lesson to young Tim Tebow yesterday as the Patriots spanked the upstart Broncos. The Patriots and Steelers look like the class of the AFC after the Houston Texans and the Baltimore Colts failed to show up yesterday, but the Steelers have a tough road game tonight in San Francisco with Ben Roethlisberger trying to play on a gimpy ankle.

Back to the NFC, Drew Brees put on a show yesterday. For all the talk about Aaron Rodgers this season, Brees is poised to break Dan Marino’s record for most passing yards in a season. We also have two rookies this season with over 3,000 yards, so anyone trying to tell you Aaron Rodgers is having the best season for a QB in NFL history needs to put this in context. By holding back hits on receivers and quarterbacks, the NFL has turned this into something resembling arena football. Stats are inflated.

That said, it’s still shaping up to be a Green Bay/New Orleans shootout on the NFC side. Should be fun to watch.

  

Are you ready for some football?

New England Patriots cheerleaders perform during a NFL football game against the New York Giants in Foxborough, Massachusetts September 1, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

After a brutal off-season, the NFL kicks off tonight with a great match-up between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints in a battle of the past two Super Bowl winners. Check out Anthony Stalter’s 2011 NFL Preview for all of his predictions, and then check out the latest NFL lines to get ready for your office pool.

We’ve included some cheerleader pics for your viewing pleasure so check out more after the jump.

The Redskins cheerleaders are in mid-season form:

Washington Redskins cheerleaders perform in between the first and second quarter their pre-season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on August 12, 2011. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg
Washington Redskins cheerleaders perform in between the first and second quarter their pre-season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on August 12, 2011. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

These Denver Broncos cheerleaders are loaded with energy:

The Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on August 20, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey
The Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on August 20, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey
The Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on August 20, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey
  

Gearing up for fall with the NFL

Like everyone else, we’re thrilled that the billionaires and millionaires were able to settle their differences so that the rest of us could enjoy pro football and everything that goes with it this fall. Of course we always have college football, but all the silly scandals and the idiotic BCS system make this a flawed sport. The NFL rules the day and it makes the end of summer much easier to handle. Here are some thing to start thinking about as we’re into the preseason schedule:

Tailgating – now is the time to start planning some great NFL weekends, whether it’s a road trip or just a local thing. Think about cool gear like grilles and other supplies you’ll need to spice up your tailgate party.

Fantasy Football – It’s never too early to start studying so you don’t sound like a fool on draft day.

NFL odds – This season will be very unpredictable with the lack of an offseason and all the new coaches and quarterbacks. Is Colt McCoy the real deal in Cleveland> Can Donovan McNabb still play? Will Chad Henne still suck? The preseason is overrated as a predictor of the NFL season, but this year you probably need to watch things a little more closely to get ready for the season.

  

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