1. Green Bay (14-6). Remember how the low seeds could never win it all? In the past six years, here are the seeds that won the Super Bowl: 2005, six (Pittsburgh) ... 2006, three (Indianapolis), 2007, five (New York Giants); 2008, two (Pittsburgh); 2009, one (New Orleans); 2010, six (Green Bay). Think of that: One team with home-field advantage through the playoffs has won the Super Bowl in the past six seasons.
2. Pittsburgh (14-5). For a defensive player of the year, Troy Polamalu had a minuscule impact on the 2010 playoffs for Pittsburgh.
3. New York Jets (13-6). I was with Rex Ryan Saturday night. Let's just say the two-week-old loss to Pittsburgh has not stripped him of one shred of confidence in his Jets.
4. New England (14-3). Tom Brady 50 MVP votes, The Rest Of The League 0. For those ripping the voting, remember: It's based on regular-season only.
5. Chicago (12-6). With 36 inches of snow on the ground, denizens of Chitown must really like seeing a mobile Jay Cutler in shorts and polo shirt, loving L.A.
6. Baltimore (13-5). The sun will come up tomorrow, Joe Flacco. You will be coached fine.
7. Atlanta (13-4). Good job locking up Mike Smith for three more years. Just hope he has some people to coach this summer.
8. New Orleans (11-6). Liked what I saw of Sean Payton on ESPN over the weekend. You got a future, kid.
9. Philadelphia (10-7). Kevin Kolb's not getting traded anytime soon, obviously, because there can be no trades. But it would be nuts to deal him anyway ... unless the Eagles know a lot more about Mike Kafka than the rest of us.
10. Indianapolis (10-7). Franchise tag feels about right for Peyton Manning.
11. Tampa Bay (10-6). Glad to see Raheem Morris take runner-up for coach of the year. Very much deserved the votes he got.
12. Kansas City (10-7). Bill Muir being named offensive coordinator tells me Todd Haley's got to be thinking about calling the plays again. The system worked pretty well with Haley being the overarching coach and not the playcaller.
13. San Diego (9-7). That city has to be worried about losing its team to Los Angeles.
14. New York Giants (10-6). One of the best beat writers of this generation, Vinny DiTrani of the Bergen (N.J.) Record, has covered his last game, and a few of his acolytes (me included) took him out to the Blue Goose, a Mexican place here in Dallas, the other night. When it came time to pay the bill, seems it had disappeared. The Giants picked it up. Class guy, class move.
15. Seattle (8-10). I've thought all year the Seahawks made a mistake trading Josh Wilson away in August. Never changed my mind. You don't deal corners who can play for a fifth-round pick.
"Personally, I felt like I let a lot of people down.''
-- Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who threw two interceptions and had a generally uninspired performance against the Packers.
"I've never felt like there's been a monkey on my back. The organization stood behind me, believed in me. I told [general manager] Ted [Thompson] back in 2005 he wouldn't be sorry with this pick. I told him in '08 that I was going to repay their trust and get us this opportunity at a Super Bowl.''
--Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, on getting the Brett Favre monkey off his back, and talking about the organization's decision to go with him and trade Favre in the rancorous summer of 2008.
-- Hairy Pittsburgh defensive end Brett Keisel, who has the longest beard in Super Bowl history and who, after discussing his ultra-long beard for most of 45 minutes at Super Bowl media day last Tuesday, was asked by one TV reporter, "I just got here, and I wondered if you could please talk about your beard for a minute.''
A few hours after Tom Brady won the 2010 Most Valuable Award unanimously, Aaron Rodgers went out in the Super Bowl and played a lot like him. In fact, in this 4-0 postseason, the Rodgers numbers are quite comparable to Brady's for the year, if you consider the kind of pace he'd be on if the numbers were plotted over a full season.
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