The four quarterbacks on the regional covers of Sports Illustrated’s NFL Playoff Preview—Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, New England’s Tom Brady, New Orleans’s Drew Brees and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger—have combined to win seven of the past 10 Super Bowls, including four Super Bowl MVP awards. Senior NFL writer Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) predicts that Brady and Brees will square off in a duel of record-breaking quarterbacks in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, with the Saints beating the Patriots 34–24. King’s complete predictions are listed below:
NOTE: This player’s poll appears in the Dec. 12, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands now.
Which team’s fans are the toughest to play in front of?
- Philadelphia Eagles….20%
- Pittsburgh Steelers….17%
- Oakland Raiders….13%
- Seattle Seahawks….8%
- New Orleans Saints….6%
[Based on 321 NFL players who responded to SI’s survey]
FAST FACTS: Over the past 10 seasons the Patriots have more home wins (65) than any other team, but they finished just 16th in the voting with 1.6%…. Conversely, the poll-topping Eagles have 48 victories in that period, tied for ninth…. QBs particularly loathed playing in Seattle and Oakland (tied at 26%)…. The NFC East was voted the toughest host division (25% of the total vote); the AFC East was voted the easiest (4%).
SI PLAYERS NFL POLL (as it appears in the Oct. 31 issue)
Who is the fastest player in football?
- Chris Johnson, Titans RB….38%
- DeSean Jackson, Eagles WR….23%
- Mike Wallace, Steelers WR….12%
- Devin Hester, Bears WR/KR….3%
- Jacoby Ford, Raiders WR….3%
[Based on 316 NFL players who responded to SI’s survey]
FAST FACTS: Johnson ran a 4.24-second 40-yard dash at the NFL draft combine in 2008, the fastest mark since times became official, in 1999. Ford’s time at the 2010 combine (4.28) tied him with three other players as the second-fastest…. Michael Vick, who was voted No. 1 the last time SI polled on this subject, in 2006, was No. 6 (2%), even at age 31, and was the only QB to receive more than one vote…. Colts DE Dwight Freeney was the only lineman named more than once.
Can senior NFL writer Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) correctly predict who plays in the Super Bowl for the second year in a row? King was on the money last year when he said the Packers and Steelers would reach football’s Promised Land. Now, after a four-week road trip through over 20 training camps, King predicts the Falcons will take down the Chargers, 24–20, in Super Bowl XLVI. This year’s NFL Preview also contains detailed scouting reports for every single team and a list of eight great matchups for every division.
The six regional covers for the Sept. 5 NFL Preview—on newsstands Wednesday—feature Jerod Mayo (Patriots), Calvin Pace (Jets), Curtis Lofton (Falcons), Lamarr Woodley (Steelers), Clay Matthews (Packers) and DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys). Below is the last time each team appeared on the cover and how many appearances they’ve had overall:
- Falcons: Sept. 6, 2010 (NFL Preview, regional cover); seventh appearance
- Patriots: Jan. 24, 2011 (divisional playoff loss to the Jets); 25th appearance
- Jets: Jan. 24, 2011 (divisional playoff win over the Patriots); 22nd appearance
- Steelers: Jan. 30, 2011 (AFC championship game win over the Jets); 39th appearance
- Packers: Feb. 14, 2011 (Super Bowl XLV win over the Steelers); 36th appearance
- Cowboys: July 26, 2010 (Miles Austin/training camp); 48th appearance