NFL NEWS & NOTES: Thoughts and ideas heading into the Final 4 Weekend

Street Talk NFL NEWS & NOTES: Thoughts and ideas heading into the Final 4 Weekend

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If form holds, and the two No. 1 seeds, Indianapolis and New Orleans make it to the Super Bowl, it would mark the first time since 1993 that both top seeds won their respective conferences.

That was the second consecutive meeting between Dallas and Buffalo for Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta, won by the Cowboys, 30-13.

Dallas beat No. 2 seed San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game that season, while the Bills topped No. 3 seed Kansas City and Joe Montana in the AFC Championship Game.

How long ago was that?

The Ravens were the Browns who hit the skids after a 5-2 start to finish at 7-9.

Since then, eight top seeds from the NFC have made it to the Super Bowl, and just five top seeds from the AFC have made it to the Super Bowl.

Only twice in that span – 1997 and last year – did neither top seed make it to the Big Game.

In ’97, second-seed Green Bay knocked off top-seed San Francisco and fourth-seed Denver (who was over the salary cap), knocked off both No. 1 seed Kansas City and No. 2 seed Pittsburgh.

Last year, fourth-seed Arizona beat the sixth-seed Eagles in the NFC title game, as the top-seed Giants bowed out in the second round. And in the AFC, second-seed Pittsburgh beat six-seed Baltimore, as top-seed Tennessee also had an early exit.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: As I watch the Colts and see wide receiver Reggie Wayne making big catch after big catch and defensive end Raheem Brock making plays on defense, I shake my head and chuckle a bit.

Imagine, if Andy Reid would have listened to some of his personnel people before that 2001 draft and didn’t go out for a cheeseburger with Freddie Mitchell.

The Eagles scouts, or at least some of them, wanted Wayne, who went a few picks after the Eagles selected the player from UCLA, instead of the one from Miami.

But Mitchell wowed Reid over their burgers and one of the worst selections in Eagles history was made.

Brock was a great selection by the Eagles in the seventh round of the 2002 draft, but tight-fisted Eagles management (that would be Banner, Joe) would not budge on a $5,000 roster bonus and never signed the Temple product.

Now, he’s a game away from his second Super Bowl and the Eagles are still looking for a defensive end to play opposite Trent Cole.

SOBERING THOUGHT: I hate to kick Eagles fans when they’re down (and out). Yeah, right.

Here’s something to think about as the Gold Standard’s Golden Anniversary approaches: 21 different franchises have won either an AFL or NFL title since the Eagles last won one in 1960.

And, if either New Orleans or Minnesota wins it this year it will make it 22.

The only current NFL franchises to go longer without a title than the Eagles are the Cardinals (1947) and the Lions (1957).

KEEP THE FAITH: John Harbaugh just finished his second year as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco just finished his second year as well.

In those two years with Harbaugh and Flacco, the Ravens have not only made the playoffs both years, but have won three playoff games. That’s more than a lot of coaches and quarterbacks (Wade Phillips/Tony Romo) have over their careers. However I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to say that before it’s all over, Harbaugh and Flacco will be holding a Lombardi Trophy together.

CHANGE THE NAME: Speaking of Baltimore, Michael Oher the subject of the best seller and box office smash “The Blindside’’, plays right tackle for the Ravens.

Uh, that’s not Flacco’s blindside.

RAISING ARIZONA: Who knows how often a person will change their mind and when it comes to quarterbacks and retirement I’ve given up trying to figure out what’s what. But it sure did sound like Kurt Warner may have played his last game, Saturday in the Cardinals loss to the Saints.

If he did, it would mean the doors to Canton should open for him in 2014.

And it also means the Cardinals are going to need a quarterback in a hurry.

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