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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019

Ranking the potential Super Bowl match-ups neutrals are most likely to stay awake for

Going to bed early last year proved a bad idea.

Could this pair be back for an eighth Super Bowl appearance?
Could this pair be back for an eighth Super Bowl appearance?
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

GIVEN THE TIME differences involved, it’s understandable that the very fact it’s the Super Bowl is not enough to keep people’s attention for the whole event.

This is especially true when you don’t support either of the teams involved and it’s even hard to stay interested when you intensely dislike one of the teams  — usually because karma means they’ll win the thing.

With that in mind, here is our handy guide to which of the four possible Super Bowls will be the most engaging, and which is likely to send you to sleep.

Wake up at 6am with drool on your chin – Patriots v Eagles

Eagles, Rams, Football This game would not be here if #11 was playing. Source: Keith Birmingham/PA Images

I actually like both of these teams and the prospect of Bill Belichick scheming to outwit Jim Schwartz’s defence is, on paper, something worth staying awake for.

However, of all four possible scenarios, this is also the one most likely to see one team having a 28-3 lead midway through the third quarter and we all know that’s impossible to come back from in a Super Bowl.

You might have to make a cup of coffee – Jags v Vikings

UPI 20180114 Diggs scored THE touchdown of last weekend. Source: UPI/PA Images

This one should be all about how Jacksonville’s elite secondary — including Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye — hold up against possibly the best receiving duo in the league in Stefon Diggs (he of the Minneapolis Miracle fame) and Adam Thielen.

However, given the conservative nature of the play callers involved, both might look to protect their quarterback and we could see quite a bit of ground and pound which would, at least, make the game clock run quicker.

You won’t even notice the time – Jags v Eagles

NFL 2017 - Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars They're called Sacksonville for a reason. Source: Erik Williams/PA Images

Football, as much as the action on the field, is about the storylines off it and this match-up would guarantee us a week of hearing how two much-maligned quarterbacks — Blake Bortles and Nick Foles — took their teams to the Super Bowl.

Once the game got under way, however, we’d get to see two of the league’s best defences go toe-to-toe in a match-up that could break the record for most sacks in a Super Bowl (7) given the dominant nature of both front sevens.

Edge of your seat - Patriots v Vikings

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Could this pair really win another Super Bowl? Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

If rumours of their demise — or at least the end of their working relationship — are true, this could well be the last time we see the quarterback/head coach tandem of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick together in a Super Bowl.

And what better way to go out than by taking on the Minnesota Vikings in US Bank Stadium as they look to become the first team to win a Vince Lombardi trophy on home turf. The battle between their defence and the Patriots’ offence would guarantee a compelling game.

We’ll have our full preview of both the AFC and NFC Championship games live on The42 on Sunday.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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