Yes, there could be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVIII between the
The permutations for the battle in the Bay Area:
Denver-Arizona — This game would reunite a terrific triumvirate of NFL personalities: Denver quarterback
Manning set a rookie record in 1998 with 28 interceptions, and Arians didn't baby him.
"Bruce was always real," Manning said in 2014, according to the
Moore and Manning were together in Indianapolis through 2010, the final season the quarterback played for that franchise, before a neck injury sidelined him for all of 2011.
For Arians, the most memorable part of that game was a Denver chop block on
"It was a nasty chop block," Arians said. "That's all I can say about it."
Denver-Carolina — These franchises, both of which lost in Super Bowls with John Fox as head coach, have played each other only four times, in 1997, 2004, '08, and '12, with Denver winning three of those. The only one of those matchups that's relevant for these purposes was the game three years ago, when the Broncos posted a 36-14 victory at Carolina and sacked Cam Newton seven times, once for a safety. Denver linebacker
"We want to be feared and respected for a relentless pursuit for the ball," Miller said afterward. And on that day, they were.
Winning for Fox was a big motivation for the Broncos. The Panthers fired Fox at the end of the 2010 season, ending his nine-year run with the franchise.
That 2012 game was also a milestone for Manning, who threw the 420th touchdown pass of his career, tying him with his boyhood idol,
New England-Arizona — There aren't a lot of significant ties between these organizations, although two of the most memorable moments in Patriots Super Bowl history occurred on the Cardinals' home field: New England lost its bid for a perfect season in Glendale, Ariz., falling to the
Arians has some rich postseason history with the Patriots, mostly from his days as a
The Patriots and Cardinals have played 13 times in their history, and Arizona has a 7-6 edge, although that's deceptive. The Cardinals were 4-1 against New England when they called St. Louis home, and are 1-5 against the Patriots since 1993.
The last time these teams played each other was 2012, when the Cardinals pulled off a 20-18 upset at Foxborough. New England's
But that Arizona team was completely different than today's.
One Arizona player who is quite familiar with chasing Tom Brady — and relishes tracking down Manning too — is whirling-dervish pass rusher
New England-Carolina — Counting their Super Bowl, these franchises have met six times in their history, with each winning times. Their most recent matchup came two years ago at Carolina, and featured a controversial ending to a 24-20 victory by the Panthers.
On the game's final play, Panthers safety Robert Lester intercepted a Brady pass, but an official in the back of the end zone threw a pass-interference flag on linebacker
It looked as if the Patriots would have first and goal at the one. But after a quick conference, the officials picked up the flag, and referee Clete Blakeman announced there was no foul on the play and the game was over.
Brady was livid and chased down the officials to argue the call. The quarterback later said, however, that he hadn't gotten a good look at whether Gronkowski was impeded.
"I don't make the calls or the rules," Brady said at the time. "I wish it wouldn't have come down to that."
There are other random ties connecting these teams — Kuechly is a former Boston College star, Panthers Coach
For many people, the most memorable part of that game was the halftime show and Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction."
Now, with the AFC and