The second greatest sport on the planet starts it’s season again on Thursday night/Friday morning… The NFL is back!
(football (yeh it’s called football not soccer) is the worlds greatest sport obviously)
1:30 Friday morning, The Green Bay Packers visit the the reigning champions the Seattle Seahawks. Here at Severn Sport we are big American football fans, watching and covering our local BAFA team, Gloucester Centurions, and attending the NFL international series games at Wembley.
If you’ve never watched NFL or think it’s just rugby with pads then give it a go this season. The best way to get in to it is by picking a team! That’s where I come in! I have gone through all 32 NFL teams and compared them to English Football teams from The Premier League and Championship to see the likenesses between the teams and to help you make your decision.
The NFL is split in to 2 conferences, the AFC and NFC with the winner of the playoffs from each conference playing in the Super Bowl. What better way to put this in 2 parts than by doing the AFC today and NFC tomorrow! Sounds good, ok let’s get on with it then!
Buffalo Bills – Ipswich
“Mid-table mediocracy” A phrase that can sum up both of these sides. Ipswich have been in the championship since 2001 and have constantly finished mid table, no where near relegation, no where near promotion apart from their playoff showings in 2003 and 2004. He Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999, just play their football sometimes they win sometimes they lose. Consistently average.
Miami Dolphins – Blackburn Rovers
I think this could be the first time the golden beaches of Miami have ever been linked with a Northern City in England, but Blackburn Rovers and the Dolphins have more in common that you may think. Both sides have won championships in the past, Rovers winning the Premier League most recently in 1995 and “The Fins” winning the Super Bowl 2 years running in the 70’s. In recent times both sides have followed a similar pattern with a few good seasons competing to falling down for a few seasons with bad form. Both sides now are building themselves back up. Rovers battling to get out of the Championship once again and the Dolphins trying to make the playoffs a little easier than last season. Look out at the latter end of the season as both teams have late surges.
New England Patriots – Manchester United
Tampa Bay and Man United share the same owner, Malcolm Glazer, which means we could pair these up, but in actual fact the two are poles apart right now. However there is a franchise that fits United perfectly and that is the New England Patriots. The first comparison is fan base. United have a massive worldwide fan base with many fans called “glory supporters” choosing there team because they win things. The same could be said for the patriots, easily the best supported team in the UK, many supporters seen at all the international series game and many fans picked up when the pats dominated at wembley in 2009 and 2010. Both teams always in around the champion winning spots and very successful. The final comparison is the recognisable name players, both sides have them, Brady and Rooney, enough said.
New York Jets – Leeds United
Never a dull moment with these two. Leeds have had their fair share of controversy including most recently the appointment of a fairly inexperience head coach in David Hockaday and subsequently being sacked less than a month in to the new season. The jets have controversy with 3 quarterbacks on the books, with main man Geno Smith getting booed at his draft pick and declaring he would make the play offs. With that add in a crazy head coach in Rex Ryan at the Jets and a mad owner in massimo cellino at Leeds, who knows how they will do this season?
Baltimore Ravens – Chelsea
2012 a great year for both of these sides. Champions League glory for Chelsea, SuperBowl glory for The Ravens. If you look closer the way both of these sides go to their respective championships they are very closely linked with both more and more looking like champions as the competition went on. Inspirational leaders key for both teams, Moiriniho back and getting the team motivated again, for the Ravens, Ray Lewis a massive inspiration for the ravens Super Bowl win although he has now retired, leaving the ravens looking for some new talent to inject the squad a bit like Chelsea with their new signings this summer.
Cincinnati Bengals – Tottenham Hotspurs
Both of these sides like to tease their fans with glimpses of success and glory but then snatch it back and come crashing down in a fireball. Both sides successful in the past but nothing to really shout about in recent times, often in the shadow of their neighbours, Arsenal for Spurs and Pittsburgh and Ravens for the Bengals. They both have wobbly starts to the season but good runs of form propel both sides in to good positions but never make it count when they need to. Spurs regularly knocking on the door of the top 4, Cinci making the playoffs yearly but not progressing very far. Always ones to watch.
Cleveland Browns – Burnley
Burnley Browns, sounds like a good name? Brown is probably a suitable colour for both teams this season as they will both more than likely fail to do much. Burnley have had a new head coach in Sean Dyche since 2012 and have gained promotion to the premier league after a few seasons stuck in the championship. The Browns have a new head coach this season in Mike Pettine hoping for success. Unfortunately I think both sides just aren’t strong enough to compete consistently, yes both will put up a fight against some of the bigger sides but both will lose to teams they really should be winning against. Prove me wrong both sides!
Pittsburgh Steelers – Newcastle United
Passionate fans! That’s what you can say about both of these sides. Thousands descend to each teams respective stadiums every game and travel the country to follow their team on the road, donned in the colours of their beloved team. Terrible towels, yellow and black face paints and jerseys in Pittsburgh, black and white Newcastle shirts, painted chests at the toon, both of these sides have arguably the most hardcore fan base in their countries.
Houston Texans – Rotherham
This may seem a strange one but Rotherham are a very much improving team and are quickly overtaking their Yorkshire neighbours for the number one spot in that area of the country. Leeds and Sheffield United/Wednesday have arguably over shadowed them for a few years but promotion back to the championship and starting very will with a good squad and a brand new stadium things are looking up and they are come through as a top Yorkshire side. The Texans have hidden in the shadow of the world famous and seen by some as over achieving Dallas Cowboys for many years, but with decent draft picks and good coaching the Texans have come from the shadow and competed in the playoffs… Until 2013 where they fell apart, but 2014 they will come fighting back.
Indianapolis colts – Brighton
The Colts and the Seagulls. Both sides that are young, hungry and up and coming. The colts a side who were 2-14 the one season and in the playoffs the next, a real transformation and signs of a hungry squad who are every improving. Brighton a side who were around the bottom and bottom half of the Championship went from there to the playoffs last season, again another hungry squad both to be tipped for success this new season.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Fulham
Easy to compare! They’re both London teams! We’ll almost, the Jags have committed to 4 regular season games at wembley stadium as part of the international series and are committing a lot of time, money and community work in the London area. Fulham, well that is in London, on the banks of the Thames, Much like the jags Everbank Field which sits close to the banks of St. John’s River, which is the same name for the first aiders at Fulham (St John’s ambulance) have I gone too far? Anyway on the field both sides haven’t had the best fortunes Fulham being relegated from the Premier League and the Jags having another poor season finishing 4-12 although an improvement on the franchise record 2-14 season previous. Oh yeh and feel for Shahid Khan, he owns both of these teams!
Tennessee Titans – Cardiff City
Houston Oilers, Tennessee Oilers, Tennessee Titans… A franchise which has a strong successful history under a former name and in a former location. The Houston Oilers had a spell of successful playoff runs for a number of years before being moved away to Nashville, Tennessee and eventually changing the name to the Titans. We are all well aware of the madness behind Vincent Tan at Cardiff. Taking over the bluebirds and changing them to the red dragons, changing the kit from blue to red and completely changing the identity of the club. Of course nothing as major as moving away from Cardiff but still changing things to a historical club and causing uproar with fans. Both teams still not getting much success with Cardiff getting relegated last season and titans missing the playoffs with a 7-9 record.
Denver Broncos – Southampton
I’m comparing these two on their last season performances as the one thing that stands out for both of these is their attacking side. Impressive speed and attractive play from both sides makes them interesting to watch going forward but defence can be a bit shakes for both. Young players and good additions has taken both of these sides from average teams to teams that can compete with the best. The new seasons arrival may be different as the Broncos have Super Bowl heartbreak to get over and the saints have lost many of there top stars in the summer.
Kansas City Chiefs – Everton
Being a Chiefs fan hasn’t been fun, last winning 3 championships in the sixties but nothing to really shout about since. Same for Everton, First Division champions in the 60’s & 80’s but nothing major since. New coaches for both last season got fans excited as the Chiefs under the guidance of new head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey took the uninspiring Kansas City to the playoffs with a 11-5 record but were defeated in the playoffs to the Colts. Everton under new man Roberto Martinez, after long serving manager David Moyes was poached by Man United, finished 5th in the premier league (above their former manager at Man United) and in turn qualifying for the UEFA Europa league group stages.
Oakland Raiders – West Brom
England! West Bromwich is in England and the raiders are playing the first international series game at wembley this season in September when they host the Dolphins… That’s not the link, I’m not that bored yet, although that’s probably as interesting as it gets. Both sides weren’t expected to do much last season and lived up to that. Oakland failed to make the playoffs with a 4-12 record and bottom of the AFC West. The Baggies just clung on to their premier league status just avoiding relegation. Both of these sides have terrible looking stadiums too, sorry Raiders and Baggies fans!
San Diego Chargers – Aston Villa
The Chargers and Villa, two teams who aren’t usually expected to do much but have the ability on their day to cause an upset and surprise a few. Both sides have fairly new head coaches in the last season or two with Paul Lambert at Villa and Norv Turner at the Chargers. An average record for the chargers last season with 9-7 which got them to the playoffs only to lose to the bengals in the wildcard game. Villa finished 15th last season. You never know what these two can do this season, not one to bet on they’ll always ruin your accumulator.
So that completes part 1, the AFC. Visit back tomorrow for the NFC to see who your football team or NFL team matches up with.
Let us know what you think! Agree, disagree? Tweet us @SevernSport