With the Baltimore Ravens now joining the New England Patriots on the golf course after their 28-12 defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Derrick Henrys, the 21st century will be experiencing a pretty exciting first come Super Bowl Sunday - a new face for the AFC.
You hear people complaining about Patriots fatigue, how New England is in the Super Bowl almost every year. And I get it, sincerely; the Pats have been to nine of the last 18, an absolutely absurd stat. But still, that leaves 50% of the 21st century’s Super Bowls for another team to step up and get it done.
Which they have...kind of.
The following is a comprehensive list of every single team that has represented the American Football Conference in the Super Bowl this century:
- Baltimore Ravens
- New England Patriots
- Oakland Raiders
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Indianapolis Colts
- Denver Broncos
Other than the anomaly that was the 2002 Oakland Raiders, there have only been five AFC teams in the Super Bowl over the last two decades. New England has been to nine, Baltimore has been to two, Pittsburgh has been to three, Denver has been to two, and Indy has been to two. In a league that has been pushing parity almost as hard as it pushed Tim Tebow, it has been a pretty top-heavy AFC so far this millennium.
Now, the AFC will either be represented by the Titans, the Texans, or the Chiefs, which, to be honest, is a very nice change of pace. If the Patriots can’t be there for the tenth time, it will certainly be good to see somebody completely new out there. Plus, with the number of former Patriots players and coaches still in the dance, it’s always cool to see old fan favorites succeed. Every once in a while, getting some new blood into the Super Bowl is a good thing.
Now watch the Titans win next week and get there for the first time since their 1999 season - in which, of course, the Super Bowl was played in 2000. That would really throw a monkey wrench in the works.