Dream Super Bowl LI: Cardinals vs. Steelers? Panthers vs. Texans?

Well, we're heading toward the dog days of summer in the NFL. Yes, mandatory minicamps are taking place this week and next. But after that? We'll all be eagerly anticipating the opening of training camps, daydreaming about players hitting the gridiron yet again.

Speaking of daydreaming ... This is prime time to fantasize about the upcoming season -- particularly, which two teams could be facing off in Houston next February, with a Lombardi Trophy on the line.

What is your dream Super Bowl LI matchup?

I want a rematch of Super Bowl XLIII: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals. This time around, the matchup would be focused on the coaches. Bruce Arians was a member of Mike Tomlin's coaching staff during the Steelers' Super Bowl XLIII victory. Arians was a great mentor of Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh and is trying to do the same with Carson Palmer in Arizona. He's also built the Cardinals' defense like the one the Steelers had in the 2008 season. Both teams are dominant on offense, but I think Arizona has the defensive edge. The story writes itself: Arians coached under Tomlin, was essentially fired by him and comes back to beat him in the Super Bowl.

The Cardinals have yet to win a Lombardi Trophy, while the Steelers boast the most Super Bowl titles in the league (six). It would be a phenomenal, historic matchup -- and one of potential revenge. The dream Super Bowl LI matchup, for several reasons, is Carolina vs. Houston. Cam Newton and J.J. Watt are the most dynamic players at their respective positions, and the matchup would be exciting to watch all game. Brock Osweiler is basically at the start of his NFL career, and it would be a fairy tale for a guy to make that much money off the seven games he played in Denver last season, and then land in a Super Bowl. It'd be the ultimate validation. And with Houston hosting Super Bowl LI, the atmosphere and fans would make this an unforgettable game.

The storylines are endless in this dream matchup. Pittsburgh (6) and Dallas (5) are two of the three teams that have at least five Super Bowl victories. Each team has a huge fan base, so it'd be fun to see these two historically rich organizations go head to head on Super Bowl Sunday for the fourth time.

With the addition of Ezekiel Elliott -- and given a cleaner bill of health in 2016 -- the Cowboys should put on an offensive show. The same goes for the Steelers. Both of these teams lost big-time playmakers last season to injury, but if Dallas' Tony Romo and Dez Bryant and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell are in full health, I wouldn't want to miss this shootout. I want to see the West Coast Super Bowl matchup of Arizona vs. Oakland. First of all, I like to see Oakland doing well because it takes everybody back in history to when they were unstoppable.

We've all seen, especially in the last few Super Bowls, how a defense can dictate the game. And both of these teams could be quite stout on that side of the ball in 2016. We know the Cardinals have defensive talent at every level -- the group's been nasty in recent years. Meanwhile, the Raiders are loaded with promise, boasting a fine mix of youth and experience on D. I'd like to see two dominant defensive units play in Super Bowl LI. There are some great veteran players in the league who haven't had a chance to play in a Super Bowl, so I'd like to see the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals face off in Houston.

[Ryan Fitzpatrick](/player/ryanfitzpatrick/2506581/profile) used to play for Houston, so it'd be interesting to see him lead the 
[Jets](/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) to football's biggest game -- after signing a contract before training camp -- and play back in NRG Stadium. 

Prior to becoming the Jets' head coach, Todd Bowles was the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals under Bruce Arians. Both are respected coaches and it would be a hotly contested matchup with the rosters they have.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.