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Instant Debate

Dream Super Bowl LIII matchup: Battle of Los Angeles? Packers vs. Raiders?

Well, the NBA Finals is set. And while there were definitely moments of uncertainty along the way, the matchup everyone forecast at the season's outset has indeed come to fruition: Warriors-Cavs, Part IV. Golden State's star-studded lineup vs. the one-man army that is LeBron James. An intriguing -- albeit unsurprising -- final chapter to this NBA season. This got us thinking about the NFL's title bout ...

Which two teams will face off in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII? Well, the NFL is anything but predictable. So, at this point -- more than three months away from the 2018 campaign -- maybe it's better to ask something like ... Which two teams would you like to see in Mercedes-Benz Stadium next February?

What is your dream Super Bowl LIII matchup?

I'm excluding the Patriots -- where my loyalty lies -- for this question. And with that condition stated, I'm taking the Houston Texans against the Los Angeles Rams. There are too many good storylines to count ...

Sean McVay is in his second year as the Rams' head man and should build on what his offense impressively did a year ago. Not to mention, L.A. added a TON of high-level guys on defense, including Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Ndamukong Suh. Watching Talib and Peters against Houston's DeAndre Hopkins on the big stage would be something special.

Houston returns its star quarterback in Deshaun Watson -- and yes, I expect he will recover from his knee injury and swiftly get back to rookie form. The Texans also return a pair of key pieces to their daunting front seven ( J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, who both hit IR in October last season), while adding safety Tyrann Mathieu to the secondary. I can't wait to watch Wade Phillips and Romeo Crennel orchestrate their improved defenses in 2018 -- two units that should take their teams far. I'd love to see a Packers- Raiders Super Bowl. There are so many great storylines here. It's a Jordy Nelson revenge game. Aaron Rodgers gets a chance at a second ring. Khalil Mack vs. Rodgers ... Clay Matthews and Co. vs. Derek Carr ... and Jon Gruden vs. Mike McCarthy. Plus, Marshawn Lynch is back on the big stage -- right where he should be -- for the last time. Packers and Rams.

Oh wait, I have to pick an AFC team? Make it an all-Angeleno Super Bowl: Chargers vs. Rams. The Bolts were one of the best teams in the league down the stretch in 2017, winning six of the final seven games. The only thing stopping them from becoming an annual contender is the occult: black magic (injuries, kicker yips) from the football gods. Hunter Henry knows.

Why the Rams? What Sean McVay is whispering in Jared Goff's ear at the line of scrimmage is the most interesting innovation in the game right now. My dream matchup for Super Bowl LIII is your Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let it be done. I remember how thrilled my dad was when the Bears finally broke through to win Super Bowl XX. I didn't understand it much then, but I get it now. And I would love to see the Bears get there again. Mostly because I feel like a celebration at Grant Park would make the Cubs' World Series celebration look pedestrian, like an '80s glam-metal band headlining a country fair.

And I also want to see the Jags get there, for many reasons. First. Myles Jack was not down. Second, the Jaguars fans are the most unnecessarily maligned fan base in sports history, which is troubling because they legit have great fans.

So there you have it. Bears vs. Jaguars. Let it be done. If you're asking what my dream matchup is, it has to be a repeat of Super Bowl XLIV between the Saints and Colts. It'd be historic to watch Andrew Luck not only get back on the field, but lead the Colts back to the AFC title game, a game in which they'd probably play the Patriots. Of course, they would avenge the Deflategate loss before getting a do-over against the Saints. With this type of performance, Luck could be up for league and Super Bowl MVP awards. That'd be every Colts fan's dream.

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