Originally Posted by baja
For what it's worth we were not SB favorites in 96 and we were 14 points underdog to GB in 97. We were favored in 98 all the way.
We absolutely were SB favorites in 96, at least to the extent of being expected to get there. We were far and away the best team in the AFC and secured the No. 1 seed. We had destroyed eventual AFC Champ NE in NE by the score of something like 34-8 (and it could have been alot worse), that was ofcourse the famous Sharpe "Call the President because we're killing the Patriots" game. We were THE team in the AFC that year. It is unclear if we would have been favored against GB had we advanced to SBXXXI. They had beaten us pretty badly in GB earlier that season but we had rested alot of key personnel in that game because we already secured the top seed, (including Elway) so that result wasnt really indicative of anything..
GB didn't exactly throttle a weak NE team and we had absolutely destroyed them in their place earlier. Had we defeated JAX, I would have felt pretty confident about winning the title that year. We were absolutely favored to get to the big day at the very least.