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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Super Bowl Prediction

I will not make this prediction with the precision of a Vegas bookmaker, a subterranean bookie, the pundits on ESPN or the cognoscenti who pump out statistical analyses on football the way the (Bill) James Gang does on baseball. I'm just going with a gut feeling here.

The Bears will win the Super Bowl.

Why? There are a few reasons:

1. No one is picking them. Few picked them to beat the Saints, who were (rightfully so) the feel-good story of the year. Moreover, few picked the Colts to beat the Patriots, because everyone thought that this century's version of Merlin would wave his hooded sweatshirt and, voila, the Patriots would prevail over the Colts. Memo to file: it's hard to get to the big game when you give up 32 points in the second half. Now most people are picking the Colts, because they're focusing almost exclusively on the comparison between Peyton Manning and Rex Grossman. Second memo to file: Dan Fouts, Dan Marino and Fran Tarkenton did not win a Super Bowl; Trent Dilfer did. There's more to this game than that matchup; there always is.

2. Defense wins championships. Yes, I do believe that, and the line "offense sells tickets, defense wins championships" is an all-timer. The Colts, in a way, are similar to the Eagles, a team that I follow, in one certain respect. The Eagles had a bad run defense for most of the year, only to resurrect it in the last five weeks of the season plus the first playoff game, against the Giants. But once the Saints, with their "pound the ground" game faced them a week ago, the resurrected run defense gig was up. The Saints marched all over the Eagles' run defense and beat the Eagles to advance to the NFC Championship Game. Last week, the Colts' defense bent but did not break, and it's played better in the playoffs than it did during the regular season. That said, with two weeks to prepare, I think that Lovie Smith and Company will have ample time to plan an offense that might score 24-27 points against the Colts (and that the Colts' defense will revert to form). True, the Colts can score a lot, but this is a big-time defense they'll be playing. Somehow, some way, I think that Lovie Smith will best his good friend, Tony Dungy, to claim his first Super Bowl win.

3. Irony. Of course, Lovie Smith is the lowest-paid head coach in the NFL. So it would be fitting if he were to win the Super Bowl over the likes of Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs and Bill Belichick, all of whom have won Super Bowls. We've all read that Lovie is due for a huge raise and a big contract, and he deserves it. Let's just hope he doesn't make a mistake and jump into the living heck that is the Dallas Cowboys. He deserves better than the combination of the Jones Family and Terrell Owens.

What do you think?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bears will win. Paytons'thumb is worse then they'll say. And after a few Bears grab it (and who wouldn't?) the Colts don't have a qualified backup. (Look back to 1977 Cowboys/Broncos.Norris Weese?) Also regardless of what the experts say about it, the real turf is going to make a difference. The Bears will pound them inside and Grossmen will execute an error free,yet unimpressive(?) win.

10:02 PM  

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