Super Bowl 41 1/2


In 1990, The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers were both 10-0, with a showdown two weeks away. They both got their clocks cleaned in week 11, but a pair of 10-1 teams still played one of the greatest games ever played. Several weeks later in the NFC Title game, they played a game even better than the first one.

In 1994, after several epic battles, The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers played in the NFC Title game. Pat Summerall coolly stated, “Two weeks from now we play the Super Bowl. Three weeks from now we play the Pro Bowl. Today, we play both.” The game lived up to its billing.

In 2007, we play a game that could be better than all of them combined.

The 8-0 New England Patriots are playing the 7-0 Indianapolis Colts. As Terrell Owens would say, “Get your popcorn ready.”

Forget David vs Goliath. This is Goliath vs Goliath. This is a collision course at top speed.

Tom Brady is on pace to shatter all NFL quarterback records in a single year. Peyton Manning is on pace to shatter all NFL quarterback records for all time.

Coach Bill Bellichick is a cool, calm, stoic chess master. Coach Tony Dungy is an even keeled, thoughtful, disciplined master of calm.

Over the last several years, these two teams have dominated the NFL, and have taken turns dominating each other.

From 2001-2004, the Patriots racked up three Super Bowl rings, often after tough, hard fought, and occasionally lucky victories over the Colts. A 6-3 battle of field goals turned into a 20-3 Patriots win in the snow. A 4 interception game by Peyton Manning led to a 24-14 playoff win for the Patriots. A season opener had Edgerrin James fumbling at the one yard line and Mike Vanderjagt missing a field goal on the last play of a game the Patriots won 27-24. The best of the bunch might have been a 31-10 Patriots lead that turned into a furious Colts rally, where four Indianapolis tries from the one yard line turned an aerial show into a goal line stand and a 38-34 Patriots win.

Then in 2005 the tide turned, and it was the Colts who racked up the wins. They went into New England on Monday Night Football and thrashed them 40-27. Another night game had them winning 27-20, again on the road.

the 2006 season brought the greatest battle of them all, the AFC Title Game. That game will be a classic 100 years from now. A Peyton Manning interception for a touchdown had the Patriots up 21-3 in Indianapolis, on the way to their 4th Super Bowl and another year of crushing questions for Dungy and Manning.

Then the Colts came back, not by Manning throwing, but by running the ball. The last drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half had the New England defense on the field a long time. The Patriots led 21-13, but the defense was exhausted. The Colts defense continued to give up yards to the Patriots as well. The game was tied at 21, 28 and 31. The Patriots led 34-31 late in the game.

With Dominic Rhodes and Jooseph Addai ramming the ball down the throats of the gassed New England defense, the Colts took the lead 38-34 with one minute left. Tom Brady, whose career has many controversial miracles, had his luck run out that day. It was he who threw the interception that sent the Patriots home, and the Colts on the way to their first Super Bowl championship.

Both of these teams have chips on their shoulders. The Patriots have been caught in a cheating scandal, and want to prove their victories were earned honestly. They also want their crown back. The Colts are angry at being seen as underdogs on their home field, even though they are 7-0 for the 3rd straight year.

The Patriots have wide receiver Randy Moss, who could be the last piece of the puzzle. The Colts have hard hitting defender Bob Sanders, who the Colts would not have won a Super Bowl without.

The argument for the Colts is that they play in a real division. They have beaten quality teams such as the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road, and soundly in some cases. The Patriots play in a pathetic division where the 1-7 New York Jets are not even bad enough for last place thanks to the 0-8 Miami Dolphins.

The argument for the Patriots is that while they are beating bad teams, they are still thrashing them. They are winning games by 30 points, and won their most recent game by 45 points. Both teams have high octane offenses, but the Patriots may have the better defense.

Both coaches are defensive gurus, yet this game is expected to be a pinball machine not seen since the Greatest Show on Turf Rams played pinball from 1999 through 2001.

Whoever wins this game will most likely host the AFC Title Game for the 2007 season. After one of them wins the Super Bowl, they can open the 2008 season with another classic against the other team.

My prediction: New England Patriots 41, Indianapolis Colts 31.

This game is not a Super Bowl or a Pro Bowl. It is both.

Are you ready for some football!!!!!

Super Bowl 41 1/2…Let’s get it on!!!


4 Responses to “Super Bowl 41 1/2”

  1. bluecollarmuse says:

    E –

    Great analysis, as usual, and very likely true. My heart is rooting for Indy and Peyton/Harrison/Sanders may make it happen. But my head tells me Brady/Moss/et al are going the distance.

    The worst part of it for both my head AND my heart is that both of these teams are people that my Tennessee Titans have to go through to get back to the Bowl …

    Like you said … we play in a real division …

    Cheering alongside you from far, far away … and looking forward to some great pigskin …


  2. Jersey McJones says:

    I can’t wait. This game has GOT to be fantastic.


  3. greg says:

    Thank God the Raiders didn’t sell out and their game is blacked out in the Bay Area, so we’ll actually get to see Super Bowl 41 1/2.

  4. ecthompson says:

    Excellent summary. For all of the reasons that you have listed, I would lend toward the colts. Here’s my breakdown –

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