|Here's a Broncos cheerleder.|
In the NFC game I was just a bit unlucky as Colin Kaepernick and his three 4th quarter turnovers wrecked what was destined to be a game decided by between 1-3 points. Say what you want about Richard Sherman, but if I'm a quarterback playing with the game on the line in the final minute, I'm finding him and then throwing somewhere else. If for no other reason than that is the last guy you want to make the play that beats you. It's the same reason you'd rather walk A-Rod with the bases loaded than give him the chance to hit the walk-off grand slam. It's one thing to lose, it's another thing to lose to THAT GUY.**
But that was all so two weeks ago. In three days we will have arguably the best Super Bowl match-up since 1979 when the 14-2 Steelers faced the 12-4 Cowboys.*** That game also featured the undisputed best team from each conference with one bringing an old school nasty defense and the other one sporting the highest scoring offense in the league. Defense won-out in Super Bowl XIII as the Steelers built a 35-17 lead before holding-on to win 35-31 despite a furious 4th quarter comeback by the scrambling Roger Staubach. So am I now using a Super Bowl that was played over 35 years ago to determine who is going to win this one? Maybe.
OK, then how about a more recent example that actually featured two teams that mirror the current Seahawks and Broncos pretty well. In 1990, the Giants had the best scoring defense in the league and featured a relatively conservative offense that did a great job of taking care of the ball. (Sound familiar?) In the Super Bowl they held the high-powered Bills offense (yes, there was a time when you could say that with a straight face) to 19 points despite the fact that the Bills had scored 95 points in their two playoff games. Even with that great defensive showing, the Giants still needed Scott Norwood to miss a 47 yard field goal on the last play of the game which may be the cruelest fate suffered by any athlete not named Bill Buckner. Chalk-up another close win for the defense.
|And here's a Seahawks |
If Manning's stat line looks anything like Brees' average, the Seahawks will win by 10 but I think he's going to do a little better. Something along the lines of 25-41 for 265 yards with 2 touchdowns but I also think he'll throw a pick. Limiting Manning to under 300 yards and 2 touchdowns will be just enough for Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch to get the job done. Congratulations Seattle. Your 35 years of wandering lost through the sports wilderness is about to come to and end.
Seattle - 27 . . . Denver - 24
Last Week's Record: 0-2 . . . Playoff Record: 4-5-1 . . . Season Record: 139-117-4
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* An "Annapolitan" is someone from Annapolis, Maryland. It is not an Annapolitician as my college roommate from Long Island used to say. Then again, he also used to say "wait on line" instead of "wait in line" and he pronounced "drawer" as "draw" so, in the overall scheme of things, Annapolitician wasn't that annoying.
|This is a real painting that A-Rod |
had commissioned. I really wish
I was making that up but I'm not.
*** The '78 Cowboys were the highest scoring team in the league with Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett while the '78 Steelers had one of the best defenses of all-time thanks to guys like Mean Joe Greene, Jack Lambert and Mel Blount. The two teams featured 13 Hall of Fame players and two Hall of Fame coaches. The game did not disappoint (unless you were a Cowboys fan) and it could have been even better if not for arguably the most critical dropped pass in NFL history. (That clip is worth watching just to hear Curt Gowdy and John Facenda).
**** We can't really look to the wins by the '85 Bears or the '00 Ravens because the offenses and the coaches they played in the Super Bowl were so over-matched. I really have no fan feelings either way for John Fox and Peyton Manning but I certainly respect them enough not to compare them to the General Custer/Hindenburg/New Coke/Titanic/Gigli combos of Raymond Berry/Tony Eason and Jim Fassel/Kerry Collins. In Super Bowl XX, the Patriots' offense had 7 total yards rushing, turned the ball over 6 times and scored 10 points (they actually led the game 3-0 before the Bears scored the next 44 points). The Giants' offense may have outdone them in Super Bowl XXXV, however, with 5 turnovers, 86 yards passing and no offensive points. (The immortal words of Dean Wormer come to mind, "no grade point average . . . all classes, incomplete"). I remember starting to feel sorry for them by the end . . . except for Tiki Barber.
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