I'm sure it will be a surprise to no one, but I'm taking the Bears. I had them in the Super Bowl way back when and I'm going to stick to 'em now. Plus, I root forda Bears.
We can analysis this game all we want but it comes down to one and only one factor:
If Good Sexy Rexy comes out to play, the Bears win. And they probably win big. Just look at the final scores of the Bears game when Gorssman has a QB rating over 98:
26-0 (over Green Bay)
34-7 (over the Lions)
37-6 (over Seattle)
40-7 (over the Bills)
41-10 (over San Fran)
38-20 (@ the Giants)
42-27 (@ St. Louis)
34-31 (over Tampa)
The point is, Gorssman isn't that bad of a quarterback. Sure he's as inconsistent as hell, but if he has a good game, the Bears will put up points somewhere in the 30s. And if the Bears do that, they're going to win. There defense is that good. The only really close game on that list is the Tampa game, and the Bears were up big in that one before they took their foot of the peddle and allowed theBucs back in the game.
Even last week, when the Bears were dominating the Saints, it wasn't until late in the 3rd when BadRex turned into GoodRed that the rout was on. The Bears went nuts in the 4th quarter with GoodRex and they destroyed the Saints.
So that's the key to the game, Rex Grossman. If GoodRex comes out, the Bears win. If BadRex comes out, the Bears will probably lose (I say probably because the Bears have and can win with BadRex, it's just a lot harder). And remember, Rex Grossman isn't that bad of a QB. He threw for 23 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards. He isn't a bum - well at least not all the time.
There are some other 'factors' in this game, so might as well run them down:
1) Since when did Peyton Manning become a lock to throw for 275 yards and three touchdowns? What am I missing here? Has the media totally forgotten about how bad he's looked in the postseason (like every postseason)? Ifany onenulls going to choke in this game, it's going to be Manning, and I wouldn't put it past him. And if he does, I can't wait for the media to defend him.
2) Devin Hester has a really good chance of taking a kick or punt to the house. The Colts special teams is not that good. In fact, I think Hester is going to take one to thehouse tomorrow.
3) As for the improved Colts defense... HELLO! Did anyone see the stink bomb they put up two weeks ago against the Patriots? And did you all miss the regular season when they weren't that good? If we're going to talk about recentperformances and the Colts D's improvement, when not talk about the eggs Peyton's been laying? Why the double standard?
4) This is the worst Colts team in the last five years, yet here they are in the Super Bowl. Normally this wouldn't bother me but... the worst St. Louis Cardinals team of the last four or five years made the World Series and won this year. TheSteelers finally made the Super Bowl and won last year after years of having teams that were probably better. Now the same thing has happened with the Colts. I think it's worth mentioning.
5) The Colts are not a very good road (and thus outdoor) team. I know this not a road game, but the Colts record on grass is nothing to write home about (2-3; 5-4 on the road and outside this year). They were 10-0 inside the RCA Dome.
Anyway, I don't see this going well for the Colts. I think they're a good team with a good to great offense. But their defense is average at best and their special teams is pretty poor. Meanwhile the Bears have a good to great D, a great special teams unit, and anoffense that, depending on what quarterback shows up, is okay to great. I'm not sold on the Colts D all of a sudden becoming a top unit that can stop the run. And I don't think Manning is going to come out and play the game of his life. If history has taught us anything,Grossman will have a better game than Manning (he's been better in the playoffs so far). As always turnovers will play their part in this game. And I just think the Bears have moreplay markers than the Colts. I know that sounds crazy since the Colts have Manning and Harrison and Wayne, but two of those three guys have ahistory of disappearing when the going gets tough. I'll take Hester, Thomas Jones, Ced Benson, and Barrian. Along with that Bears D which has a nasty habit of making big plays.
Bears -31; Colts - 20
Let the Cedric Benson Era begin!
Okay a few other random thoughts on the week that was...
- I am the biggest Bill Simmons appolgist ever. I have enjoyed 99% of all his articles and can only think of two or three that I did not like at all. So it pains me to say this, but he has been brutal this week. This isn't about him losing his fastball or anything like that... it's him completely missing the boat on these Super Bowl articles. Maybe he has nothing to say because the Patriots aren't in the Super Bowl, and sure if it was the Bears and the Pats in this game tomorrow, I'm sure I would want to kill Simmons (like everyone from Philly did two years ago). But at least he'd be a little more enjoyable. But his radio row idea fell flat on it's face, the running 'gags' were not funny. The ride with Damon Jones was lame, uninteresting, and brought nothing to the table either in terms of Super Bowl week or the game or sports in general, as someone said on Deadspin or some where, "Hey Bill, there is a reason why there's a travel section in the newspaper." And then the DAY BEFORE THE SUPER BOWL HE'S WRITING ABOUT ANNA KOURNIKOVA ?!?!?!! In the WTFs of WTFs this made no sense. None. I'm not saying the article itself was bad, because it wasn't, but the timing couldn't have been worse. You're in Miami for the Super Bowl and the day before the big game you're writing about a washed up tennis star that, imo, wasn't nearly as attractive as everyone made her out. Plus she wasn't even good at tennis. Writing about this before the Super Bowl is inexcausable. It's like writing about seeing Morihiro Hosokawa the day before the US Presidental Election in 2008. It's kind of related in that it's not related at all besides that 'Hosokawa was Prime Minister of Japan in the 90s and talked to Bill Clinton' kind of way. I only single out Simmons because well, he was the worst writer I read this week. And usually he's the best or one of the best. Fluff pieces about an Indy fan eatting bufflo wings next to a Bears fan would have been more interesting.
- Remember, Stand by Your Man, Chicago.
- If you didn't know, it's really, really cold here in Chicago. Like five degrees cold. Wind chills of the negative teens. This isn't important but whatever.
- I'm ready and pumped for the game. It's exciting. But it's funny, I can see Comskey Park from my apartment. Every once in a while, I'll catch the yard from the corner of my eye and realize... geeze, I'd rather them win the World Series next year than the Bears win the Super Bowl.
I think that's the great sports questions, where does your alliegence fall? We all root for teams, but how do you rank those teams. I think the only way to do it is by ranking what team would would most like to see win a championship. Mine would look something like this:
1) White Sox
2) US wins the World Cup
4) Wisconsin Football
5) Blackhawks (seriously, if the Hawks were ever good, I'd go nuts)
Even though the Sox won a short 16 months ago, I'd love to see them win it again. I can't help it, I'm attacted to them like junkie is to heroine.
But none the less, GO BEARS!