My early Super Bowl pick and more NFL nuggets
Posted: Monday June 4, 2007 8:54AM; Updated: Friday June 8, 2007 9:52AM
A couple of years ago, I decided to buck the trend of making Super Bowl predictions on Labor Day, which everyone in our business does. I'll be the first person, I thought, to make a pair of Super Bowl predictions -- one in the spring and one after I've had a chance to visit 15 or 18 training camps in the summer to take the pulse of the contenders.
Worked like a charm so far. Two years ago, a month after the draft, I picked Minnesota-New England, and they combined to win one playoff game and the Vikings even got in some sort of trouble on a vessel in the middle of Minnesota. Last year, I went with Dallas and New England. You might recall Tony Romo's dexterity with field-goal snaps last January, and the first time in Tom Brady's NFL life he threw a bad pass in the final minute of a big game. Such is life when it comes to my picks, which, invariably, stink out loud.
Using history as a judge, I suggest you skip this column top and move on to the really important things, like some news on the NFL's imminent Tank Johnson sanction, a few thoughts on a proposed new football league, how good Friday Night Lights is, and the very important date Amobi Okoye and I have in common. But if you must, here goes my spring take on Super Bowl XLII in Arizona:
The first game of the 2007 campaign shall also be the last game. Five months after they open the season in the RCA Dome, Indianapolis and New Orleans will play the highest-scoring game in the history of the Super Bowl. More about that later.
Of course, when you're thinking about this year's Super Bowl pick, the first thing that goes through your mind is, "Can I please pick two AFC teams?'' Face it: The best three teams in football right now -- and this cannot be debated -- are New England, Indianapolis and San Diego, in some order. Who's fourth? I don't know. Maybe the Saints. Maybe Baltimore, Denver, Chicago. Just as it's mental torture to try to divine whether the Colts, Pats or Chargers are best right now, so too is it impossible to figure whether New Orleans, Chicago, Philly or any one of a number of other teams are the best in the NFC.
Here's how I arrived at my choice:
In the NFC, I don't love anyone. I like the Saints quite a bit. In the end, they have the fewest weaknesses in the conference, and they're the only good team with a quarterback and running game that can stand toe-to-toe with the Colts and have a chance in a shootout. Drew Brees will be healthier this year, should have better weapons at wideout if rookie Robert Meachem keeps his weight down, and should have the type of running game quarterbacks dream of having. The addition of Jason David gives them a much-needed competent corner.
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