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Ready for the Super Bowl

January 23, 2007|by ROBERT KELLER

The Super Bowl is two weeks away, and it is going to be interesting: the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears.

The Colts have advanced to their third Super Bowl since 1970. The last Super Bowl the Colts won was as the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V against the Dallas Cowboys. The score for that game was 16-13.

This will be Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's first Super Bowl appearance, and he earned it. The New England Patriots played hard, and they were ahead 21-3 in the second quarter. The Patriots were still ahead, 34-31, with four minutes left to play. But Manning and the Colts could not be stopped. Manning led an 80-yard drive to score a touchdown, and at the end of the game, it was 38-34 Colts.

The Patriots could have been 500-0 in the postseason for all I cared, but the fact of the matter was that Peyton Manning had a better day than Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Manning threw more incomplete passes, but he still threw 27 complete for 349 yards. Brady threw 21 completions for 232 yards - not enough.

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While the Colts have stepped up in the postseason, I don't think they have what it takes to defeat the Chicago Bears.

The New Orleans Saints had a great year, but the Bears stepped up their offense and defense and walked all over the Saints. Bears quarterback Rex Grossman didn't shine, but he didn't throw any interceptions either. He completed 11 of 26 passes for only 144 yards and one touchdown. Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 27 of 49 passes for 354 yards with two touchdowns, but the Saints still lost.

Brees' interception and lost fumble didn't help. The Bears didn't turn the ball over once, but the Saints gave them four. It doesn't matter if the Saints were playing in the Superdome, because every one of those turnovers occurred without the elements. If the Saints had protected the ball, they might have won.

My big Super Bowl prediction is the Chicago Bears over the Indianapolis Colts. My score prediction is 21-17, Chicago. The thing I'm not sure of is whether Grossman will play like he did the first half of regular season, when he was unbeaten, or like he did the second half, when he turned into Mr. Turnover.

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