Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Morning of the Big Game

The NFL must get first pick of the top law schools in the country, because I don't think anyone else, even top flight defense attorneys, could put the fear of God in someone more than the NFL does when it threatens a lawsuit for unauthorized use of the term 'S*p*r B*wl'. Actually, they seem to have put the fear of God in God himself, warning churches around the country against holding S*p*r B*wl Parties. The Churches, who even had the Bush Burnin', Sea Partin', City Smitin' Big Guy on their side, folded like.. like.. well, like I should have folded last night in poker, but I won't get into that.

Today is the morning of the Big Game. I'm up in San Jose (again) planning to watch the game with friends (again). Although this time I took a plane so it'll be a lot harder for me to go home in the middle of the second quarter with the Colts trailing 21-3.

We're actually having an unofficial Three-And-Out Super Bowl party today. Doc, Arrowed, Tim and I will all be here, devouring deep dish pizzas, breaded pork tenderloins, Orville Redenbacher popcorn, and Cincinnati Chili. Oh yeah, and some beer too. And Coke. And probably some nachos. And maybe some water.

We practiced our Big Game watching last night on an XBox 360, pitting the Colts against the Bears in Miami. Sort of. It wasn't an exact science because several players who were injured (Mike Brown, Cory Simon) or not actually on the rosters played. Actually, the game turned when non-actual-Colt Gerome Sapp intercepted Rex Grossman at the Bears 30, then started high-stepping and Leon-Letting at the 20, giving Thomas Jones enough time to catch him, strip him, and recover the fumble. The game was about as you'd expect a virtual game to be with the regular season Colts & Bears, with Bad Rex throwing 4 interceptions, but Bad Colts Defense giving up over 230 yards rushing to Thomas Jones alone. Final score: Bears win 47-41 in OT.

As for the real game? I'm not nearly bold or confident enough to predict a Colts blowout, but I think if the Colts 'play their game' (how's that for being vague and generic?), they should be able to win comfortably. Three predictions:

1) The Bears are hoping to go deep on one of their first three plays from scrimmage. They are expecting the Colts to put 8 in the box and will try to exploit Indy's left side cornerback, who will either be Nick Harper coming off of a high ankle sprain, or a not-as-good-replacement for Nick Harper in Marlin Jackson.

Personally, I think Harper will play. He suited up for the Pittsburgh Steelers game last year just days after being STABBED IN THE LEG. He won't miss the Super Bowl for a silly sprain. But if I'm Ron Meeks? I'm keeping the safeties in coverage the whole game and trust that the front 7 have finally gotten their stuff together when it comes to 'tackling'.

2) I felt re-assured to see Peyton Manning loose and casual when discussing his tango-dancing at the podium. I don't care what Dan Patrick says about Peyton not winning the big one YET, and I don't care what Manning says about not getting into monkeys on his back. When I saw that clip, I saw a Manning who no longer felt like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

3) The X-factor will be how well Joseph Addai takes care of the ball. The Bears need to create turnovers, but it's hard to strip the QB if they can't get to him and both Colts wide-outs are more than content to go to the turf before getting hit/stripped. And I get the sense that Manning has gotten his interceptions out of the way early in the post season. That leaves the rookie Addai to protect the ball on what will likely be a wet field. If he gets an Edgerrin James-like case of Fumble-itis, the Bears have a good chance.

But even then the Bears need a lot of breaks.

Colts 24, Bears 13

1 comment:

Arrowed said...

We probably should have mentioned that the "simulation" was run by a friend of ours who had not only never played Madden 2007 before, but I'm reasonably sure he'd never picked up an Xbox 360 controller in his life before. So.. maybe not so indicative.