Tomorrow is a national holiday in the eyes of sports fans across the country. Even those who don't like football watch for the humorous commercials (that have disappointed me in recent years). It is time for predictions and discussions of who you think should have been here and what you think should happen.
As for who made it, I am glad that Colts finally have a shot, but I was so hoping the Chargers would take it all. They had the talent and the drive to win everything, but they collapsed against the Patriots. Come on, Tomlinson needs to touch the ball at least 30 times a game but preferably more. As for the NFC, I was surprised to see the Bears make it (not after they got to the championship game though). Of course playing in Chicago gave them a huge advantage against the Saints, but I was hopinh someone else would have taken them out earlier.
So now let me suck it up and look at the current matchup. The Bears actually are a good all-around team. On offense, their passing game may not blow people away, but Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson are two solid running backs. Grossman will have to control himself and not get excited when under pressure. The defense is obviously great, but they have played a little soft in more recent games. They have given up close to 24 points/game to teams like Green Bay, Tampa Bay and Detriot. Still, their special teams may make the difference. Hester is one of the best return guys in the league.
The Colts are another story. Their offense has the ability to be explosive, but they have also found ways to win without blasting 30-40 points on the scoreboard. One of their best wins was against the Ravens when they could not even score a touchdown. Manning connecting with Harrison and Wayne is just a dynamite situation for a win. As for the running game, Addai and Rhodes have been able to find holes and really take off. The defense is interesting because they have given up an average of 22.5 points/game and still manage to give their offense enough breathing room. In the playoffs, it has been the stellar play of their defense providing opportunities for the offense to score that has put them in the Superbowl. And I can not forget to mention that Vinatieri is automatically a scale-tipper in favor of the Colts.
As for how the teams will actually matchup. The Colts offense can break the Bears defense. They just need to mix it up and keep hammering with the run to setup the pass (obvious I know). It is just that the games where Manning takes everything on his shoulders have been the ones they have had trouble in. The defense can also disrupt Manning easily. Send in the rush early and often, but keep a eye on Harrison, Wayne and Utecht. Now for the reverse . . . the Bears offense can find success, but they need to rely on the running game. Assuming Sanders comes back and Jackson/Doss are healthy, they are going to be looking for Grossman to make a mistake. Both running backs have great speed and change of direction. The Colts defense just needs to watch Grossman's eyes and follow the blocking patterns.
Score prediction: Colts win 34-17 due to the explosive offense and 2 interceptions on Grossman.
I love football!