Chargers gagged!

Ol’ Wally correctly picked 3 of the 4 games this weekend, with only the Chargers’ total gagfest the only culprit in the loss column. San Diego committed INCREDIBLY STUPID mistakes at the most inopportune times (fumbled punt, personal foul penalty after making a huge stop, fumbled INT return, waste of time-outs) … and of course the “world’s luckiest team”, the Patriots, were right there to take advantage. Is Marty Shottenheimer’s mere presence on any team’s sideline simply a huge curse in playoff games? What was I thinking in picking them to go to the Super Bowl?!?!? Duh!!

So the Final 4 next Sunday poses some great match-ups. In the NFC, the Bears are just waiting to get beat. Somehow, they snuck by Seattle although they seemed to play “not to lose” in the 4th quarter and got real conservative on offense. I think it’s now quite obvious to everyone that Chicago’s defense is nothing close to great … if anything, it’s merely average. What worries Bear fans is that Sexy Rexy played well Sunday, so now he’s probably due for a downer given his streakiness. I expect the Saints to win a close one, but it will be interesting to see how a southern-based dome team handles potentially nasty conditions in the Windy City. If the weather is decent, the Saints may win by 10. Hope I’m wrong on this prediction, given my Chicago roots.

In the AFC, the Colts are at home and the stage is perfectly set for Peyton Manning to change his legacy and finally get that team to the Super Bowl. But will he? Pats have been a huge Colts nemesis over the last 5-6 years. I think the realization among Colts players and fans that it’s now or never will lead to a higher level of intensity in this game than ever before in Indy. Expect the Hoosier Dome (or is it RCA Dome?) to be rockin’. It should be enough to spur the Colts to victory over the “world’s luckiest team”. (Aaron, don’t even start a rebuttal … they don’t call him Tom “Tuck Rule” Brady for nothin’.)

So here’s my revised Super Bowl prediction: Saints over the Colts in Miami, 27-24. I’ll be rooting for Peyton if he gets there, but I gotta stick with my initial overall pick to win it all.

Have a great week!

Wally

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10 Responses

  1. Yes, the Pats are incredibly lucky, but I have one lasting image of this weekend’s drama: Parker’s fumbled punt reception and the subsequent three human missiles in Patriot uniforms diving in to recover the fumble. Bellichik gets his guys to play without regard for their personal well-being. They are always playing for the team.

    By the way – if I am coaching a team, that is losing by three points with less than two minutes to go in the game and possibly the season, and I only have two timeouts remaining, and it’s fourth and fifteen…I am going for it!!! Not to say that that happened in any game this weekend. Well, maybe it did in Nawlins’.

  2. Lucky?

    C’mon, give me a break..I am going to make an argument.. Is the basis for your “luckiest team” alive, based on a rule? It is called the Tuck rule – keyword – rule. Tell me you have more then this. I bet you weren’t complaining when that rule pretty much wiped out a Grossman fumble when that Seattle defender’s helmet hit Grossman in the throwing elbow.

    The fact is the Patriots have created a system that people are jealous of. People around the NFL try to emulate and can’t. The Pats bring in players that are smart and are dedicated to the word “team”. They don’t overpay and if a guy gets hurt, they have another to step in and replace. Guys want too much money – they go elsewhere and really don’t amount to anything.

    As for Tom Brady.. Hey, it isn’t always pretty. But with the game on the line and its win or go home for the season.. Who do you want to be your QB?: Is there anyone else in the league? The man has ice water in his veins. 12-1 in the playoffs and I believe that was his 26th comeback.. Is there another QB that would have hit Caldwell in stride down the sideline with 2 minutes left ?

    No the Patriots are the luckiest team. They are the most prepared, they are smartest team out there, and they truly believe in the concept of team. That is why they are a dynasty and potentially on the verge of playing in their 4th Super Bowl in 6 years.

    In Bill we trust….

  3. Aaron —
    The Patriots are indeed a great organization … quite smug, thanks to Bill … but just an outstanding football club. And they are also the Lou Gehrig Squad … “the luckiest team (team) on the face of the earth (earth)”. To think the Patriots wouldn’t have been buried Sunday if the following unforced San Diego errors hadn’t occurred is quite dishonest: the head-butt personal foul, the muffed punt, the wasted timeout due to replay challenge, the dropped passes, etc. Here’s some more incredible blind luck. Brady gets pulverized and fumbles the ball which lands squarely in the hands of his lineman who was flat on his back. Only the Pats could pull that one off! Any other team and the ball bounces squarely into a defensive player’s hands who’s running the other way. Yes … the Pats have been to and won 3 Super Bowls … and they’re one of the least impressive “dynasties” we’ll ever see, and I struggle mightily to tag them with the D word.

    Tom Brady is awesome, no doubt about it … the Montana of his era! Sign him up for the Hall of Fame on Monday if he happens to win Sunday vs the Colts.

    B/t/w, you’ve only been a Pats fan for a couple of years, so don’t think you’re fooling the rest of us, Bandwagon Boy.

    Wally

  4. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. B/t/w? Please fill me in …

  6. B/t/w = “By the way”

  7. Aaron —
    Yes, there is another QB who could’ve made that 4th qtr pass that Brady made. He already did. His name is Matt Leinart and he made that same pass for USC on 4th and 9 from deep in his own territory with about 50 seconds left while down by 4 points.(October 2005 at Notre Dame Stadium)

    Anything else you want to know??

    Wally

  8. Wally,

    So a muffed punt, stupid penalties, and dropped passes make the Pats lucky. Come up with something better then that.. To me that is lack of execution and taking stupid penalties — a product of the coaching staff. The Pats RECOVERED that punt as Casey already pointed out (diving in like missles, I think he described them as) and when it counted, they caught the passes thrown to them.

    So if anything, the Chargers were outcoached. Which against the Pats is common. But does that make them lucky..Hell no.. They are prepared they execute and they reap the rewards for it..

    If they were so “lucky” – what happened the year before when Champ Bailey’s fumble went out the of the endzone only to be put on the 1 yard line. If they had been so “lucky” wouldn’t that ball had been called a touchback?

    How are they “lucky” when year after year, some of their best players get hurt, but yet they have guys come in a perform?

    To say they are one of the least impressive dynasties is borderline naive and surprising coming from you. Given today’s salary cap and constant team turnover in the NFL, what the Pats have done is special. No other team outside of the Broncos and Cowboys/49ers (90’s), have had a run like the Pats in recent memory. Teams win and often they are raided by other teams via free agency. Or they load up and go for it. One year and done, don’t smell even a chance at the playoffs for a couple of years… Yet the Pats don’t overpay, have turnover and still win.

    Now I am not speaking as a Pats fan. Sure I root for them, but I wouldn’t consider myself a true fan. Thanks to fantasy football, I find myself unable to root for one team. And I curse f.f. for that. But to call them the luckiest team around?? Please, someone has to stick up for them.

  9. Although I almost fell asleep, that was a nice essay, Aaron. In spite of your defensive efforts, the Pats are still “The World’s Luckiest Team”. They’re really good … I admit it … but I still see them as the “New England Four Leaf Clovers”. They are not yet a “dynasty” in Wally’s World, but if they win it all this year, I’ll consider your petition. Thanks for playing … we have some nice parting gifts …

    Wally

  10. Is anyone else enjoying this banter?

    luck = opportunity + preparation

    C’mon Wally gotta give some props to the Pats. They find a way to win.

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