GREAT column by ESPNs Bill Simmons this week where he goes into why people nationwide may be sick of the Pats, makes his AFC and NFC Championship game picks, and writes some truly hilarious stuff. Here’s a sample.
• I can’t believe Troy Brown saved the day again. He’s like a 15-year-old rottweiler who keeps saving his family’s house from getting robbed even as they’re having the “should we put him down?” conversations every nine months. Amazing.
• I can’t believe how many readers predicted the following ending of the Pats-Colts game: Vinatieri shanks the game-winning field goal, rips off his jersey to reveal a Pats jersey, then runs across to the Pats sideline and jumps into Belichick’s arms as Jim Nantz screams “Noooooooooo! Noooooooooo!” and Peyton Manning breaks out the greatest Manning Face of all-time. Would I sacrifice three months of my life for this to happen? Yeah, probably.
And of course his Pats/Colts Pick,
COLTS (-3) over Patriots
I tried to fight it. Really, I did. I looked at it from every angle. I kept hoping the case for the Patriots would materialize. And I kept coming back to four things:
1. The Colts crushed New England the last two times.
2. Indy’s defense is good when they’re protecting a lead — they’re fast upfront, they can rush the passer from different angles, their secondary makes plays, and as they showed last week in Baltimore, they can even get a little physical. If they’re trailing by seven in the second half and you can run the ball down their throats? Different story. But that would presume that the Pats — with a patchwork offense that can’t produce any big play — could take a lead and hold it.
3. Vinatieri is looming over everything. There’s no doubt he comes into play down the stretch.
4. The only way Indy loses is if Manning gets rattled and kills them again. How many times can this happen? Ten? Fifteen? At some point, he has to come up big when it truly matters, right? Right?
The Pick: Colts 31, Patrio …
(Wait a second … if my life depended on this game, would I bet on Manning and Dungy over Belichick and Brady?)
(Thinking … )
(Thinking … )
Patriots (+3) over COLTS
The Pick: Pats 20, Colts 19.
As always I’d advise you to check out the whole column. A lot of good stuff in there.