My score for 2007 playoff picks: 7-3
Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears: Regardless of what the media might tell you, Peyton Manning did not throw the monkey from his back with his defeat of Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Yes, he exorcised a lot of demons with that stunning come from behind win, but the biggest demon of them all is that he’s known as a guy who simply can’t win the big one. He couldn’t win it in high school, he didn’t win it in college, and he hasn’t been able to win the ring during his Hall Of Fame career. In order to go down as one of the greatest of all time, the guy has to do more than beat his arch-nemesis in one of the greatest conference championship games of all time: he has to win the ring.
The Bears come into this game as a huge underdog, which strikes me as very odd. Yes, I’ve picked against the Bears this playoff season already, but they won 15 games this year. A team that wins 15 games should be the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl, but they aren’t, and I’ll tell you why: because of Rex Grossman. Nobody, even in Chicago, has faith in this guy, but I’m not sure the skepticism is well-founded. The dude did lead the team to an incredible season even while chasing down record low single-game QB rating numbers, so he must be doing something right. The Bears defense is terribly scary, amazingly good, and Peyton’s probably already having sweat-filled nightmares featuring Urlacher chasing him across the field with that crazed look in his eyes.
My pick? Regardless of how good the Bears have been, they’re a huge underdog in the biggest game of the year for two reasons:
- Rex Grossman. He has to put in one of his early-season performances, or else the Bears are sunk. Regardless of how good the Bears D is, the game is going to hinge on whether or not Grossman can deliver.
- The public is rooting for Peyton Manning to get his ring.
My pick for the game? The Chicago Bears defense will chase Peyton Manning up and down the field, and in the end that’ll be enough to stop Manning from getting his first taste of championship glory.
Bears 31 – Colts 14
Keep in mind that this isn’t the team that I WANT to win; I would love to see the Colts win the game. It’s not really anything that I have against the Bears in general, I’d just like to see Manning finally overcome the obstacles in front of him for once and win the big one. So, while I’ll be rooting for the Colts, I’m picking against them because the Bears defense is just scary, amazingly good.