Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl Scuffle: a point-counterpoint discussion between Jack Fu and himself

Dids and I agreed earlier in the week that, due to general media saturation and the fact that there was a two-week break before this year's game, there was really nothing left to discuss about this year's Super Bowl. Still, to a certain extent, we here at pride ourselves on our half-assed predictions and analyses, so we felt we'd be remiss if we didn't provide both of our loyal readers with some of our thoughts, fears, obervations, and irrelevant personal asides regarding this, the most Super of Bowls.

Since my thoughts about this game feature an interesting if pathetic dichotomy between my rooting interests and what I think will actually happen, this prediction is split. In two. Just like I am. Why do you care? I honestly have no idea...

Heart: Even in the most team-oriented of sports, it helps tremendously if your side has the best player on the field. In this matchup, totally objectively, Philly probably has the TWO best players, in Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens. It's true that Owens is hobbled, but just his presence on the field completely changes the game, as the Patriots have to account for him at all times, often with more than one defender, causing guys like Freddie Mitchell, Greg Lewis, and Michael Westbrook to be left in single coverage.

Head: Come on. Is there any way that Owens is 100%? And if he isn't, then there's really no need to have to account for him with extra people. Belichick and Crennel aren't retards, you know. In case you haven't been paying attention, Bill Belichick is the third coming of Jesus. (And Tom Brady is better than Joe Montana. Honestly, haven't you been paying attention?) They're gonna jam Owens at the line and see how well he moves and cuts. Within 2 or 3 series, they'll know what they're dealing with, and they'll adjust accordingly.

Heart: Yeah, but how do you adjust for McNabb, quite possibly the perfect offensive weapon in football? He's on another level right now: his reads are impeccable, and he can buy even his mediocre receivers time to get open by shifting around in, or even escaping, the pocket. And he can run, even though he doesn't really like to.

Head: Dude, Belichick ALWAYS finds a way. They'll be ready for McNabb. The hallmark of these Patriots teams has been that they take away your best offensive option - you can bet they've been concentrating all week on how to minimize McNabb's effectiveness. And Brian Westbrook can beat Minnesota's and Atlanta's defenses, but what can he do against the Patriots, honestly? And we haven't even discussed the Patriots offense vs. the Eagles defense. The way the Patriots have played offense this year, you can basically pencil them in for 24 points right now, without even factoring in any turnovers from Philly.

Heart: Yeah, but that's another McNabb excels at: he rarely turns the ball over. 31 TDs to 8 INTs, and he and Brady are the only QBs in this year's playoffs who haven't thrown an interception. That's no coincidence.

Head: Still, McNabb has to find some way to manufacture at least 24 points just for the Eagles to have a fighting chance in this game, because with Brady playing the way he is and Corey Dillon playing the way he is, the Patriots are gonna drop 24 on Philly without breaking a sweat. And conventional wisdom about Philly's defense says you can run on them, so Corey Dillon could have a huge game.

Heart: But the conventional wisdom this year has been wrong often, and the Eagles aren't as easy to run on as many think. Atlanta was one of the best rushing teams in the NFL this year, and Philly held them to 114 yds on the ground. But Dillon IS the key here, I think: if he gets 90 or more yards in this game, I think the Patriots win. If Philly can hold him to the 60-70 yd range, they've got a shot.

Head: But they still have to worry about Brady. He's poised to win his 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years, for crying out loud. And say what you want about his receivers, but the guys make plays.

Heart: If anybody's got the secondary to frustrate Brady and his receivers, it's the Eagles. Three Pro-Bowlers man their secondary (Lito Sheppard, Brian Dawkins, and Michael Lewis), and some say CB Sheldon Brown could have earned a spot as well. If they can cover New England's recievers well enough to allow Johnson and Reid to unload some pressure on Brady, things could get interesting.

Head: Dude, your posts sound like they use a lot of "if"s. Plus, you sound you're rationalizing.

Heart: Fuck you, so do you.

Head: Do you honestly think that this Eagles team, with T.O. banged up and Chad Lewis out, is going to outlast a team that rolled through the AFC playoffs, throttling Indy AND Pittsburgh?

Heart: I ... I just ... ... Fuck you. And fuck Boston. I'm tired of those bitches.

Head: Yeah, that's what I thought.

Head says: Patriots 30, Eagles 16
Bitter, resentful Heart says: Eagles 24, Patriots 23


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