The Colts are 0-2 in postseason play against the Patriots, but both teams have obviously changed since their last playoff battle. In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints seem to be everybody's darling, and perhaps they are a team of destiny. But the Bears didn't have the best record in the NFC for nothing. Both look to be great games, but of course we will have to wait another two weeks before we finally see the Super Bowl. It still drives me crazy. I will tell you right now who is going to win these games, and why. Get ready for Super Sunday.
CHICAGO 2 1/2 New Orleans
I thought the Saints were the most impressive last week between these two teams. I know Seattle gave the Bears everything they could handle, but I didn't think Chicago was all that impressive. Strangely, Rex Grossman actually didn't play too badly, and he was a giant question mark going into the game. The Saints beat a hot Eagles team, and I thought looked pretty good. Honestly, I think the Saints are the better team. They appear to be more balanced on both sides of the ball. The Bears struggled to stop a mediocre Seahawks offense, so it is hard to believe they will be able to stop the Saints high scoring machine. The Bears are at home, outside, and that will help. But I don't know how much that will help their stagnant offense. I think their defense might be running out of gas. I like the Saints here to win outright, and their magical ride to continue all the way to the Super Bowl. The story will have another chapter.
INDIANAPOLIS 3 New England
The Colts have been impressive defensively over their first two playoff games, but Peyton Manning has struggled. The Patriots fans and media are already drooling over another Super Bowl appearance for their home town team. They should get a towel to wipe up the drool. It isn't going to happen. The Patriots have owned Manning lately in the playoffs, but that was before the quarterback finally figured out how to beat them. He is 2-0 in the past two games ( regular season ) and both wins have come at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are very lucky to even be in this game. Tom Brady was flat out awful last week, and if it wasn't for luck, they would be done for the season. But good teams take advantage of that luck and find ways to win, and that is what New England did. They will need more then luck this week. The Colts' defense has been showing up for the playoffs, and they should be able to stop the Patriots inconsistent offense. The Patriots will find a way to make it close, as they always do, but close won't be good enough this time. When the Patriots played the Colts in the regular season, I was the only "expert", writer or fan to pick the Colts. And I was right. I am this time too.
Record For Last Week: 2-2 ( 3-1 without spread )
Overall Playoff Record: 3-5 (7-1 without spread )
Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots insider with his weekly picks column.
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