Well, this is good news: ESPN is picking Chicago. So just a few quick hits…
A point I meant to make before was that I was surprised that the crowd didn’t have a more obvious impact on more plays in the Philly game. With one notable exception (hold on a minute), there were no inopportune timeouts or weird false starts. The exception was a big one though. The false start on 4th and 10 told Andy to punt. He’s been reviled and defended for his decision, but I thank him. It was a mistake, but he’s a good coach and a decent guy, so he shouldn’t get run out on a rail.
Speaking of which, how spoiled and insane is San Diego to even think of firing Schott? Why shouldn’t Indy bench Peyton at the same time? That’s just stupid. The guy’s good, and if winning all season long isn’t at least enough to keep his job, then screw ’em; come here as an executive, Marty.
Now then, a friend just sent an article about the Saints being the pitied sympathy case in Chi-town. My reaction is that we don’t need them to coddle us, but why can’t we always have a positive spin on our team? With rare exceptions, these guys go from team to team anyway, so why are hatreds so strong? Now I say this while freely admitting to a lifetime hatred of Dallas. So Bears fans, no need to root for us, but you could start a good trend by being pro-Chicago without being anti-Saints.
Now to ESPN’s pick: Clayton says that Brees is “the more seasoned quarterback.” Excuse me? I think what he meant to say is that Brees is “the infinitely superior quarterback.” Whatever happened to playoff experience mattering? What about the #2 MVP? What about the coach of the year? Hell, what about destiny?
The thing is, as much as we’d love to have home field for this, our away record is better than home, and I’ve read (but don’t feel like verifying or linking) that home teams win in the divisional round is around 80% but 56% in the conference round. Sure, it’ll be cold, but it’s not supposed to be nasty. My forecast now shows a few snow showers and 35. That’s nothing for these guys to be affected by at all. The wind may play a role, and the crowd noise is a drag, but not as big a deal as the fact that the bears have lucked into many of their wins. I just don’t see how they expect to beat us when they barely beat the mediocre Seahawks playing a mediocre game last week. At home. More evidence that people pay too much attention to records and past history. How about evaluating the talent, discipline, and preparation?
I’m willing to admit that we’ll be in a real struggle against the AFC if we win this game, so my perspective isn’t completely obscured by bias, but we’re the better team here. Now let’s get it done.