...there is no New England-like defensive juggernaut to intimidate the Colts into shitting the field and playing like scared little girls. It was clear the last few years that Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his defensive schemes were in Colts QB Peyton Manning's head, as witnessed by Manning's horrific performances in playoff games against NE. But a defensive scheme is only as good as the athletes trying to execute it, and New England no longer has the horses to execute Belichick's plans. This ain't the same New England squad, not by a long shot. Baltimore seems to have rediscovered its magic on defense, but they're old, and I'm not convinced that they can shut down the Colts at this point in their careers. The Colts have rung up disappointment after disappointment in the playoffs, mostly because Manning and coach Tony Dungy are two of the legendary chokers in the game. But last year took the cake--damn near perfect regular season only to lose at home to Pittsburgh in their first playoff game. I really think they're going to come out in this year's playoffs pissed off and poised to redeem themselves. And one more point: Everybody knows that the Colts have the worst run defense, like, in history. But NFL coaches aren't bright enough to take advantage. There was a game recently where the Carolina Panthers had to start their backup QB, Chris Weinke, whose NFL record at the time was an atrocious 1-17. So since he obviously sucked, they decided to minimize his involvement in the game, and he only threw 7 passes, unheard of for a starting NFL QB. This should be the game plan for any coach facing the Colts--run, run, run, and don't even think about passing unless you feel you have no choice. But since the other QBs in the AFC are either average or above average, no other coach is going to go to such a strategy, and as a result, they will all be looking up at the scoreboard at the end of the game, wondering, "How did we lose that game??" It's finally time for Manning and the rest of the Colts to start playing football in the postseason as flawlessly as they play it in the regular season. I'm calling Colts over Cowboys in the Super Bowl.
Of course, before the season I called Panthers over Jaguars, and neither team even made the playoffs, so clearly, I'm really stupid. Keep that in mind when I feel the need to make predictions.