Predicting the unpredictable
Super Bowl predictions from Andy Hoag and Jason Wolverton
January 31, 2005 —
Andy: I'll give you a score: 27-3. And another: 41-27. First score? The Eagles' loss, full strength, in Pittsburgh Week 9. Second score? The Patriots' romp in Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game. The argument has nothing to do with how weak the NFC is, but how strong the AFC is. If the Patriots were playing in the NFC, they would have gone undefeated. If you think the Eagles could have beaten the Colts, Jets, or even the Chargers, you're crazy.
Jason: Out of reach? You make the Eagles sound like a half way decent Junior Varsity team. One of the biggest reasons that New England was able to blow Pittsburgh out of the water in the AFC championship game was because the Steelers featured a rookie quarterback who finally started playing like a rookie. As you know, the Eagles don't have a rookie quarterback. Donovan McNabb will have a spectacular game on February 6. McNabb is hungry for a championship and the entire city of Philadelphia won't accept anything less.
Andy: The city didn't accept any of the previous three NFC Championship Game losses, either, but that didn't stop the Eagles from losing those. McNabb was absolutely terrible for much of last season before T.O. came to the team, and all of a sudden he became a "much better quarterback." I'm not buying that – he made some good plays against two suspect secondaries from Minnesota and Atlanta.
Jason: I figued Terrell Owens would come up so I might as well tell you why he's going to be one of the reasons the Eagles win this game. Owens is going to play, he's going to dominate a weak Patriots secondary and hold up his MVP trophy after he hands the Lombardi trophy back to McNabb.
Andy: And let's not forget the importance of Belichick here – he's 9-1 in the postseason, and that loss came when he coached the Browns in 1994. Your boy Andy Reid's postseason record? 7-4. I think it's fair to say the Patriots have the coaching advantage in this matchup.
Jason: A record of 7-4 in the playoffs isn't something I'd necessarily be ashamed of. Belichick is the greatest coach in football, no doubt. But Reid is no slouch. Jevon Kearse and Jeremiah Trotter will wreak havoc on the Patriots line, pressuring Brady to get rid of the ball much sooner than he wants. Brady throwing to no-name under-skilled receivers is a recipe for disaster.
Andy: You done jumped off the deep end. If there's one quarterback I want throwing under pressure, it's Tom Brady. There's a reason the only stories on him this past week have been comparing him to Mr. Clutch, Joe Montana. The Eagles can't and won't stop the Patriots, and the Pats can and will stop McNabb and his high school-caliber receivers and construction workers. Patriots 27, Eagles 10.
Jason: Above all, the one thing you ignored is the law of averages. I'm a firm believer of luck and I'm here to tell you that the Patriots luck has run out. Everything seems set for a happy-ever-after finish. Of course they're going to lose. And above all, no one realizes the one reason that New England can't possibly win: The Red Sox won the World Series last year. There is no way that the citizens of New England are going to be able to celebrate two championships. New England goes on an 86-year Super Bowl drought. Eagles 21, Patriots 14.