Insight News

Dec 19th

Early Superbowl picks

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devinhesterThe one undercurrent for all those folks asking about and interested in early Super Bowl predictions – now that the Thanksgiving turkey has worn off and half of the NFL teams have been mathematically eliminated – is: what about Michael Vick? Could Michael Vick win a Superbowl in his first year back as a starter in the NFL?

I always like to be here to help out with the barbershop arguments, and the answer is: No. Sorry. But Vick will win a Super Bowl eventually. Teams kind of have to be in a groove going into this portion of the season, and Vick’s Eagles don’t fit that bill. But as far as the Vikings’ conference, the NFC, surprisingly everyone might want to keep their eyes on the Chicago Bears. I’m slowly beginning to win over the debate crowd with the message that “defense wins championships.” And just like in 2006, the Bears can once again be called the “Monsters of the Midway” when it comes to defense.

Of course the Bears have linebacker Brian Urlacher in the center of their defense. But when I consider defense I also kind of wrap special teams into that equation, too. When you look at it that way, then not only do you have to consider the generally stiff performance of the Bears’ defense, but you also have to bring up the name Devin Hester. For a few years now the Bears have tried to use Hester’s talents more consistently on the offensive side of the ball – Hester started out his career on defense, and I think it’s crazy that they didn’t keep him there at least part time. Hester’s money making, and touchdown making, ability comes in the kick return game. There has never, ever, ever, …eva, eva, been someone in the league who can return kicks like Devin Hester. It baffles me to no end why coaches allow their kickers to kick the ball anywhere in Hester’s area code. Hester has several NFL records for returning kicks, including five in his rookie year (2006). Football is a game of three phases, and when offense or defense gets muddled during a game, that is just the time when an 80 yard touchdown on a punt return by Devin Hester can send the crowd into a frenzy; take some wind out of the other team; and have the offense and defense feeling like they have on a new pair of shoes.

The Bears are certainly not the standout team in the NFL this year thus far, but that is kind of the point. When there are no runaway successful teams in a season, the situation is ripe for a team that simply plays solid defense, superb special teams, and mediocre offense. The Bears defense is actually not as good as it was in 2006 when they went to the Super Bowl. But their offense is better (depending on the day), and their special teams still has Devin Hester. The Atlanta Falcons look to have the most solid groove going in the NFC, and the NFL overall for that matter, but the Bears have better defense, and you heard what I had to say about defense.

As for the Vikings, while they are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, I would advise fans to just sit back and enjoy the show, as Brett Favre rides off into the sunset – yeah, right. I can’t believe anybody is thinking that Favre won’t make another run at it next year. Favre just threw for a career high in yardage a few weeks ago, and gunslingers fancy the thought of going out in a blaze of glory – which this season has little chance to provide for the Vikings. Personally I think Favre should come back next year. At this point, why not? Rookie quarterback Joe Webb should be half-way ready to start sometime next year, but half-way isn’t exactly the best idea to go at anything.

Though Bears fans may have a smile on their faces because I think their team will sneak into the Superbowl this year, they shouldn’t smile too hard. Should the Bears make it to the Super Bowl they will get slobber-knockered by whomever they play. Considering that the Pittsburgh Steelers do the most slobber-knockerin’ (and paying the big fines that go along with hitting opponents that hard), it would make perfect sense for the NFL version of the Los Angeles Lakers to add to their championship trophy case, while the Lakers pursue the 3-Peat (smile).

Chicago versus Pittsburgh sounds like a good chicken wing eatin’-I don’t care because the Raiders stink again-Super Bowl. I’m all about the Super Bowl commercials this year. Viking fans should smile as long as that human piece of steel named Adrian Peterson is marching up and down the field in a purple jersey.


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