Belfast American Football Writing

I write a column on American Football for a local paper - here you can read the reports a couple of days before they go in print; and my confused waffles...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

One last step to Super Bowl

THERE is just one last step to take for the four teams battling it out tomorrow (Sunday) night to reach Super Bowl XLI in Miami – one step between American Football history and crashing out.

The Conference championship games feature the four teams to emerge after staying the pace throughout the regular season.

In the NFC game the top two seeds will battle it out when the New Orleans Saints visit the Chicago Bears.

“This is the match-up we wanted,” said Chicago corner back Nathan Vasher. “It’s great for us, great for TV, everything. We wanted to see the highest-seeded team and beat the best.”

It’s January at Soldier Field, so the running game should play a big part in this one. Both teams come equipped with RB tandems. The Saints bring in “the big guy,” as Bears LB Brian Urlacher calls him – 6-1, 232-pound Deuce McCallister – and fleet rookie Reggie Bush.

The pile-moving McAllister rumbled for a Saints playoff-record 143 yards and two TDs in the Divisional. Bush produced some spectacular moves, including a four-yard TD scamper and a 25-yard run that set up a field goal.

The Bears have their own ground-eating tandem in Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson, the second-year runner who has been worked into the rotation more and more recently. The two combined for 1,857 yards this year and 111 yards last week
New Orleans – 6-2 on the road this season – arrives with the league’s No. 1 offence, but for all the attention Chicago QB Rex Grossman has received – “he’s taken us to 14 wins,” said head coach Lovie Smith - one stat is overlooked.

In the AFC two teams with identical records and a fierce rivalry, the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts come face-to-face.

And for them it will be all about which QB can afford turnovers, with both Tom Brady of New England and Peyton Manning of the Colts susceptible to being picked off when they try to force plays.


Post a Comment

<< Home