That's the bad news. The good news is there are only three more prognostications to make before the 2009 NFL season officially comes to a close, so I can't do much worse from here on out.
NFL Conference Championships: Sunday, Jan. 24
New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts, 3 p.m.
The Chargers blew it. Well, that and the Jets did what they had to do to get here. Let's give them credit.
But those Nate Kaeding missed field goals will again haunt San Diego and its fans for some time, not to mention all of the other missed opportunities. It is too bad because that was likely LaDainian Tomlinson's last chance to get to the Super Bowl.
It is kind of strange that the Jets started the season looking like contenders, before virtually falling completely off the map playoffs-wise, and yet found themselves in the postseason anyway thanks to some late-season gifts. You have to hand it to them for taking advantage of this opportunity.
They are the only team left that plays old-school football, with a strong running game and sound defense. Thomas Jones is 31 and will likely be jettisoned after the season, and who can blame the Jets after getting a long look at Shonn Greene? He reminds me of Michael Turner in build and running style.
I think the Colts' starters have a scapegoat on which to place the blame for ruining their perfect season and will come out amped to put the screws to the less talented team. The Colts helped the Jets into the playoffs, and will surely take pleasure in kicking them out.
Plus, Darrelle Revis can't cover everybody—at least, not all of them at the same time.
The Chargers have some talented receivers, but they don't have as many as the Colts do.
Reggie Wayne is perhaps the best, least-talked about superstar of all-time. Dallas Clark is one of the best pass catching tight ends in the history of the game. Austin Collie and Pierre Garçon could both have been rookie of the year, and have truly been incredible with their development in such a short period of time.
I just don't think the Jets have the horses to match the Indy arsenal.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints, 6:40 p.m.
For football purists, there may not be a loser in this game.
It is either going to be the feel-good Saints, erasing an entire history of 'Aints and brown bags over heads and leading a city mired in tragedy and subsequent rebuilding to the promised land, or one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, capping another improbable comeback at the age of 40 to lead his second new team in as many years to the Super Bowl.
Either way, it will be a great story.
Brett Favre is already legendary; think about how gigantic he will be in Canton if he pulls this one off. At the beginning of the season, I really didn't think he had it in him. I forecasted a collapse by a noodle-armed, over-the-hill player who refused to listen to his body, and I was stunned to see him succeed with flying colors. What a great year Favre has had.
On the flip side, Drew Brees has been underappreciated in this league for years, only getting his due recently. I thought it was a mistake when San Diego let him go to begin with, but little did I know Philip Rivers was going to be better than advertised.
Still, Brees has become one of the best in the game and has been around for a while now. It would be great to see him lead the Saints to a Super Bowl victory.
I'm going with Brees and the Saints because they are a team of destiny. They got their mojo back last weekend, and the home crowd will help lift them to their first-ever Super Bowl.
This article also appears on Undrafteds.com.
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