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- A tale of two QB's, who will come out on top?

Kevin Figgers February 4, 2007
Kevin Figgers
NFL Columnist

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Both quarterbacks who will be competing in this year’s Superbowl will attempt to silence the critics this Sunday afternoon. For Peyton Manning, it’s to prove to doubters that he is not just a king of the regular season and that he can win the over-used and all-so-tired cliché “big game”. For Rex Grossman, it will be his chance to show the NFL world that he truly is a quality NFL signal caller, and not just a body they throw onto the field in hopes that he doesn’t screw up. I’ve been asked the question, “Who is this game bigger for, Peyton or Rex?” Many have already stated that the monkey is off of Peyton’s back after his unlikely, record-setting comeback against his arch-nemesis the New England Patriots two weeks ago in the AFC Championship game. This reporter disagrees completely. Yes, Peyton jumped over a major hurdle last month in taking his team to the Superbowl. But, he still has not “won the BIG one yet.” He won the AFC Championship, great. But the Superbowl is what matters. No one remembers Peyton Manning for winning the SEC title; they remember him for losing in the national title game. The monkey will not be completely off of his back until he wins a Lombardy trophy.

This game is much more important for Manning. Grossman is a young quarterback who has had his ups and downs all season long. If he comes out and stinks up the joint, there will be Bears fans who will come out and say, “Well, what did you expect, he’s done this all season.” However, if Manning comes out and has a game that resembles that of past seasons in the playoffs (at New England in 2003 and 2004), it would sink into his psyche. Because then all of a sudden, Manning would have yet ANOTHER monkey to get off of his back, and that would be the biggest event in American sports, the Superbowl. And as we all know, you may only get one shot and one shot only to win a championship in the NFL. Divisional playoff games and even AFC title games are a dime a dozen for great and competent organizations, but Superbowl appearances don’t come every other year (unless you’re the New England Patriots). And even when you get there, its even tougher, no matter who you play (see the Buffalo Bills). So Peyton, no pressure, be calm, but, this will be the biggest game that you will ever play in the history of your life. Don’t screw it up, because while this may be the first time you make it to the Superbowl, it can also be the last time.

With all that being said, my prediction is Bears 34 Colts 24. Two of the Colts biggest weaknesses play right into the strengths of the Bears. The Bears are a good running team, the Colts can’t stop the run (they’ve miraculously shored that up over the last 4 games, but I still don’t trust it), the Colts special teams coverage is terrible, and the Bears have Devin Hester, enough said there. The Bears will have the field position advantage because of Hester and will find a way to fluster Manning into turning the ball over.

(Note: I haven’t picked the Colts to win one game this entire post-season).

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