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- Super Bowl XXXIX - It's On

Chris Pokorny February 5, 2005
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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The long NFL season is almost over...and then the new season begins one day later for a guy like Romeo Crennel, who will likely be named the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Charlie Weis is headed for college, and many speculate that the Patriots may be a different team next year. None of that matters though until Monday. Right now, it's time to focus on the greatest prize in the NFL - the reason these players are in this business...to win the Super Bowl.

One man on the Patriots really wants this game. That man would be Corey Dillon, who did not make the playoffs once in all of his years with the Bengals. Dillon has been an elite back in the NFL and was able to prove that this season with a strong performance. Last year the Patriots were able to get the job done with Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk, which would not have worked this season. Just like in the regular season when the Steelers beat the Patriots, New England inability to run the football with an injured Dillon likely cost them the game. When it came playoff time, just the threat of Dillon alone was able to allow the Patriots offense to cruise by a very good Steelers defense.

On the other side of the field is another man who has been the difference for the Eagles. It's not Terrell Owens, it's Brian Westbrook. Westbrook is their leading rusher and their biggest threat in the passing game with the exception of a healthy Owens. Coverages have to adjust to double up Westbrook and opens up everything perfectly for the Eagles offense. Last year in the NFC Championship, the Eagles didn't have Westbrook healthy, although the Panthers may have still won that game regardless.

Tom Brady is looking to etch his name in stone as the member of a dynasty, and has a very good chance of winning his third Super Bowl MVP award because of how he gets the job done. I said Dillon was a huge part in the Patriots offense, but you can't do anything without a great quarterback as well. Brady never seems to panic. You put pressure in his face, he steps up and makes the perfect throw. He doesn't have one "great" target on offense, but that's the beauty of it. Brady spreads the ball around to so many people, that he doesn't need a go to guy. He trusts all of his receivers, which is something you must have. That's why a team like the Seahawks are far away from a Super Bowl.

Donovan McNabb seems like he should have been here already. After losing three straight NFC Championship games, things are finally starting to go the way that the Eagles want them to go. It's unfortunate for them that they have to face a hotter than ever Patriots team. New England's defense gains confidence every week, but so does McNabb. Without Terrell Owens, McNabb has done an excellent job of involving guys like Freddie Mitchell and Greg Lewis. Now that Owens will be back, you have to wonder if it may actually "hurt" the Eagles offense if Owens feels that injury on a certain play, and can't make the catch that McNabb needs him to make. This is all new for McNabb, and the pressure is on.

Both defenses were very good heading into the season, and have only seemed to get better. The Patriots have such creative schemes that Randall Gay seems to be a "shutdown corner" all of a sudden. Javon Kearse is creating great pressure for the Eagles this season and their secondary is full of Pro-Bowlers.

If this game is a blowout, I will be very disappointed. This is a fair representation of the best of the best in the NFL today. If it's a blowout, what's the fun in enjoying the game, knowing that a team is too dominant? Last years Super Bowl was brilliant, with the Patriots winning at the last second. I expect this game to come down to the last drive, with the Eagles trying to come back. The Patriots defense that shut down Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger will clamp on to McNabb and force a turnover, sealing the victory. New England wins 27-24.

Jacksonville will be on fire for this event. Enjoy all of the Super Bowl commercials, the half-time show, and of course the game itself. Let's just hope that this year, everyone will be talking about the game on Monday, and not the half-time show...

-Chris Pokorny

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