If I’m the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday is the game to have. I’d rather go to New England than Indianapolis in the divisional round or for the AFC championship game.
Yes, it’s true. I would rather go to New England than Indianapolis on the road to the Super Bowl.
Here’s why: The weather is going to be better in Indianapolis than in New England. And to beat either one of these teams (while the Patriots are magical at 16-0, the Colts are pretty special at 13-3) you need some help from nature. Simply put, you need a fluke to beat either New England or Indianapolis these days.
There are few intangible flukes available at the RCA Dome. It won’t be snowing inside at Indy. No hail, no rain, no ice, no snowballs, no snow plows. Anything has and can happen again in New England.
Thus, flukes are only possible in New England.
Let’s face it. No team is going to beat New England this season without something unforeseen occurring. That’s why, if the Patriots beat the elements along with their two playoff opponents, they should win the Super Bowl, which will be played indoors in Glendale, Ariz., should there be poor weather. The stadium has a retractable roof.
So, get the Patriots while you can and bring all the bad weather that you can handle.
It’s the only way to beat them.
Jacksonville can do it, too. It proved that with a win in a nasty climate in Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago and handled the Steelers again on Saturday. The Jaguars are a power team and could deal with poor weather.
If New England has one flaw, it is that it doesn’t have a top-notch running game. Laurence Maroney has had his moments, but there have been plenty of games when New England has been stagnant on the ground. So in a bad-weather game, the Patriots would be forced to be on the ground.
The vaunted Tom Brady-led passing game could be stalled by poor weather. And if Brady has problems getting the ball to Randy Moss and Wes Welker, the Patriots could be susceptible. Every time New England was on the ropes doing the journey to 16-0, it bailed itself out with the pass.
But on a slick, snowy field, that may not work. In Indianapolis, Peyton Manning (remember him?) will wake up knowing he has perfect conditions awaiting him and his arm.
If you have to face long odds, wouldn’t you invite the chance of an equal playing field created by poor weather? That might be any team’s chance in New England. But in Indianapolis, that chance already has been eliminated.
Plus, there’s the noise factor in Indianapolis. The place rocks. There may not be a more difficult place to play in the NFL then when the Colts are rolling. Last year, during the AFC title game, the RCA Dome was so loud that there was noise above the noise as the Colts brought down the Patriots. New England will be rowdy but it can’t match the indoor noise of Indianapolis.
I’m not saying the Colts are a better team than the Patriots. The Patriots are incredible and the Colts are just a shade behind them. Beating either team is going to be near impossible on the road. But if given a choice, you have to take your chance outside in January and hope for a fluke.
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