BIG GAME SHOULD BE SUPER UGLY.Byline: BILLY WITZ
The New England New England, name applied to the region comprising six states of the NE United States—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region is thought to have been so named by Capt. Patriots' defense turned Peyton Manning Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American football quarterback who plays for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Colts with the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. into Jim Everett James Samuel "Jim" Everett III (born January 3, 1963 in Emporia, Kansas) is a former professional American football quarterback in the NFL. Everett attended Purdue University and was selected in the first round of the 1986 NFL Draft. before our very eyes. Then the Carolina Panthers
National Football Conference championship game.
If this was a sorry sight, just wait.
In two weeks, the Patriots and Panthers meet in Houston and that's when things could really get ugly. Super Bowl XXXVIII Super Bowl XXXVIII was the 38th championship game of the modern National Football League (NFL). The game was played on February 1, 2004 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas following the 2003 regular season. has the makings of one of the most, how shall we say, aesthetically challenged title games ever - fitting, perhaps, given the host city.
This has all the looks of a game where the only thing of beauty is likely to be the shiny silver Lombardi Trophy The Lombardi Trophy can refer to the following American football awards:
If there is anything worth celebrating about the Panthers and Patriots, it is the virtues of team concept and defense - admirable qualities, to be sure, but for riveting entertainment this is the football equivalent of My Dinner with Andre.
This is the Super Bowl, after all, where you won't see blue collars in the stands and you shouldn't see them on the stage.
Yet it will be a game truly without stars - no Terrell Owens Terrell Eldorado Owens (born December 7, 1973), is an American football wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Popularly known by his initials, T.O., Owens has established himself as one of the League's most productive and outspoken players. , Randy Moss Randy Moss (born February 13, 1977 in Rand, West Virginia) is an American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998, and played the first stage of his career in Minnesota before a trade in 2005 brought him to the Oakland , Dante Hall Damieon Dante Hall (born September 20, 1978 in Lufkin, Texas) is an National Football League kick/punt returner, and wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams. He was a fifth round draft pick out of Texas A&M University in the 2000 NFL Draft. , Ray Lewis or Brett Favre. The only Manning will be Ricky.
The closest thing to a celebrity is New England quarterback Tom Brady. There are six Pro Bowlers among the two teams, but one is Panthers punter Todd Sauerbrun and another, the Patriots' Willie McGinest, was an injury replacement.
These are teams with great defenses, but rather than ones that are overwhelming - like the '85 Bears or '00 Ravens - these would prefer to bleed their opponents slowly.
Which was much the way it felt to watch both teams win Sunday.
New England took a quarterback like Manning, who had been Peyton Perfect in the playoffs and is considered the game's most astute student of defenses, and made him look like a third-grade reader.
Manning's effectiveness is based on quick reads and throws, but despite often having plenty of time to throw he looked flummoxed most of the day. After throwing eight touchdowns and no interceptions in the first two playoff games, he threw four interceptions - including three to Ty Law.
When the Colts got the ball back with two minutes left and a chance to tie, Manning threw four consecutive incompletions.
Now, imagine what the Patriots will do to Jake Delhomme.
On the other hand, it's hard to imagine New England's offense doing much against Carolina - except sending kicker Adam Vinitieri on to the field.
That was more or less the plan Sunday. The New England offense efficiently marched down the field for a touchdown with the opening kickoff and never saw the end zone the rest of the day, getting four Vinitieri field goals and a safety.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the progress of the forward pass took a few steps backward. After Delhomme threw an up-for-grabs touchdown pass that Muhsin Muhammad pulled down, Carolina coach John Fox decided that was enough good fortune for him. Delhomme threw only 14 passes.
Then again, Fox was watching the Eagles throw. Until the final minutes, nobody caught more passes from Philadelphia quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Koy Detmer than Ricky Manning Jr. - the Carolina cornerback and rookie from UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX , who had three. At one point, Detmer threw a pass to guard Bobbie Williams - who, much to the Eagles' chagrin - showed better hands than the Eagles' receivers, who dropped at least six balls.
While the Panthers will send the city of Brotherly Enmity into a fit of loathing, they've also sent a message to the rest of the league about what is possible. It was just two years ago that they were 1-15, but they hired Fox, who shored up the defense and got the team playing competitively last season.
They picked up Delhomme as a free agent, traded for tailback Stephen Davis and here they are in the Super Bowl.
New England, which has won 14 in a row and is trying to win its second Super Bowl in three years, also has a story worth telling. It is about what passes for greatness these days in the NFL NFL
National Football League
NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga . The Patriots are clearly dominant, but the way they do it - they've won their past five playoff games by a total of 26 points - they just don't look like it.
The same way this Super Bowl just doesn't look super.
2004 PLAYOFF BRACKET