The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Dressing For The Big Dance

Mill Woods

Posted on January 19, 2019 13:57

0 user

We're at that point in the NFL season when everyone is a prognosticator. Here comes one more prediction; are you ready? I am ready to make my second-to-last prediction of the season: the Saints and Patriots will meet in Atlanta in the Super Bowl.

It's a good time for a sportswriter to take stock. I feel there is no point in making predictions for readers if you never follow up! I think a writer owes it to you to take credit where due and confess where predictions didn't work out.  

For me, it began before Labor Day - before the first score of the regular season - long before key players got injured on various teams, drastically altering their outlook. I picked 12 teams that I thought would make the NFL playoffs, and at the end of 2018, six of those teams had made it. I have had seasons where I picked a few more playoff teams, but with 32 very strong teams competing, getting half of the pack is still impressive (if you don't think so, try it sometime).

Along the way, I was able to correctly pick 168 out of the 256 games of the regular season, beating nine experts who do this every week and trailing only one. The first round of the playoffs didn't go my way, but I am currently 5-3 after last weekend's picks.

We're all caught up.  It's the Conference Championships. I see the Saints and Patriots in the Super Bowl. I must tell you that the Chiefs and Rams are no slouches. It bears repeating: all of the NFL playoff teams have achieved tremendous success.

But I am going with the Saints and Patriots in the Big Dance. I like the Saints more than the Rams because, while these two teams look a lot alike, the Saints have a very slight edge - the home crowd (which they also had in their regular-season win over the Rams). I am going with the Patriots - on the road - because I call them the "Perennial Purveyors of Parity". For about 20 years now, the Patriots have been fielding teams that were equally talented on offense and defense ('parity', in this case, refers to offensive and defensive balance). The Chiefs are mainly about offense. Their defense showed surprising punch in their victory last weekend, but they will need even more of that if they are to beat the Patriots.

I expect both games to be pure fireworks. The Saints and Rams could put on quite a show. And yes, weather may slow down the scoring in Kansas City, but if you like ball-control strategies and field-position battles, this one will also be exciting. 

With the championship looming, seems like everyone has an opinion. I gave mine all season long, so I'm proud to add my prediction on Sunday's two big showdowns. And I'll repeat some advice that I have given often during the long regular season: don't miss a minute of the action! I certainly won't.

Mill Woods

Posted on January 19, 2019 13:57

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest