Super Bowl is All About the 'D'

    This weekend, the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens will engage in Super Bowl XXXV.

    Who will the winner be, you may ask? Well, New York, of course.

    The big game this year pits two teams better known for defense than for offense. In other words, this will not be an offensive blockbuster.

    Defense, though, is awesome to watch when it is done right. It can be just as fun to observe as high-flying offenses such as those of the Rams and Vikings. The question just flips around. It is no longer a wonder how much a team will score, but how little the opponents will be held to.

    The Ravens have a stellar defense. Unfortunately, that is all they have.

    The superiority of the Baltimore defense is not up for debate. They have some of the best defense in recent memory, maybe even as good as the Bears’ defense in 1985. It is their offense that has a problem. Defense does win championships, but you need at least a little bit of offense to make some points.

    The Ravens’ plan so far this year has been to have the defense hold an opponent’s offense in check so the Ravens’ offense can get into field goal range.

    Sorry, but that is not going to work in the Super Bowl.

    Frankly, the Ravens’ offense is downright pitiful. Folks, we’re talking about a bunch that did not score a touchdown during the month of October — an entire month.

    Trent Dilfer is not a Super Bowl caliber quarterback, and he does not have the potential to be one, yet he is in the big game. He’s a nice backup, sure, but not a championship starter by any means. Why do you think Tampa got rid of him in favor of Sean King?

    At running back they have Jamal Lewis, which is not too bad considering he rumbled for over 1,300 yards this year, but he can’t do it by himself. Plus, the Giants’ defense will be all over him like Bill Clinton on an intern.

    Who else do they have? Shannon Sharpe? He is the best tight end playing today, but someone has to get him the ball. If they put Sharpe in as quarterback and have him throw the ball to himself, maybe they would have a game plan.

    The Ravens got extremely lucky a couple of Sundays ago against an overrated Oakland team in the AFC Championship game. If it hadn’t been for a lucky pass play to Sharp and a turnover by the Raiders, they may still be playing that game as we speak.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, the Ravens defense is a 9.8, but their offense is not even on the chart.

    The Giants’ defense is not nearly as good, but their offense is a whole lot better.

    On defense, the Giants will not have to do much to keep the game close, but there are high school teams that could stop the Ravens’ offense. OK, that may be a little much, but what the Giants do have to offer will prove sufficient. Hell, look at what they did to Minnesota’s high-flying attack a couple of weeks ago. With inspired play, they made the Vikings look like the Chargers.

    On the offensive side, the Giants running game is decent with Tiki Barbar and Ron Dayne. Will they be able to get anything done against the Ravens? Not at all, but that is not to say they won’t try.

    The difference in this game is the Giants quarterback, Kerry Collins.

    OK, no more scoffing, or at least cut out your boisterous laughter. But I think Collins has it in him to win this game.

    Many forget the good parts of Collins’ career and concentrate on the bad. Yes, he did have an alcohol problem that nearly cost him his career. He also simply gave up with the Carolina Panthers, making him look like a jackass.

    But hey, this is the NFL, home of second chances.

    When Collins was not acting like a dumbass, he was pretty good. He led the Panthers to the NFC championship game during his third year. He was a hell of a college quarterback. If he remains focused, he can make things happen. He did throw for 3,600 yards this year.

    The way I see the Super Bowl shaping up is this: The Ravens’ defense will get a safety some time in the first half. They will also cause a turnover early on, setting the ball up for their offense deep in Giants territory, giving them a field goal.

    For these accomplishments, Ray Lewis will be named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Yes, someone charged with murder will be named the MVP of the Super Bowl. Not only that, he will be on the losing team — only the second time that will have happened.

    The Giants’ defense will keep the Ravens’ offense at bay, aside for the field goal, the entire game. Kerry Collins and the offense will have two big plays in the second half, setting up two field goals and a championship.

    My final score: Giants 6, Ravens 5.

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