Colts favored to beat Bears in year’s biggest sporting event

Kirk Danielson

Kirk Danielson

With the Super Bowl only a few days away, you can almost hear the collective sigh of thousands of wives and girlfriends, just waiting to reclaim Sundays for new episodes of Desperate Housewives. Well, not quite yet, ladies … it’s still our time. So, since the main event is right around the corner, let’s examine the game.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Super Bowl is taking place on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. (CST) on CBS. This year’s contest between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts will take place in Miami, Fla. I feel warmer just writing that.

The Indianapolis Colts come into the game off of the strength of a big 38-34 victory over the New England Patriots. During conference finals, the Colts overcame a 21-6 halftime deficit and scored an impressive 32 points in the second half, bringing Indianapolis their first conference championship.

Indianapolis was able to put their post-season demons to rest with the victory and take their 12-4 record to the big game. The Colts’ last appearance in the Super Bowl was in V, where they defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 16-13. This is the first time the team has returned to the Super Bowl since moving to Indianapolis in 1984.

Representing the NFC this year are the Chicago Bears, who are also returning to the Super Bowl after a long absence. In 1986, the Bears shuffled their way to a 46-10 rout of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

In the NFC Championship game, the Bears crushed the New Orleans Saints, 39-14. The Bears bring an impressive defense, along with the NFC’s best record of 13-3, with them to Miami.

The Chicago Bears enter the big game a seven-point underdog, but as the Pittsburgh Steelers proved last year, anything is possible. Chicago brings a much-heralded and dangerous defense into the contest. Linebacker Brian Urlacher is the face of a Bears defense that boasted 40 sacks and 24 interceptions during the 2006 regular season. The Bears forced the most turnovers of any team in the NFL this season, averaging more than 2.5 turnovers a game.

Quarterback Rex Grossman has been showing some of the necessary poise in the post-season spotlight. In two post-season games, Grossman has thrown for 426 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears are also three for three on 4th-down conversions in the playoffs.

On the other side of the coin, the Indianapolis Colts boast the face of quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning led the AFC with 4,397 yards passing, and led the NFL in touchdowns and passer-rating this season. Manning has struggled this postseason. He has thrown for 787 yards, more than any other quarterback in the postseason, but only two touchdowns.

After falling short the last several seasons, the Colts finally made it to the Super Bowl, and they are looking to make good on the opportunity. The Colts enter the Super Bowl as a seven-point favorite, like they were in last week’s come-from-behind win. So don’t count this team out … not yet.

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