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Super Bowl Preview

   by ASA - 02/03/2007

Much has been made this year as to how the AFC is the far superior conference and the line reflects that thought. The AFC went 40-24 against the NFC this year with Indy going 3-1 against the NFC while Chicago went 2-2 against the AFC. The NFC owned the Super Bowl from the mid-80s to the late 90s, winning 13 straight Bowls from 1985 to 1997. The AFC has flipped the script, though, winning seven of the last nine championship contests. The questions is, will the AFC continue its dominance – both from the regular season and past Super Bowls – over the NFC?

Chicago and Indianapolis, despite Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith’s tight relationship from years of working together, are night and day when it comes to philosophy on how to win games. Much of Chicago’s success has been due to defense and special teams while Indy’s triumphs have been because of a well-oiled offense. The Colts put their fortunes in the hands of their star quarterback while the Bears just hope their quarterback doesn’t screw it up. Essentially, Chicago wins with defense and Indy wins with offense. The question is, which wins out, a great offense or a great defense?

Both teams have very similar records coming into this game, with Chicago owning a 15-3 record and Indy a 15-4 mark, including playoff games. But there is a big difference in strength of schedule. Colt opponents posted a combined record of 162-142, with 14 of Indy’s 19 opponents owning a record of .500 or better. Bear foes, on the other hand, went just 129-159 on the year, with just nine of Chicago’s 18 opponents owning a record of .500 or better. Overall, Indy’s competition tallied a .533 winning percentage while Chicago’s opposition posted just a .445 winning percentage. The question is, will the Colts’ tougher regular and postseason schedule prove to be that much of a difference?

Finally, weather conditions should be taken into account when handicapping the Super Bowl. The Colts were built for turf as they went 8-0 SU in their enclosed home stadium and 6-4 ATS on turf this season. But they went just 2-4 ATS when playing on grass this year. Chicago went 8-2 SU in its outdoor home stadium and 8-4 ATS on grass this year. The Bears went just 1-3 AST on turf this year but that won’t come into play as this game will be played on the natural grass of Miami’s Dolphins Stadium. The question is, will the playing surface really have that much influence on the outcome of this game?

Now for the answers to the previously listed questions, check out ASA’s WINNER for the Super Bowl right here on this website.

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