Sunday, February 04, 2007



Browsing through the two top online sports sites, Sports Illustrated ( and ESPN , it looks apparent that most sports writers think the Bears have little chance winning the big one.

SI's Peter King says: "It's simple. It's Peyton Manning's time. Don't buy any of the guff that he hasn't played well in the postseason. Against two of the best five defenses in football -- New England and Baltimore -- the last two games, Manning led the Colts to 53 points in eight quarters." King's final score prediction: Colts 27, Bears 21

The closest margin of victory predicted is by Tim Layden (also at SI)---Colts 38, Bears 35, but I think that score will be a little high for the Superbowl. Only teams like the San Francisco Forty-niners can score points like that------55-10 over Denver.

Speaking of the Niners------ESPN presented a ranking of the 80 teams that played in the Superbowl and the 1989 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 14-2 (3-0) garnered the top spot, while our arch rivals, the 1979 LOS ANGELES RAMS 9-7 (2-1) managed to receive the honor of #80.

There were three finalist for the #1 SPOT, the 1978 Steelers, the 1985 Bears and the 1989 49ers-----and here is ESPN's analysis:

We wrestled with the decision of which team would take the No. 1 spot. We settled on three finalists: the 1978 Steelers, the 1985 Bears and the 1989 49ers.

The Steelers were a cut below the other two based in part on its ranking of 10th in offensive yardage that season. They also ranked just 23rd in yards per rushing attempt. Pittsburgh had nine Hall of Famers on its roster, but most were no longer in their prime.

That left us with the Bears and 49ers. Their rankings in major statistical categories were a mirror image. The Bears had a very good offense and an excellent defense. The 49ers had an excellent offense and a very good defense.

Indeed, the '85 Bears lost only once, and the 49ers lost twice. But the Bears' loss was by 14 points – almost triple the total margin of five points in the '89 49ers' two losses.

Our decision ultimately came down to this: If these teams lined up against each other, what would the outcome be?

As good as the Bears' defense was, it was vulnerable to the big passing play. With Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and John Taylor, the 49ers would have exploited this weakness. Conversely, the Bears' offense relied heavily on Walter Payton. It's likely George Seifert and the 49ers would find a way to slow Payton enough to challenge Jim McMahon to beat them with his arm. Did we mention that San Francisco had a future Hall of Fame quarterback sitting on the bench?

With apologies to Mike Ditka, the 49ers were the better team.

Hard to argue with this-------as I am sure many will.

(Sidenote)---- The 1984 49er team (ranked #5) was very impressive also:

1984 49ers: Bill Walsh revolutionized the sport with his West Coast offense. Receivers and tight ends ran the field with precise routes. It was basketball on grass, and it was a thing of beauty. The 49ers won their first Super Bowl with the 1981 team, but by 1984 they were a machine. They breezed through an 18-1 season and routed the Dolphins 38-16 in Super Bowl XIX.

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