RUSH: Okay. National Football League championship games. The AFC game is at three o’clock. It’s the New England Patriots hosting the Baltimore Ravens. I can give you an interesting statistic. You may not know this. The New England Patriots regular season record is 13-3. They did not beat a team with a winning record the whole season. Now, stop and think of that. They won 13 games and did not beat a team with a winning record. They lost to the Steelers. They lost to the New York Giants. They had, by quirk of fate, the weakest schedule. The record of their combined opponents was .459, less than 50%. I think that is an amazing statistic. The Patriots also had to put at least 30 points up every week to have a chance.
Their defense finished 31st in the league out of 32. But as they often say, “Throw that out once you get to the playoffs.” Last week, the Patriots stunned (not really) the Denver Broncos, the Tebows. The Tebows did not have a winning record. The Tebows were, what, 8-8, to finish the season? Yeah. The Ravens can’t score points like the Steelers. They’re having trouble. They’re infighting with their quarterback, Flacco. Brady, on the other hand, can score at will. Everybody cites, “Well, yeah, but look back, Rush, to 2009. The Patriots creamed ’em 33-13.” Yeah, but back then they didn’t have Wes Welker and didn’t have the two tight ends.
The New England Patriots own the middle of the field. They didn’t do that on offense, they haven’t been able to do that — they weren’t able to do that — in 2009. This game is really… I’m gonna be shocked… Not shocked. I’m gonna be surprised if the Super Bowl is not New England-San Francisco. There’s rain falling in San Francisco. The Fort’iners’ field is underwater, anyway. It’s below sea level and could be a mudder game, and that favors the Fort’iners because that means you gotta run the ball. The Giants are down at the bottom of the list in the running game. Their passing game depends on speed, which is neutered with a muck-wet field. It’s gonna be covered, but it’s still below sea level, anyway. Four days of rain, it’s gonna be moist.
The Giants have a couple injuries nobody’s talking about. Their tight end is not doing well. The Fort’iners, basically, aside from a wideout, are healthy. They clearly have the edge in the running game, theoretically. However, the Giants are peaking. You know, the Giants are playing well at this point in the season, but so are the Fort’iners. I think they’re both gonna be barnburner games. I think both have a chance to be good, and I can see upsets in both of them. “Home team” is no longer the built-in advantage that it used to be in this weekend. In the divisional round weekend last week, it is. But just look at the games straight up, I’ll be surprised if the Super Bowl is not New England and the Fort’iners. Is that an official pick? I guess I have to stand by that as a official pick. So that’s what it is. We’ll see. Three o’clock Sunday, it all kicks off and we’ll find out.