15 straight wins. The league's best defense. Six pro-bowlers. The offensive rookie of the year. Two of the best runningbacks in the league. Home-field advantage. One of the NFL's best coaching staffs. Undefeated at Heinz Field. But none of that can't compete with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
Just like the week before when the defending Super Bowl champions played the Indianapolis Colts, the Patriots did what no one thought they would do. They not only beat the best defense in the National Football League, they made them look completely foolish. It was a slaughtering. It was embarrassing. It was typical New England Patriots football.
Let's put the Steelers in the past now. The AFC Championship is over and we're going to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years. It's so over-used it could be a cliche, but in the time of free agency, that type of achievement is almost impossible.
There is no reason to celebrate yet. We still haven't won the Super Bowl. Though a lot of columnists are jumping the gun and saying the Patriots should win, it isn't over until the clock hits 0:00 and we have a defined winner. Remember Super Bowl XXXVI? The Patriots weren't supposed to beat the Rams, but they did.
The season comes down to one game in Jacksonville against the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Donovan McNabb, Bryant Westbrook, and Jeremiah Trotter are just some names that come to mind when you think the Eagles. Another? Terrell Owens. But according to Dr. Mark Myerson who looked at Owens' ankle recently, he shouldn't be playing but still might.
Owens came to Philadelphia for one reason: to win the Super Bowl. Depending on Owens' mindset and how Andy Reid (Philadelphia's head coach) wants to handle this situation, a border-line ankle might not keep Owens out of the Super Bowl. But how will Owens play, if he does play, with an ankle that isn't 100 percent? Only five receivers have gone over 100 yards receiving against the Patriots since Ty Law and Tyrone Poole have been out. That isn't many considering receivers have been lining up against Randall Gay, Earthwind Moreland and Troy Brown since week 8.
Owens isn't the story though. The story is the New England Patriots looking for their third ring in four years versus the Philadelphia Eagles who, previous to this season, have lost in three consecutive NFC Championship games. Can Philadelphia get over the hump? Or will New England cement their name in the history books?
Answers to all your questions come February 6th in the biggest game in professional sports.