I’ve been sacked

By Jon Gluskin

If there’s one saying in sports that I hate above all else, it is no doubt “defense wins championships.”

And the worst part about it – it’s true.

I still don’t understand why this clich‚ holds true, but it does. For years I’ve tried to respond to everyone’s examples trying to prove me wrong. What about the 2001 Baltimore Ravens? What about the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers? What about the 2002 and 2004 New England Patriots?

All these teams just couldn’t convince me.

It took the Patriots-Colts AFC Divisional game Sunday to make me eat my words.

I went into the game with no doubts that Peyton Manning and his offensive juggernaut would manhandle the Patriots and their demolished secondary. Peyton was going to throw five touchdowns and put up 40 points.

I mean, the man threw 49 scores for the season, leading the Colts to 30-plus points a game. Running back Edgerrin James had over 1,500 yards rushing. Wide receivers Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley all had 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns or more – there have never been three receivers achieving the 10 touchdowns prior to this team.

There was just no way of stopping this team. And if it were to even be slowed down, it wasn’t going to be to a team that had to scrounge through the waiver wire last week trying to add to its depleted secondary.

To say I was wrong in my predictions would be giving myself way too much credit.

Not only did the Patriots win the game, but they embarrassed Peyton and the prolific Colts offense. They only held the Colts to about 27 points below their average per game, and 46 fewer points than the Colts had last week versus the Broncos.

Peyton looked like brother Eli.

If ever in the existence of professional football I could prove my point that a good offense can beat a good defense, it was now – and it failed.

After watching my beloved Vikings and their “potent” offense get dominated by the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense just a few hours earlier, this was the icing on the cake.

I thought it was a fluke that Jeremiah Trotter’s D made Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper look like he had never thrown a football ever before. The Vikings offense just had an off day.

But when Rodney Harrison picked off Manning with seconds remaining in the game, it was no fluke.

It shouldn’t be this way. Offense is what’s exciting. Offense is what puts fans in the seats. Nobody plays fantasy football because of defense.

So why must defense win championships?

With only the Patriots, Eagles, Steelers and Falcons remaining, my football prayers rest on Michael Vick’s shoulders to salvage the season.

Vick is the only offensive player left in the playoffs worth watching and my only hope of still proving there is some importance in offense (If Terrell Owens were healthy, it might be different).

If the Super Bowl ends up being Patriots-Eagles, I hope both teams lose. These two teams are up there with the Ravens-Giants fiasco years ago on the boringness scale.

So now I’m converted. I was proved wrong last weekend and admitted my naivety towards defense.

Please Michael Vick, run for touchdowns, throw for touchdowns, put points on the board for crying out load! Embarrass the Eagles this week, and then make either the Patriots or Steelers look silly in the Super Bowl.

Please Michael Vick, prove me wrong.