Steve Dugas finds himself in familiar territory: The Super Bowl playing against a seemingly unstoppable NFC team, who in the week prior to the Championship, lose their MVP candidate. The scenario is eerily like the Super Bowl from two seasons ago in which the Merry Men lost to the Priest Holmes-less Huskers. The Merry Men have certainly had their share of luck this season and recent injuries to T.J. Duckett and Terrell Owens prove that Dugas' luck isn't going away anytime soon.
The Chickens meanwhile will scramble to assemble a championship lineup this week. It could include two tight-ends and a QB who was almost cut in the preseason. Owens' absence changes the entire complexion of the Chickens. That's the primary reason I voted for him for league MVP. Without Owens playing, you can't justify starting McNabb can you? The answer is "no" and that's why Owens is arguably the league's most valuable player this year, he makes the players on his team, namely McNabb, better.
This game will be close. In Vegas terms it is a true "pick'em". If Owens doesn't get injured, I'd say the Chickens would win because McNabb and Owens would likely get two or three TDs on Monday night against the lowly Rams. Now Brees gets the call in what could be a shootout as the Colts host the Chargers. Don't be fooled, the Colts defense is still horrible so the Chargers trio should put up fantasy points. The Vikings play on Christmas Eve hosting their rival Packers which should also be a shootout. Dugas won't make the mistake of benching Burleson for (I'm not even going to try to spell his last name) again.
This game will be high-scoring. I wouldn't be surprised if both teams topped 70 points. The Chickens absolutely need TDs from Jamal Lewis and Jason Whitten to make up for the loss of T.O. Brees, Tomlinson and Gates will probably combine for 30 to 40 points alone. If the other five guys can come up with another 35 points, the Chickens will win this game.
The Merry Men need Porter and Burleson to follow-up last week's performances with similar results this week. Culpepper should be good for 3 TDs and 300 yards while McAllister, Alexander and Johnson will combine for roughly 25 points. If Porter, Burleson, Clark and Vanderjagt can score 25 between the the Merry Men will win this game.
Prediction: Merry Men 71 Chickens 69