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So, who winds up facing off on February 3, 2008 in the Arizona desert?  Well, let me tell you. 

The AFC representative should come as no surprise.  Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots are the team of the new millennium.  He’s done it in the past by leading a team of home-growns.  This year he will do it by leading a team including many big name free-agents.  While Randy Moss, Adelius Thomas and Wes Welker will make huge contributions, it will still be Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison who lead this team back to paydirt. 

The NFC representative, as I see it, comes as a surprise to most prognosticators.  The St. Louis Rams will ride their tremendous offense, led by Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson, and their improving defense to the big game.  This sets up a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI. 

Look for XLII to look similar to XXXVI on the field – right up to and including a last minute field goal attempt by the Patriots.  But this time, they don’t have Adam Vinitieri.  No worries.  They have Stephen Gostkowski.  He will do.  His kick will bring the bling back to New England.

What?  You thought I was going to predict the Bucs run the table in the playoffs and shock the Patriots en route to the title?  Well… I almost did… could happen, you know… but, I’m guessing that’s next season when Bill Cowher is coaching the Bucs.  Patriots over Rams by a field goal.  Take it to the bank.