Here Are XXXI Reasons the Packers Will Defeat the New England Patriots

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Daily Herald Sports Writer Bob leGere presents XXXI reasons the Green Bayt Packers will win Super Bowl XXXI:

XXXI: The Packers have the closest thing to a homefield advantage, since Brett Favre hails from Kiln, Miss., which is just 5o miles away.

XXX: The NFC always wins. At least since 1985, anyway. And the average margin of victory in those 12 straight victories has been 21.4 points.

XXIX: Only two teams gave up more passing yards during the regular season than the Patriots, and no NFC QB threw for more than Favre's 3,899 yards.

XXVIII: The Packers were 3-1 vs. AFC foes in the regular season, winning by margins of 32, 21 and 35 points; the Patriots were 2-2 vs. the NFC and one of the victories was by 1 point over the Giants.

XXVII: Destiny: A Green Bay victory follows a natural progression. After the 1993 and '94 seasons, the Packers won wild-card playoff games then lost in the second round. Last season they made it to the NFC championship game.

XXVI: God is on Reggie White's side.

XXV: Dorsey Levens. Until the NFC championship game, when he generated 205 total yards vs. the Panthers, Levens was the best-kept secret in the NFL. But he averaged 4.7 yards per carry in the regular season, second best in the NFC behind Barry Sanders.

XXIV: The Patriots can't run on the Packers. New England was 26th in rushing yards and 25th in average gain per rush during the regular season. Green Bay was No. 4 in rushing yards allowed and No. 5 in average gain per rush allowed.

XXIII: Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe has a tendency to throw interceptions in bunches, and the Packers picked off 26 passes, tied for second best in the league.

XXII: Experience. This will be the Packers' 10th playoff game in the past four seasons. It will be the Patriots' fourth; three of them this season.

XXI: Inexperience. The Patriots start three rookies: wide receiver Terry Glenn, strong safety Lawyer Milloy and place-kicker Adam Vinatieri. The Packers don't start any. New England also starts four second-year players: center Dave Wohlabaugh, running back Curtis Martin, middle linebacker Ted Johnson and cornerback Ty Law.

XX: Anonymity: Who are Ferrec Collons and Pio Sagapolutele, and what are they doing starting in the Super Bowl on the Patriots' defensive line?

XIX: Hunger: Many key Packers are nearing the end of their careers and may never get back to The Dance. Reggie White is 35, Bruce Wilkerson 32, Frank Winters 33, Eugene Robinson 33, Mike Prior 33, Jim McMahon 37, Sean Jones 34 and Keith Jackson 31.

XVIII: Desmond Howard. With 3 punt-return TDs in the regular season and another in the postseason, Howard is the most dangerous return man in the game.

XVII: Assistants. Packers defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur and offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis are two of the best in the league.

XVI: Turnovers. They're the biggest single factor in the outcome of any game, and the Packers' plus-15 edge during the regular season was No. 2 in the league.

XV: The fifth time is a charm. Don Beebe couldn't possibly be on the losing side in five straight games, could he?

XIV: The Packers are butter. …