The "Brady Bunch" knocked "Dallas" down a few notches in NFL power ratings last weekend, leaving little doubt who's No. 1.
Indianapolis football fans, though, still can make a good case for Peyton Manning and their defending Super Bowl champion Colts.
The Pats and Indy are the league's only remaining unbeaten teams from a field of 32 that started 2007 play six weeks ago.
Bodog has New England (6-0), fresh off a 48-27 pounding of previouly undefeated Dallas, giving up a somewhat controversial 17 points at Miami on Sunday, though 16 1/2s were available.
The Colts, 5-0 and coming off their bye week, are laying 3 1/2 at Bodog and a field goal most places to Jacksonville in Monday night's game.
The two finalists from last season's AFC Championship meet Nov.4 in the Hoosier State in a game Las Vegas oddsmaker Ken White currently would favor the Pats in by four to five points.
Professional Handicappers League Commissioner and overall points leader Brian Gabrielle believes that since New England has mangled the Cowboys, only the Colts stand between the Pats and a perfect season.
"The only team that can beat New England is Indianapolis and they'd have to do it in Indianapolis in a shootout," Gabrielle said.
"There is just no containing the Pats' offense, but you can out-score them if you win the opening toss and get the ball first.
"At least, Indianapolis has a chance at that."
PHL members Jerry Johnson and Jimmy Boyd don't think New England will have much trouble taming the Colts.
"I said a few weeks back that the Pats are going undefeated and winning the Super Bowl," Johnson said emphatically.
"New England is by far the best team in the league right now and we're all waiting for their Nov. 4 showdown at Indy."
PHL sports anylyst Steve Zukiel wants to see the Pats beat Indy before he makes any predictions about whether they actually will run the table.
"If they beat Indy I'll go out on a limb and say they will," Zukiel declared.
The Las Vegas Hilton has a proposition that asks if the Pats will become the second club in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0; "No" is a minus $7.00 favorite and "Yes" is plus $5.00.
Regardless of which AFC club -- Gabriellle tabs 2006 Super Bowl champ Pittsburgh as an outsider -- makes it to Glendale, Ariz., for the Feb. 3 Super Bowl, an NFC representative also will be there, as a big underdog.
This week's Hilton Super Bowl number is AFC minus 11 1/2 and the total is 52.
The consensus appears to be that Dallas remains the best the senior conference has to offer, in spite of its spanking from the Pats.
White at this point would favor New England by 10 in a Super Bowl rematch on a neutral field, leaning to the Cowboys himself under such a scenario.
"I feel Dallas is still ahead of Green Bay," PHL member Bill Fishman said.
"I'd rank then Dallas one, Green Bay two, Tampa Bay three, Washington four and the Giants five.
"Then I'd have Carolina and Seattle, as their defenses are really impressive."
Fishman feels the Cowboys would show up for the second go-round.
"It would not be a rout," he forecast.
"In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they beat New England.
"I want to see the Pats get through next month.
"Let's see if they can handle Indy and Pittsburgh."
Boyd echoed Fishman's thoughts, while Johnson expressed opposite sentiments.
"Dallas is still the team to beat in the NFC and this loss to New England helps because now it knows just how much work it needs to do," Boyd said.
"New England is three touchdowns better then Dallas on any given Sunday."
Gabrielle isn't sure it matters who goes to the Super Bowl from the NFC.
"Parity is prevelant in the NFC and any team could advance at this point, including the last place team in several NFC divisions," he said.
"No team is overly impressive and no team can be counted out on any given Sunday - well, maybe St. Louis can be counted out.
"However, no NFC team will beat New England, Indianapolis OR Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl."
· 10 years ago