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NFC guest analyst

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 21, 2001


Andre Waters, a Philadelphia Eagles safety (1984-93) and former University of South Florida assistant coach, recently talked to Times staff writer Brian Landman and explained why he, an old NFC player, picks the AFC champion Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.

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The Ravens have a great defense. Usually when you win a Super Bowl, you win it on defense. I know the Giants have a good defense, but I think the Ravens defense will determine the outcome of the game because the Ravens defense will control the game. ... They are a great defensive team. A defense that takes advantage of opportunity, a defense that creates big plays. And they're a fast defense.

I think Trent Dilfer will do enough on offense to win it. I think Dilfer is a better quarterback than Kerry Collins. Dilfer has played in more big games and has always played with a team that had a good defense, so Trent has learned what not to do when he has a great defense and I think he's going to have an excellent game. I really do.

Dilfer will make some smart decisions and I think the Ravens will make enough plays to force Collins into mistakes. I think he's the type of quarterback who can get rattled. Trent has been there before (in big games), and I don't think it will rattle Trent. I think Trent is ... a great field general.

Now, I don't think either offense is going to put up (a lot of points). I'd be shocked if the Giants put up 41 points. Minnesota didn't have any corners; the Ravens have corners. The Ravens have the complete package. When the Giants get behind early, they're not a very good team to come from behind. But the Giants have a great defense, too. I look at what (Michael) Strahan did to (Eagles offensive tackle Jon) Runyan -- and I have a lot of respect for Runyan -- and what he did to him was scary. So I definitely think it'll be a defensive battle and I think it's going to come down to a field goal. But I lean toward the Ravens because of the quarterback experience.

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