, Salem, MA


January 18, 2007

St. Pierre: 'God wears a Patriots' jersey'

Pittsburgh Steelers reserve quarterback Brian St. Pierre is 27 years old, already pension-eligible in the National Football League after four years of service, and has watched a lot of football games in his career.

The former Boston College star from Danvers will tell you flat out that he had never seen a game like the Patriots' delirious victory in San Diego. The craziness of it all made for some improbable developments.

Still, St. Pierre wasn't surprised that the Patriots won.

"I thought they would win; I was just surprised the way it went down," St. Pierre said after returning to his North Shore home.

"God obviously wears a Patriots' jersey. I'm not going against them," he said, when asked about his choice in Sunday's AFC championship between the Patriots and the Colts.

So what about the other game for the NFC title between the Saints and host Bears? "What other game?" St. Pierre jokingly responded.

"Seriously, it'll be exciting to watch. I agree New Orleans is America's team right now. I'm definitely with the Saints, but New Orleans is probably limited on defense. We played the Saints and beat them pretty good (38-31 in Week 10). They're very average on defense, but dynamic on offense. I worry about New Orleans playing in cold weather, although I still think that they can win.

"But it doesn't matter who wins the NFC. The NFC is not going to win the Super Bowl," St. Pierre declared.

He still can't fathom the top-ranked San Diego Chargers making all those ill-fated mistakes that enabled the Patriots to pull it off in the 11th hour last weekend.

"The Chargers did everything they could to keep the Patriots in it. I can't recall seeing a game like that, where one team looked so much better than the other, and repeatedly made the mistakes to let the other team hang," said St. Pierre. "Give a team like the Patriots too many chances and you're bound to pay for it."

Some of the things that went on were plain crazy, St. Pierre said.

"But give the Patriots credit: they know how to win," he said. "They struggled against a team that was bigger and faster, but San Diego couldn't put them away. Couldn't stick the knife in."

Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning will be feeling the pressure of getting it done because of his postseason history vs. the Patriots. St. Pierre feels certain of that.

"At the same time, those times New England knocked them out (of the playoffs) were in Foxboro," he pointed out. "It'll be more interesting in the (Indianapolis' RCA) Dome."

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