SI prediction: Pats lose to Saints in Super Bowl

SI prediction: Pats lose to Saints in Super Bowl
January 4, 2012, 7:34 pm
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How far will the Patriots go in the playoffs? It's the question everyone's asking and to which no one knows the answer.

They could be eliminated in their first game, as they have been the previous two years. Or they could make it to the Super Bowl, maybe even win it.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King has made his prediction, that being his job and all. He has the Patriots getting to the big game, then losing to New Orleans, 34-24.

One of the numbers SI uses to determine the Patriots are Super Bowl-worthy?

169 Combined receptions by New Englands Rob Gronkowski (90) and Aaron Hernandez (79) in 2011, most by a pair of tight ends on the same team in a single season in NFL history.

But then there's this, likely the No. 1 reason why King would pick the Patriots to lose to the Saints and their dangerous passing attack:

4,703 Passing yards allowed by the Patriots defense, second most in NFL history behind the Packers 4,796, also this year. New England allowed nine quarterbacks to pass for 300 or more yards in 2011.

Cue the Drew Brees drool (if it ever gets to that point).