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From the Hart: SI still has Pats winning Super Bowl!

Sometimes when we're too close to a team, too close to its flaws and too close to its latest loss we become too reactionary. That may be the case this week in New England.

Following Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh the defense – deservedly so – has been under fire. Bill Belichick – mostly his role as the New England GM – has also been under fire. Talk radio and Twitter have been burning up.

Most fans seem to think that as of now the idea of the 5-2 Patriots winning the Super Bowl is more of hope than a strong belief.

But Sports Illustrated came out with its midseason football issue this week, and included in it are a few positives for the Patriots.

First, Peter King includes Wes Welker and Brian Waters on his midseason All-Pro team. While it was obvious to give Welker the nod for leading the NFL in catches, Waters' remarkable work since joining the team after the preseason probably doesn't get as much notice as it deserves.

But the thing that really caught my eye from Sports Illustrated, was how writer Damon Hack predicted the rest of the NFL regular season and postseason to play out.

Hack predicts that the Patriots will be the No. 2 overall seed in the AFC. He projects them to beat the Ravens at home in the Divisional Round. Then he sees them going to Pittsburgh to take on the No.1 seed Steelers and beating them in the AFC Championship.

Maybe most surprisingly is that Hack projects the Patriots to be the as of now undefeated Packers, 31-27, in Super Bowl XLVI.

Do you think these predictions are still realistic or is this writer some Hack? (Sorry, had to do it!) Do you expect the Patriots to win the Super Bowl with the current state of the team, the current state of the defense? Let us know with a comment below!

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