I sparred with Wlady P. over the American Spectator site over the NFL playoffs and managed to win the majority of the picks versus the esteemed editor, including the final call. He went Bears. I went Indy. In a fit of ego, I offer my own final thoughts cross-posted at the AmSpec site:
Wlady, it's only a very small comfort that I've had such a large edge on you in the NFL postseason. After all, I was the guy who drank the Alan Keyes' Kool-Aid and licked the sugary dust off the rim of the pitcher. You were tolerant, but wisely skeptical.
I do have a few ending thoughts. Manning was masterful, but I'm not sure he deserved to be the MVP, except maybe if you consider it a lifetime achievement award or a nod toward his on-field play-calling.
I remain spell-bound by the clutch quality of Dominic Rhodes' play. Until part-way through the last quarter I felt the Bears could win the game, but Rhodes just kept driving knives into the heart of that stalwart Urlacher-led defense. Addai is the future, but Rhodes was Mr. Right Now. He killed the clock and he kept the ball moving. Manning seemed a little too ready to risk unnecessary interceptions to hit the big ones.
You also have to consider Bob Sanders for the Indy defense. That unit changed utterly with his presence in the playoffs and he looked very strong again tonight. His tackling was sure and so was his coverage. His interception was also a key determinant of the game's outcome.