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Lost weekend: The unexpected NFL

If stats, science, analysts really predicted the outcome, would we watch?

Updated: January 16, 2012, 8:51 PM ET
By Jeff MacGregor | ESPN.com

Expectation is a kind of prejudice.

Thus your sensation of mild surprise Sunday evening when Eli Manning beat Aaron Rodgers. NFL quarterbacks don't really beat other NFL quarterbacks head to head, of course, or even hand to hand; there are too many players on the field, too many tactical and strategic and karmic variables at work. But the rules of tribalism and human attraction being what they are, fans and the vampire media translate games and playoffs and whole seasons this way. ...

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