T.O. Super confident of victory

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

He stopped short of a Joe Namath-style victory guarantee, but Terrell Owens has a brash enough forecast for his Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Never mind that they are seven-point underdogs against the New England Patriots, winners of two of the past three Super Bowls.

When the game finally kicks off Sunday at 6:30 p.m. here at Jacksonville's Alltel Stadium, the Eagles receiver said he intends to turn his super talk into a super show.

"If you don't believe in miracles, then wait until Sunday," Owens said yesterday morning in Ponte Vedra Beach as the Eagles fulfilled their final media obligation of the week.

"Obviously (my prediction) is to win it. That's why I'm down here. We came here to win it."

Owens is so confident that he will both play and have an impact that he has been working on a special touchdown celebration for the occasion.

If it comes to pass, it will be a remarkable recovery from the torn ankle ligaments and fractured bone Owens suffered in December. He has defied both the recommendation of team doctors and the surgeon who inserted two screws in his ankle by insisting that he will play on Sunday.

"I think he's handling it remarkable well," said veteran safety John Lynch of the Denver Broncos who is here as an analyst for Fox and the NFL network. "I think there was a perception, not really warranted, that he was being selfish.

"It's a remarkable deal, if he goes and plays and plays well, it will be one of the great stories in Super Bowl history."

Lynch believes the mere threat of Owens is not enough for the Eagles to pull off the upset. But if the guy who caught 14 touchdown passes before his injury is on, look out.

"I really feel the Eagles have a legitimate shot if T.O. plays and is effective," Lynch said. "If that happens, it doesn't allow (the Patriots) to focus everything on stopping (running back and receiving threat) Brian Westbrook."

Owens admitted yesterday that the ankle has been sore in practice this week but not to the point of holding him back.

"Teks out of surgery. I'm not really concerned, so once I get out there I'm just going to let it go."

It is difficult to imagine that Owens will be completely healthy by kickoff given the nature of his injury and the reconstructive surgery required to repair it.

But quarterback Donovan McNabb said any T.O. is better than no T.O.

"If he's 80% T.O., that's 100% for some other receiver," McNabb said.

The Patriots have said they are preparing for Owens. They also are ready to knock him around as they have with so many other receivers all season.

"We're still going to play our game," Patriots cornerback Eugene Wilson said. We're going to get physical. Whether he can take it or not is yet to be known. We'll see on Sunday."

Owens said he's not going to put on his No. 81 jersey to merely be a decoy for the rest of the Eagles offence.

"That would be like putting Shaq on the basketball court and not giving him the ball," Owens said.


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