Yes, it’s finally here. It might as well be a holiday for football fans, as that’s how we treat it. Today the Colts and Saints wrap up what has been a memorable 2009 NFL season in the biggest game of the year – the Super Bowl. The hype is all but over, and now, here is my pick for the contest.
First off, the Colts have the experience factor, and I think that will play a part in this matchup. While some will say that Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are equals (I think Manning is better, but it’s a valid debate), Manning has the edge of having played this game, in this very stadium, three seasons ago, and I think that will mean a lot in those early jitters.
Same goes for both sides of the ball. The Colts defense gets the experience edge, as well as the rest of the offense outside of just Manning. Plus staying with the Colts offense, I think their O-line is going to have the edge here. A lot of people have talked about Gregg Williams and what the Saints D is going to try to do to Manning, but this group keeps their QB upright, and I think while he’ll take some hits, it won’t be like what Brett Favre had to put up with in the NFC Title game.
As for the Saints, look for them to try and spread the field and take some downfield shots. The Colts, either without Dwight Freeney or a way less than 100 percent Freeney, will look to get Brees to make a few mistakes, and I can see the defense forcing a few turnovers in this title matchup.
Another key will be the running games, and the game plan around them. Don’t forget that a few years back it really was the run game that keyed the Colts run to a title over the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Joseph Addai will have a lot of chances to give the Colts some type of ground game, and also to keep Brees and the Saints off the field. Watch the tempo early from Indy and if they can run, it could be a long day for the Saints.
The Saints wide receivers need to have a better than just good game to win. They have to not only make tough catches, but they also have to have some big YAC’s (yards after catch), meaning 4-5 yard grabs need to become 14-15 yard plays to keep drives going in tough situations.
New Orleans will have their shots, and Brees has to be patient, especially early when the jitters will be at their highest. They have to avoid drive killing mistakes, and also not allow the Colts to have short fields.
To me, the Colts should be a team looking for perfection today. They should have been 16-0 in the regular season, as they would have beaten the Jets and Bills in those last two games if their starters wouldn’t have been pulled. So while the Saints are only 5-point underdogs, to me the Colts are clear cut favorites, and for good reason.
Indianapolis 34 New Orleans 27