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Super Bowl XLIV: The Unlikely Keys To Success For Both Teams

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 02:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts speaks to members of the media during Super Bowl XLIV Media Day at Sun Life Stadium on February 2, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Daniel SadlerCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2016

First, let's talk about Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

What hasn't been said about these two great quarterbacks, arguably the two best in the league, if not the two best in the modern era? But, when two great quarterbacks that are producing at a similar level face off generally they eliminate each other's impact.

One major factor determining which team will win is the pass rush. The Colts have Pro Bowlers in Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney (however the latter has a torn ligament and wont be 100 percent if he does play), and they can certainly bring the rush.

Freeney is a powerful block-shedder with a superb inside spin move that few have been able to deal with, and he is complemented by Mathis who has blazing speed for a DE and brings a quick rush from in front of the QB.

The Saints' pass rush isn't as high profile but look at tape of the NFC Conference Championship Game against the Vikings and you will see what they are all about. Gregg Williams brings pressure from everywhere possible, D-Lineman, LB's, and DB's all got involved last week and forced Brett Favre to throw two interceptions and fumble the ball once.

Another factor is the running game.

Neither team this season has really used the run to its full effect. Joseph Addai has the potential for a good game if the Saints shut down Peyton. Addai displays good elusiveness and quickness to both get to the outside and run inside. Also a good receiver out of the backfield, Addai could be useful on screens to exploit the large amount of pass rush Williams will surely send against Peyton.

The Saints' running game is slightly more distinguished than the Colts', involving Pierre Thomas (793 yards, six touchdowns), Reggie Bush (390 yards, five touchdowns), and Mike Bell (654 yards, five touchdowns).

But Reggie Bush is seen as the X-factor that could change the game in the Saints favor. Being second only to Chris Johnson in speed and elusiveness, Bush will help in the receiving, returning, and running game providing the possibility for big plays.

To conclude, Superbowl XLIV won't come down to Peyton versus Brees, it will instead come down to pass rush and running game battles.

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