Why I Favor and Pick the Colts
Of course, Super Bowl XLIV the only game of the week, with New Orleans being the sentimental favorite.
Will we witness the first Super Bowl ending in Sudden Death overtime, determined by the coin toss?
Will this be the highest scoring game in Super Bowl history?
Both teams are more than capable of producing thirty or more points a piece in Miami.
I favor Indy because they have been there and done that, while the Saints have not. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the last team to win a first Super Bowl appearance in 2002, which is rare.
I also favor Indy because of Peyton Manning. A win puts Manning in the rare company of quarterbacks with two or more Super Bowl rings and brings more relevance to the discussion and debate about who is the best quarterback in NFL history.
The Saints enter the game healthier. The Colts have a big injury worry as defensive end Dwight Freeney has torn ligaments in his ankle.
This game is winnable for either team, not a slam dunk for these Colts, who are five-point favorites. If Indianapolis turns the ball over like the Minnesota Vikings did (they won’t), New Orleans wins.
New Orleans’ offense led the NFL with 31.9 points per game and 403.8 total yards per game. Brees is accurate and has a talented group of wide receivers.
Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, and Mike Bell keeps the defense honest in respect to guarding both the run and the screen pass. Bush has raised his intensity level of play in this post season.
The Saints have a better group of running backs as the rushing offense is a weakness for the Colts, since they average just 81 yards per game on the ground.
New Orleans are the more balanced team on offense, but Indianapolis has the quarterback with the Super Bowl experience. However, Indianapolis will need to get some production out of its running attack.
As much as I expect Brees to rise to the challenge, I also expect Peyton Manning to one-up him. Manning is the best in the game today at reading a defense and getting his team into the best play for that situation.
Reggie Wayne is the leading receiver for the Colts and he and Manning have a great chemistry that brings the best out in both of them. The Colts also have Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, and Pierre Garcon, who can all step up and shoulder the load as well.
Both defenses have their strengths and flaws. The Saints defense is about opportunity and creating turnovers, as they give up a lot of yards and points, ranking No. 26 in the league.
The Colts’ no-huddle offense, with Peyton Manning as the field general, will keep the Saints defense on the field a lot, and the defenders of New Orleans will show fatigue in the fourth quarter.
For Indianapolis’ defense, I expect Freeney to play in key third down situations for Indianapolis and if his ankle holds up, his playing time will increase in the fourth quarter.
Without Freeney, Indy’s leading pass rusher, the outcome of this game may tilt towards the Saints favor.
The Colts defense gives up about the average amount of yards per game, but they frequently force other teams to kick field goals or turn it over in the red zone. The Colts defense allows just 19.2 points per game for the year and just 16.7 points per game in the last three games.
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