After watching last night's Super Bowl performance by the Indianapolis Colts, I had to put some things in perspective. As it is a disappointment to all Colts fans that the team was unable to secure its second Super Bowl win in four years, some rays of light came out and became very apparent to me.
The first thing is that the Colts still have a very good team to build on. Being the best in the AFC this year just shows that while there is still room for improvement, the Colts are still the standard for football's elite.
Taking a team riddled with injuries (Bob Sanders, Marlin Jackson, and Anthony Gonzalez) and replacing them with young, under-developed talent (Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, Melvin Bullitt, and Jerraud Powers) shows that this team has the fortitude to make it back to this stage several more times before Manning hangs the cleats up.
Secondly, it showed that the Colts can be outplayed. I am not sure of the actual mentality of the players coming into this game, being that the last Super Bowl they won was against a VERY overrated Chicago Bears team led by the awesome-less power of Rex Grossman.
It is true that the Colts held the tempo on both sides of the ball in the first half, but coming out after their first drive in the second half and scoring a touchdown, they lost their sense of rhythm on defense and it showed. This is something that the coaches will want to work on in the off season to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Next is motivation. This loss is going to leave a nasty taste in the mouths of Indianapolis players. They are going to work harder and longer to make sure that they reach this pinnacle again, and they will have a hunger to win the next Super Bowl. With the majority of the Colts players coming back to Indy next season, they will be able to skip all of the learning aspects you get with new players and focus on improving.
Lastly, I have to say it was inspiring. I am talking about certain players, well one player really that came to play, even though it was questioned whether or not he would. Dwight Freeney's ankle injury was obviously bothering him throughout the game, but he still gave it 110 percent, and even recorded a sack, despite being double teamed most of the night. With determination like that, you can see the team will use that sort of mentality for next season. If it's for the team, you do what it takes. Cheers Dwight.
Now I must congratulate the New Orleans Saints. They played an amazing game last night, and even with their gambles, it paid off big. Hopefully the city of New Orleans can use this as a motivating factor to help get them back on their feet, and help put this whole Hurricane Katrina issue behind them. I will tell you what, despite what I have said in previous articles, this win was truly deserved. I also would really like to congratulate Purdue great Drew Brees on another record-setting performance. We hope to see you in Super Bowl XLV, the rematch.