By T. Jay
The last time two number one seeds faced off in a Super Bowl was back in 1991 when the Giants (or should I say Scott Norwood) beat the Bills. That was an epic game and this years version looks like it has a chance to be just as exciting, hopefully without a missed field goal to finish it.
Clearly the selling point of this game is the ample amount of offense that could potentially be on display. Both these offenses can score as soon as they touch the ball. They’ve been doing it all year long and I don’t expect them to slow down any.
The Colts seem to be quite the heavy favorite going into the game. But the Saints have their fair share of supporters, and from the sounds of it Miami will be full of them.
What separates the Colts in most peoples eyes are two things: experience and Peyton Manning. You can’t argue those two facts. People shouldn’t just assume, however, that this will lead Indianapolis to an easy victory. While things on the outside look to favor the Colts, there are some things that favor the Saints.
New Orleans has the clear cut advantage in the running game. Pierre Thomas is a stud and Reggie Bush seems to have things going in the right direction. The Colts haven’t ran the ball poorly per say, they’ve gotten it done when they had to. But Joseph Addai seems to be missing a step right now and I don’t think Donald Brown will be able to carry the load in his place.
This is big for a few reasons. If the Saints can develop a rhythm in the running game early this will help set up the play action. The Colts safeties are extremely aggressive and it hurt them in the Jets game. On the big scoring play to Braylon Edwards the Jets set up a misdirection play fake to the left. The guards pulled and it looked like sweep to the left. Bethea was playing up at the line of scrimmage and bit on the fake. By the time he diagnosed what was going on Braylon had his man beat and there was no deep help. Boom, easy 7.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Saints are built to beat the Colts. They’re aggressive and they create turnovers. If you take the ball away from Manning he can’t score, and when Manning doesn’t have the ball that means Drew Brees does. If the Saints can get pressure on Manning and knock him around like they did to Favre and Warner the Colts will lose.
If the Saints can get the run game going early and their defense can force some turnovers New Orleans will be very tough to beat. They’ll have to do it for 60 minutes though, because it takes every last one of them to beat the Colts.
There are so many factors to this game that it’s tough to break it down to just a few things. Things like execution, turnovers, red zone efficiency will all play factors. This game may even come down to one team having to settle for a field goal instead of a touchdown. This is what happens when you get two great teams matched up against each other. This is the way every Super Bowl should be.
T. Jay is the writer and founder of http://www.GridironInsight.com, a blog dedicated to giving people a different view of the NFL. You can follow everything on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GridironInsight.