Super Bowl 44 is almost upon us, it is time to share my thoughts about the big game! For the first time in recent memory, the two best teams from both conferences are the representatives for the AFC and NFC in the Super Bowl. In a game featuring two elite quarterbacks and explosive big-play offenses, I still get the feeling that this one is going to come down to defense.
The Saints have been an opportunistic defense all year, and while Gregg Williams’ defense struggled in the second half and gave up big plays and big yards, the Saints are capable of generating pressure and getting big hits on the quarterback (ask Kurt Warner if he still feels the hit from Bobby McCray)? Not to mention the age-less Darren Sharper has produced big plays all year and Jonathan Vilma has been solid in the middle.
The Colts, despite the Dwight Freeney injury (not to mention that their secondary has been decimated with injuries all year, see Marlin Jackson, Bob Sanders, and Jerraud Powers), have played an aggressive, attack style of defense throughout the playoffs. Gary Brackett is under-rated (Giants fans, you heard it hear first, Brackett would look great in the middle of Big Blue’s defense in 2010); Antoine Bethea is a play-maker at safety, and even though the Colts defensive front does not have the “wow” factor (with the exception of Dwight Freeney whose ankle is probably still the size of a melon), the guys on the line get the job done quietly and consistently.
I expect a lower scoring game than most pundits; I don’t see each team putting up 30 + points, rather, I believe the Colts defense will make more big plays and stop more big plays from happening than the Saints. Oh, I know, a Super Bowl column which doesn’t even mention Peyton Manning or Drew Brees? To good to be true. I think Peyton will hang tough against Gregg Williams’ defense and if the Saints try to blitz Peyton, he will make them pay dearly (and don’t sleep on Joseph Addai in this game). As for Drew Brees, I have a funny feeling that he is in for a letdown in this game and I think, early on, Brees will struggle a bit and press, leading to mistakes and a long day for Saints fans.
P.S., One more thing to share:
I car-pooled to the office this morning and when I asked my associate who she thought would win the game, her response was, “Who is playing?” Holding back my anger and disappointment, I told her the Colts and the Saints, to which she responded, “…and where are they from?” Again, trying to keep myself composed (we had not yet arrived to the office and I was afraid that a sudden outburst from me would put me out on the road in the rain), I told her the Colts are from Indianapolis and the Saints are from New Orleans. So, she picked the Saints to win because New Orleans is more fun. Party girl picks party team to win the super bowl. As you should now know, I disagree with party girl, give me the Colts by a score of 34-17.