For the Saints to be successful on Super Bowl Sunday, they will have to devise a game plan to completely throw Peyton Manning off! This is what the entire NFL tried to do all of the regular season, which occurred with little or no success. Your initial thought would be to play “keep away” with Peyton and dominate the ball with your offense and kill the game clock, winning the time of possession war. Sounds good in theory, but remember Week 2 of the regular season. The Miami Dolphins absolutely dominated the time of possession war, as they had the ball offensively 45:07 minutes out the 60 minutes in a NFL game! With only having the ball in his hands less than 15 minutes, Peyton Manning still had 303 yards and 2 TD’s. So this theory was tried and failed. The simple fact of the matter is, regardless how great the Saints offense plays, if Peyton Manning is not having an “off” day, or you do not rattle him, he has the composure and the skill set to find the way to victory, as he has shown all season long.
It is remarkable that the Colts appear to be the same exact team they were a year ago, two years ago, and so on and so on even with the loss of Tony Dungy. Jim Caldwell, the Colts head coach is currently 16-2 as a NFL head coach, and those two losses can be attributed to his decision to sit his starters at the end of the regular season. The Colts also have the bonus of playing the Super Bowl in the same location that they did in 2005, which resulted in a victory. The experience of not only being battle tested with nearly half of their team playing on that Super Bowl winning team, but having the comfort factor of this experience not being new should allow the Colts to focus more on the game and the Saints, versus all of the new sights and sounds and experiences, which are all new to the Saints.
As far as the Colts defense is concerned, they have played solid football throughout the year. Although they did not face an offense with the firepower that the Saints bring to the table this year, they did bottle up the Cardinals to 10 points in Week 3, and held the Texans to 17 points in Week 9. Their worst defensive performance where they did not rest starters came in Week 10, where they allowed 34 points to the New England Patriots, which still resulted in a victory for the Colts, barely!
On the other side, the Saints boast the leagues most explosive offense, and have a solid defense as well. Their offense made teams with defenses that are considered to be elite, look mediocre. In Week 2, the Saints dropped 48 on the Eagles, four weeks later they dumped another 48 points on the Giants, and followed up the following week by pouring 46 points all over the Dolphins. Week 12 led to a 38 to 17 point dismantling of the New England Patriots, which the Patriots games are a great measuring stick for both Super Bowl teams.
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