I think the Colts are going to win this game too. They are playing at a unbelievaeble level. No other team in the NFL can make the 1/2 time adjustments that the Colts can. The opening betting line has the Colts favored by four points when the Super Bowl is played in Miami. That sounds about right.
Two years ago, everyone said the New England Patriots were unbeatable when, in fact, they were only unbeaten. We know what happened when the Patriots and New York Giants played.
Back to reality: It won't happen again.
At this point of his career, Peyton Manning doesn't need anything to validate his status as one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played. He's going to get it anyway, feasting on the Saints' 26th-ranked pass defense. A victory will give him his second Super Bowl ring and hardware bragging rights when he and little brother Eli get together.
You can see one of the best story lines now. Peyton's father, Archie, is a legendary hero in New Orleans. He was drafted by the Saints in 1971 and played 11 seasons for them. They never had a winning season when he was there, but that wasn't his fault. In 1978, for instance, he was the NFC Player of the Year – for a team that went 7-9.
The Saints have a feel-good story of their own at quarterback in Drew Brees, who came to New Orleans while the city was still clearing rubble left from Hurricane Katrina. Brees is deservedly beloved by Saints fans and is a tremendous player.
But Peyton Manning is a different breed of cat. He is the kind of quarterback who comes along once in a generation and he is backed by a team with few weaknesses.
You think of the Colts as kind of video-game team, throwing all over the field and winning track meets, but they are much more balanced. They allowed only 19 points a game in the regular season – eighth best in the NFL. They won't completely stop the Saints, who led the NFL with 510 points – an astonishing 31.9 points per game – but they only need to slow them down.
The Colts put up 26 points a game themselves, and the Saints' defense was a pedestrian 20th in the league.
That won't be good enough against Manning.
Expect to see lots of comparisons in the next two weeks about the "businesslike" Colts against the "emotional" Saints. That oversimplifies things. The Colts looked plenty emotional Sunday coming back from 11 points down against the Jets in the AFC title game. At times it seems like Manning can win by force of will – and he has a lot of will.
The Colts are in one of the great runs for a franchise in NFL history. They've been in the playoffs eight consecutive years and have one Super Bowl ring, that memorable victory over Chicago in Miami when then-coach Tony Dungy finally reached the top. It's a testament to the Colts – and to Manning – that they kept right on winning this season under first-year head coach Jim Caldwell after Dungy walked away.
How good are they? When they finally lost this season after winning their first 14 games, it was only because they didn't care. Caldwell pulled his starters after a half in a game against the Jets, leading to a 29-15 loss. We saw Sunday how much that mattered.
So party on, Saints.
I think it's fair to say most of America will be pulling for you in the Super Bowl.
Yours is a remarkable tale of perseverance.
Enjoy the ride.
Stories like this are why we love sports. Stock up, tune in, and savor the experience.
But … who dat gonna win that Super Bowl?
The Colts, dat who.
Colts 41 Saints 38 ( Might be a Overtime Game)