Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick XLIV Predictions

The day is finally upon us. After what seemed like the slowest week ever, the big game is finally here. It felt like Christmas morning, and it certainly doesn't hurt that it is a perfect day outside.

Anyway, before the big game starts I just wanted to get a few thoughts out:

1. I love being the underdog. I would feel uncomfortable if we were getting the attention of Peyton Manning and the Colts. I love the fact that most people underestimate Drew Brees and our offense, even though we've had the #1 offense all year. It's nothing but more motivation, and its not like these Saints need any. That being said, when we win, the national media will most likely focus on why the Colts lost. Oh well, I'll take the win.

2. Why is everyone building up the Colts D so much when they are ranked 19th in the league? The Saints are ranked 24th, and that was with second and third string players in much of the second half of the season. Both teams are giving up 339.2 and 357.8 yards per game, respectively. What a monumental difference! Factor in the turnover ratio and the Saints are arguable the much better defense.

In the first half of the season when we were dominating teams our D was ranked top 10. The good news is we are all (mostly) healthy. The bad news: when we win it'll be blamed on the fact that Dwight Freeney wasn't 100%. Oh well, I'll take the win.

3. Let's talk about offense. Saints #1. Colts #9. Yes, I've heard of Peyton Manning. Yes, I've heard he's the best that's ever played the game. But wait a second...let's look at the stats.

Brees: 34 TDs. 11 Ints. 4,388 yards. 109.6 QB rating.
Manning: 33 TDs. 16 Ints. 4,500 yards. 99.9 QB rating.

I'll let those numbers speak for themselves. I will say this: Peyton has funnier commercials. And he has a huge head. I mean that literally- his head is huge.

4. The AFC was the weaker conference this year. By far. The Colts couldn't have had an easier road to the Superbowl. Ravens? Please... The Jets in the championship game? The JETS? The same team that we dominated in week 4?

Let's look at a common opponent, the Patriots. Yes, the Colts beat them. But it took an idiotic decision by Belichick to give Manning the ball in the red zone in the final seconds. They barely squeaked one out. On the flip side, we dominated. There's simply no other word for it. We made Brady look like JaMarcus Russell with a hangover. It wasn't even a fair match.

5. We've had more than a week to prepare. If Sean Payton and Drew Brees have proved one thing, its that if you give them a little time to prepare they are going to slice and dice you. When the Saints have had more than a week to prepare for any team this season the average score has been 46-23. Enough said.

6. Drew Brees will establish himself as one of the best quarterbacks ever. After he slices through the Colts D like a hot knife in warm butter he'll emerge as the new spokesman for almost everything. He'll blow up. He's perfect, on and off the field. And is there a better story in the NFL? Nope. Can't wait.

7. Jimmy Kimmel said it best. When asked for his Superbowl prediction, he might not have picked the Saints, but I love his answer regardless. "Colts 31-21. I know New Orleans is the sentimental favorite, but I still think people who live in Indianapolis are far worse off."

Love the answer. And we'll win too. Saints 41-34. But win or lose, these Saints have changed the culture of sports in New Orleans. By just getting to the Superbowl they have erased a 43 year history of disappointment and mediocrity, and that's is not an easy thing to do.

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