After many, many months of waiting, the big day has finally come along. But as anyone who’s managed to watch more than just Nipplegate or the 1984 Mac ad, the Super Bowl has rarely been an exciting game to watch. Truth be told, it isn’t often the best, most balanced, most talented teams that make it to the Big Dance. Luck and opportunity play as much a role in sports as the occasional bad call or untimely injury. And in the wake of possible work stoppage and lack of a contract, we can all hope that Sunday’s game will prove one of the better ones. So here, briefly, are keys that may decide how super a game is had…
- Peyton will be Peyton…if he’s left standing – To all the last-minute Favre haters, it’s a well-known fact that a quarterback can’t be brilliant laying on his back. If the Saints can manage a decent number of sacks, it won’t ruffles Peyton’s feathers, just make him incapable of getting rid of the ball.
- Saints need to run – All season, their offenses has flourished under a liberal mix of rushing and huge passing. If Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, or Reggie Bush show the steely determination to pound out some yardage, the Colts could have a lot of ground, and plays, to cover.
- Payton must find answers for the Colts intangibles – Sean Payton has pulled together a miracle in the Bayou. Now, he needs to find a way to unravel a team that seems to always find whatever piece needs to overperform in order to win. If he finds a hole, his team will deliver.
A lot of prognosticators are predicting a close game. The difference, in that bit, is Special Teams. But not one of those prognosticators talk about that. I would like them to spend Super Bowl Sunday with Nate Kaeding. 9 points and a game lost. Special Teams matter, folks. All this talk of great offenses “cancelling each other out,” there is a difference maker. The kicker (and the punter) has the dubious position of standing alone. They take the full blame and very little glory. But for Matt Stover of the Colts and Garrett Hartley of the Saints…wait, yeah, maybe you’ve never heard of them. You’ve heard of their predecessors: Adam Viniteri and John Carney. Now, one of these kickers will, be game-end, get the call to action.
I’ve already won $20 bucks by calling the Saints ride to the Super Bowl early in the season. It would seem disingenous and discourteous for me to go any way else.
Saints 34 Colts 31