Super Bowl XLIV Prediction

New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts
Keys for the Saints on offense:  Control the line of scrimmage and try to establish some sort of running game.  If Dwight Freeney ends up being ruled out of the game because of his injury, they should double down on DE Robert Mathis as needed and try to ram the ball down their throats with Pierre Thomas between the tackles.

Reggie Bush is going to be a key figure in this game.  If New Orleans can get big plays out of him on tosses, sweeps, screens, and as a reciever he will play a major role.

Last, but not least, Drew Brees needs to make smart decisions against this Indy defense.  The Colts defense is a ‘bend but don’t break’ defense and as such should be taken seriously.

Also, look for a huge game from TE Jeremy Shockey as he goes across the middle and picks up huge chunks of yards against the Colts Cover 2 zone coverage.

Keys for the Saints on defense:  First on the list is, obviously, to try and control Peyton Manning.  He picks apart any defense.  Throw zone at him and he just bides his time and completes a pass.  Man coverage and he just will dismantle you.

New Orleans HAS to get into Peyton’s face and try to disrupt his flow somewhat.  Get knockdowns and hurries in a effort to limit his read to one, two checks at the most.  If he is allowed to check down through his options he will destroy the Saints defense.

The Saints do have one thing going for them though, the Colts have ZERO running game.  But every other team has known the Colts have no running game as well and they lost anyway.

Timed and disguised blitz packages are a must for the Saints.

Key for the Colts on offense:  As I said above, Peyton is the Colts main weapon.  He doesn’t need a premier reciever (i.e. his own Reggie Wayne) to have a good game.  The J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS put Darrelle Revis on him and basically closed him out of the game and all that accomplished with career days from recievers Pierre Garcon (11 cat, 151 yds, 1 td) & Austin Collie (7 cat, 123 yds, 1 td).

The Saints certainly don’t have anyone matching the Jets’ Revis on their defense.

It’s simple for the Colts offense, protect Manning and you will have plenty of points on the board.

Keys for the Colts on defense:  Stop New Orleans from establishing any running game.  It’s hard to do because Drew Brees poses such a threat in throwing the ball that you can’t put 7, 8, or 9 in the box, Brees would pick apart the secondary.

The key is to have the defensive line be as distruptive as possible.  Try to throw in mixed packages of blitzes, nickle blitzes, MLB dropping back as a saftey rushes in, etc…

The Colts have historically been a very porous defense, but don’t allow as many points as you would think.  They have an uncanny ability to stop teams on their side of the field, holding them to FG’s and short punts.

If Indy can stop New Orleans’ running game, it will make it considerably easier on their defense.  They would be able to then drop into max cover with 6 or 7 dropped back to protect against the pass.

Special Teams for both teams:
The Colts must keep the ball out of Reggie Bush’s hands at all costs.  Kick the ball out of bounds any chance you can.  Make the Saints beat you on offense and not let Bush give their offense good field position or possibly run one back on you.

The Saints have it a little easier as the Colts special teams aren’t very remarkable.  If they can play it straight and limit return yards they can keep the Colts to a long field.

Final Prediction
I’m rooting for New Orleans, but I believe that experience is gold in a game like this.  The Super Bowl is a huge stage and most of the Colts have been here before and know what it takes to pull through.

Indianapolis Colts 33
New Orleans Saints 27

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