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The 2010 NFL regular season is in the books so that means it’s time for some awards! Who doesn’t love some awards?
NFL Coach of the Year
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers – I know all teams suffer through injuries in this league, but the Pack had injuries to some major players (Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley) and when you can coach a team into the playoffs where the person with the most rushing TD’s (four, tied with John Kuhn) is your quarterback (and that QB is not named Vick) that’s something of a tremendous accomplishment.
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles
Comeback Player of the Year
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles – Who else could it be? Two years out of federal prison and the man is a strong candidate for NFL MVP in his first season back as a regular starter. The numbers simply speak for themselves;
100 carries, 676 yds, 9 TD, 6.8 ypc
233-372, 62.6% cmp, 3018 yds, 21 td – 6 int, 100.2 QB rating
Peyton Manning is a better quarterback than Tom Brady. There, I said it. Point blank.
I am not an expert by any means, but I would like to think that my eyes tell me what they tell me and I have common sense enough to know the difference between a very good quarterback and a great quarterback.
Tom Brady is very good. Peyton Manning is great.
Peyton Manning, God bless him, isn’t the best QB in the history of the NFL; John Elway is. (Remind me again how many Pro Bowl teammates Elway had on the first three AFC championship teams he dragged to the Super Bowl by himself?) And if not Elway, then Otto Graham. And if not Graham, then John Unitas. And if not Unitas, then Joe Montana. I’m an enormous fan of Manning’s, professionally and personally. He could be, for all the right reasons, the most popular player in the NFL today. But he’s not the best QB playing today. Tom Brady is. I don’t know how you vote Manning ahead of Brady, the way that NFL Network survey turned out. Doesn’t Brady have three Super Bowl championships and doesn’t Manning have one? I presume most people can count to three.
(Side note: Elway had multiple Pro Bowlers in 1986(six), 1987(three), and 1989(five), by the way Mr. Wilbon.
Incase you were wondering, Peyton Manning’s first three trips to at least the AFC Conference Championship game he actually had less, 2003(four), 2006(three), 2009(six), so that argument is flawed.)
I like Michael, love watching him and Tony Kornheiser battle it out on PTI, love watching him on ABC & ESPN’s NBA coverage, even on the radio he’s fun to listen to and I do agree with many of the things he says, but this isn’t one of them.
While I do agree that Peyton Manning isn’t the best QB in the history of the NFL (I believe Joe Montana to be #1), he’s certainly better than Tom Brady. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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.
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