so here we are… the Super Bowl… last game of the year. And while
I’ll be working with Terry on our annual party and cheering for
the Saints, the reality is that not much needs to be set up in
this column because most of it you already know.
Manning is a very good quarterback.
their success during the season and playoffs so far, New Orleans
isn’t likely to have as many turnovers to take advantage of this
Colts have repeatedly staged fantastic finishes this season.
Saints are quite capable of burning out a few lights on the scoreboard.
pretty much standard material.
let’s once again turn to the Dogs for an interesting starter.
Just to refresh your memory… here are the picks we made when the
playoffs were starting…
that said… congrats to the Dogs… because they slammed us.
Dogs have clinched at least a tie for the best record in those
from-the-start selections. They are sitting at 6-5… they can’t
win another game and their scorecard is finished. Mike is at 5-5
and still has New Orleans playing. Saints win… we have a tie.
Colts win… the Dogs take the title. And to arrive at that mark
so quickly… the Dogs, you may want to consider, had New York playing
Philadelphia in the Super Bowl… it’s hard to be anything other
than impressed and dumbfounded by what Molly and Gus have accomplished.
also have picks to make against the spread… and this is where
the humorous part really begins for this column, since the Dogs
have secured this challenge already. Locked it up and kicked us
to the curb. No tie coming in here. Done. They enter the week
at 7-3, and all of us are 2 or more games behind.
congratulations Molly and Gus… and especially Gus, who reaches
the Super Bowl at 5-0 against the spread. (Even if he loses with
his pick in the Super Bowl, he will have the best winning percentage
in the playoffs against the spread, and Molly won that honor during
the regular season. Quite an accomplishment for them… and one
that puts a true perspective on the efforts from the rest of us.)
are the picks from all of us, and my thoughts on the Super Bowl…
Orleans – Indianapolis (6) – Is Drew Brees healthy?
Seriously… is he ok? Because he didn’t look ok against Minnesota.
And that’s where I’ll place my focus in reviewing the game. We
know the rest of it. Indy doesn’t run alot, still scores virtually
at will, and won’t be afraid of falling behind. New Orleans has
a strong offense, an improving defense that may get a bit more
positive press than it yet deserves, and may be the first team
Indy has played this year capable of easily clearing the 40-point
plateau against them. I have yet to hear one thing in the past
two weeks that is new and different. And yet… for some stunning
reason… no one is mentioning how poorly Brees played against the
Vikings. The Saints… in a way… were lucky that the Vikings played
so horrendously on offense. And I’m not talking about a last minute
interception. I’m talking about virtually the entire game. In
order for the Saints to have any chance at all, Brees has to play
well and win the MVP award. Simple as that. Now… as to the game
itself. I’d like to think that someone looked at the Saints team
on Monday, January 25th, and said something like this (my words)…
“Gentlemen. Mardi Gras begins in a few days. In fact, it really
kicks off just after a certain game we still have to play. If
you give the next two weeks to this team, this opportunity, and
don’t get distracted, you have a chance to becomes involved in
a city-wide party the likes of which no city has ever partied
before. The parties in Miami? Nothing compared to what will be
taking place back home. Ridiculously nothing compared to what
could be taking place back home if your are successful. Focus,
and give this team two more weeks, and you will experience something
beyond unforgettable.” Let’s set the stage folks. Peyton Manning
will not throw an interception in the final two minutes. Generally,
he leads touchdown drives at that time of the game. Peyton Manning
will not give up if he falls 7… 10… 20 points behind. Teams have
given him too much time before. The Saints can win this game.
But it’s going to take 31 to 35 points to win it… it’s going to
take a defense that keep the Colts out of the end zone and generates
some frustration… and, most of all, it’s going to take a healthy
Drew Brees. (By the way… here’s an observation. Look for halftime
to play a huge roll in determining this game. I’d guess the team
that gets the ball first in the second half will win. And by doing
that I’m predicting a bit of clock management. Let’s say New Orleans
is driving late in the second quarter and kicks a field goal.
Then, they get the ball first after halftime and score a touchdown.
That’s 10-points without Indianapolis taking the field. With two
high-powered offenses hitting the field, that could be a significant
way to change the flow of the game.)
Bob: New Orleans
Terry: New Orleans
Gus: New Orleans