Colts hold edge in Super Bowl

January 31, 2010 — by Karthik Annaamalai

After a long and trying season, the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts each have a chance to establish themselves as the best team in the NFL. The Super Bowl, an American tradition happening on Feb. 7, is unique because the participating teams each have 60 minutes to prove that they are the best team in the NFL. One game decides the success of their team. One game until the end of the season. One game to play their hearts out.

The AFC champions, the Colts, are the clear favorites to win this match, led by veteran quarterback Peyton Manning, who has four MVPs, the most any quarterback has ever received.

For Manning to win his second Super Bowl, the Colts must accomplish two things:

1. Utilize young receivers
Although the Colts have two all-star passing threats in wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark, both with 100 catches and 10 touchdowns in the season, these receivers will be covered closely by an equally talented Saints’ secondary led by safety Darren Sharper and corner back Tracy Porter. The Colts, ranked second for passing yards per game, have to rely on their passing attack to win the contest as they are ranked last in the league in rushing yards per game. Manning will need to use his younger receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie in order for the Colts to move the ball and score consistently.

2. Shut down Marques Colston
The key for the Colts’ defense is for their corners to stop Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees from targeting his favorite receiver, Marques Colston, whom he has connected with 70 times for more than 1,000 yards. Colston, a tall and physical receiver, will most likely be matched up with Colts’ second-year corner back Jerraud Powers, a smaller, quicker player. If Powers is able to keep Colston in check, the Colts will have an easy time stopping Drew Brees’ passing attack.

To win their first ever Super Bowl, the Saints will need to:

1. Use Reggie Bush
Saints’ running back Bush has been phenomenal in the playoffs this year. Although he is yet to prove himself in the regular season, Bush has stepped up in the playoffs, especially against the Arizona Cardinals, a game in which Bush rushed for 84 yards on just 5 carries. He also returned a punt return for a touchdown in that game. The Colts’ linebackers will not be able to match the speed and quickness of Bush, so the Saints will need to put the pigskin in the hands of Bush to wear down the Colts’ rush defense, ranked 24th in the league.

2. Clock Management
The Saints undoubtedly have the offensive weapons to move the ball with ease. They will, however, have to control the clock for the most of the game, keeping the ball away from Manning. If the Saints are able to use time to their advantage, they may see a Lombardi Trophy in their hands.

Prediction: Colts 31, Saints 24.