NFL Results Season to Date: 125-148-4
College Football Final Results: 38-23-1
Mark My Words Conference Championship Results: 2-0
Mark My Words Results Season to Date: 39-35-1
Super Bowl XLIV Pick and Analysis:
New Orleans +5.5 over Indianapolis - While Vegas has the Colts favored by 5.5 points, I really don't think that these two teams could match up any more evenly. Both teams rely on pass heavy offenses that are lead by the two best quarterbacks in the game. Here's my breakdown of how the two teams compare:
Passing Game - Despite positional match-ups that appear even or tend to favor the Saints, the Colts are still a heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl. The reason you ask? Peyton Manning, a/k/a, the "Franken-goober" (When asked what Peyton Manning's appearance resembles, two of the most frequent responses are "Frankenstein" and "a goober." Personally I think he looks like a combination of the two...in a cerealy hybrid kind of way).
|Sorry Archie, but you're not Peyton Manning's real father.|
Drew Brees' mole is growing back, and it's pissed!
Wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of karmic justice for people who have cosmetic surgery? For example, any girl on The Hills getting a nose job or a boob job would also have to live with the prospect of knowing that she will either gain 15 pounds of ass fat or develop psoriasis at some point in the next year).
As far as I know, the only women who lust after Peyton Manning live in the South or the lower-Midwest. Why do I bring this up? Because statistics have proven that states that supported Sarah Palin have never correctly predicted the winning quarterback of a Super Bowl. It's kind of like how the results of the Washington Pigskins pre-election home game can predict the Presidential winner, only I made this one up.
Advantage - It's closer than people think. While Peyton Manning commands attention because of his name, Drew Brees' teammates actually follow him because of his leadership and moxy.
Drew Brees' pre-game chant is a must see come Super Bowl Sunday.
Running Game - Indianapolis has struggled to run the ball, while New Orleans has spent the second half of the season going a bit more conservative through the air while trying to establish a rushing attack. Look for the Saints to pound the ball up the middle in order to set up play action passes for Drew Brees and screens to Reggie Bush.
Advantage - Saints.
Offensive Lines - The Indianapolis offensive line does a superb job of pass protecting for Peyton Manning, but lacks the nastiness needed in order to establish a consistent running game. The Saints have recovered nicely after losing LT Jamal Brown to a season ending injury, and are equally adept at pass and run blocking.
Advantage - Had Dwight Freeney been healthy I would have given the offensive line advantage to the Colts. With Saints backup LT Jermon Bushrod now likely working against Colts backup DE Raheem Brock instead of a healthy Freeney, I think the impact of the respective offensive lines will be about even.
Receivers - With Anthony Gonzalez out for the season due to injury for the Colts, I'll give a slight edge to Saints at the WR position based upon the depth of their top four receivers. However, the Colts have a significant advantage at TE with Dallas Clark as compared to Jeremy Shockey for the Saints.
Advantage - I'm giving a slight advantage to the Colts based upon their edge at the TE position.
Pass Rush - Both teams count on their pass rush to set up the rest of their defense. While Indianapolis will rely on their front seven to get to the quarterback, New Orleans will mix in more blitzes in hopes of creating turnovers. Indianapolis will find it difficult to replace DE Dwight Freeney, who as a pure speed rusher will likely be ineffective due to a third degree high ankle sprain and torn ligaments. Likewise, New Orleans is already without top pass rusher in DE Charles Grant, who was placed on injured reserve prior to the playoffs.
Advantage - I give a slight advantage to the Saints given Freeney's injury situation. Even without Grant, the Saints were able to make Brett Favre's life miserable in the NFC Championship Game. Keep an eye on whether Indianapolis DE Raheem Brock can put any pressure on Drew Brees.
Run Defense - While Indianapolis did a good job shutting down the run against Baltimore and the New York Jets, both of those teams lacked the ability to throw the ball down the field on a consistent basis, making it easy for the Colts to stack the box. New Orleans Saints DT's Sedrick Ellis and Anthony Hargrove should be more effective against the run than the interior of the Colts defensive line, which I think could be susceptible to runs between the tackles in this game.
Advantage - I'll give the Saints a moderate advantage here.
Pass Defense - The Colts have managed to make it to the Super Bowl without S Bob Sanders and CB Marlin Jackson due to injuries, leaving them without the two most important members of their secondary. On the other hand, the Saints now have starting corners Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter back after they each missed significant time in the regular season due to injury. Darren Sharper has been the Saints most valuable defensive player, leading the team with 9 interceptions at the age of 34. This game could come down to Colts safety Melvin Bullitt, who has has done a surprisingly good job in filling in for Sanders, and whether or not he is able to play against competition on the same level as Drew Brees.
Advantage - Even.
Special Teams - Colts kicker Matt Stover lacks leg strength but is long on experience. Saints kicker Garrett Hartley has been extremely accurate in two partial seasons, although I worry that his inexperience could become a factor in a big game like the Super Bowl. Reggie Bush could be the difference maker on returns.
Advantage - Saints.
Key Players - Colts DE Raheem Brock, Colts S Melvin Bullitt, Colts K Matt Stover, Saints K Garrett Hartley, Saints KR/PR/RB Reggie Bush, Saints QB Drew Brees.
Final Prediction - New Orleans Saints - 34, Indianapolis Colts - 31