Monday, February 1, 2010

The Super Bowl Picks Column

Most football picks columns pick a winner and a loser. That's why it's called a picks column, right? Sure... But here's what I'm doing for Super Bowl: picking both the Colts and Saints to win. Well not really, but I'm going to give the top three reasons why each the Colts and Saints will win on Sunday (then I'll pick the winner just to be official). 


Why the Colts will win:
1.) Peyton Manning. The four-time MVP is becoming the one of the greatest quarterbacks we have ever seen. While watching a game of one of the great QB's, there are times when you think to yourself, "he's not that good." I mean, Mark Sanchez can outplay Peyton Manning for a half. But viewing his career as a whole, you can see that he is that good. Manning is going to be able to tear apart the Saints' 26th ranked defense.


2.) Defense?! Yes, defense! When you least expect it, a team renowned for its offense may actually win with defense. It goes without saying that all NFL teams have playmakers on their roster. There's a reason some guys are in the NFL: they're freak athletes with a will to compete. The biggest reason that the Colts defense cannot be overlooked is that they showed up in the stretch run of '06, capping off the season with a Super Bowl victory over the Bears. They've done it before, and they can do it again. 

3.) Because this game will play out just like Super Bowl XLI. Thankfully the forecast for Sunday in Miami predicts no rain. It would be a shame if the high powered offenses of the Colts and Saints were slowed by any weather issues. I don't necessarily like the scenario of a crappy Super Bowl; especially when the two teams playing are so highly touted. But it can happen. A grind-it-out game that was over before it started; blah! We've been spoiled by two tremendous Super Bowls the past two years, but it's football, the game could be a flop. The Colts always win boring games.


Why the Saints will win:
1.) Offensive firepower. I'll see your Pierre Garรงon and raise you a Robert Meachem. The Saints have the ability to keep up with the Colts offensively. So far, the Colts have played two defensive running teams, and handled both fairly soundly. The Saints are a different breed. This time, the Colts can't feel vindicated when punting the ball for field position. If the presence of the Saints' offense on the sideline forces the Colts' offense to press too hard, then the Saints have a chance. 

2.) Touchdowns not field goals. The Saints have to remember one simple mathematical equation: 7>3. While it's no revelation that putting the ball in the endzone is better than kicking a field goal, I give the Saints a slight advantage in terms of their ability to put the ball in the endzone. Their offense is more dynamic and creative, and that creativity is paramount near the goal-line.

3.) The Saints will get the ball last. If the Super Bowl ends up being the shootout we are hoping for, then the Saints best chance is to end up with the ball last. This enables them to score without a rebuttal from the Colts' offense. 

Side notes: Both the Saints and Colts have won in Miami this season. The Colts defeated the Dolphins in week 2, and the Saints defeated the Dolphins in week 7... If this game is decided because an kicker misses a couple field goals, the NFL may need to rethink the policy on personal fouls on kickers (they may deserve to be personally fouled).


With that said, my official pick is (with line included):
Saints (+5.5) over Colts


Colts win 28-24, Saints cover.


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