If you consider the entire history of the Super Bowl, most of the games have been duds and have not lived up to their hype. This past decade, however, we have seen some of the most exciting, closely contested games in the marquee matchup in American sports.
Super Bowl XLIII promises to be one of the best. Whether it lives up to that hype remains to be seen. But with the New Orleans Saints versus the Indianapolis Colts you have one of the most exciting matchups ever.
First, you have the two best teams in the regular season from the AFC and NFC in the game. That does not happen very often. Second, you have two of the best quarterbacks in the league with a number of excellent receivers to throw to. Drew Brees has been fabulous this season, and Peyton Manning as played as well this season as any quarterback I have ever seen in my lifetime.
Third, with those outstanding quarterbacks you have two of the most prolific offenses in the league. And fourth, need I say, you have two defenses that are better than they have been in the past, but are mid-tier NFL defenses that are vulnerable? It could be one of the highest scoring games in Super Bowl history if these two offenses start sprinting up and down the field on each other.
So picking a winner is very hard. Will the Saints get to Peyton Manning and batter him like they did Brett Favre in their NFC Championship win over the Minnesota Vikings? The Colts offense line has played well this year, but they have been known for lapses in the playoffs against aggressive teams like the Greg Williams run Saints.
Will Dwight Freeney, the pass rushing machine of the Colts be healthy enough to get pressure on Drew Brees, and if he is ineffective, will the rest of the defensive line be effective without his presence? The Colts have a vulnerable secondary that has been protected by the great offense of the Colts, able to play with leads and play the pass.
It really is a tough game to call. They are both great teams, the best in the league.
But at the end of the day who am I picking? Peyton Manning has been a magician this year. He has avoided the annual choke job the Colts often put up in the playoffs. I’m going with the best quarterback in the league against the second best quarterback in the league, with vulnerable defenses behind them.
The Colts will win the Super Bowl 42-34.