The New Orleans Saints have become a symbol of hope for the city of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina just four and a half years ago. Because of this most football fans across the country are rooting for the Saints to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history, however, four-time MVP Peyton Manning and the Colts will not be denied, as they will be the ones hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the game.
In the AFC Championship game against the New York Jets, the Colts faced the number one ranked total defense, and the first ranked pass defense. Manning was able to pick the Jets defense apart.
The Jets were able to shut down Indy’s Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne. So what did Manning do? He went to second year receiver Pierre Garcon, who had 11 catches for 153 yards. Manning also connected with rookie receiver Austin Collie, who had 11 catches for 123 yards. That right there is the greatness of Peyton Manning; he will find a way to beat the other team.
Now the Colts are playing the Saints 26th ranked passing defense. Manning will be able to get to all his receivers, including Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark. Also, don’t expect Manning to throw a Favre-like pass across the middle of the field to be picked off at any point of the game.
With Manning and the Colts passing game getting all the press, people probably overlook the Colts defense. While the Colts will never be known as a great defensive team, the defense has played well in these playoffs, holding the Baltimore Ravens to just three points in the divisional playoffs, and shutting out the Jets in the second half of the conference championship game.
Expect the Saints defense to try to rough up Manning the same way they roughed up Brett Favre, and Kurt Warner. However, it won’t be enough to stop the Colts from coming away with a 38-27 victory.