Super Bowl To Feature High-Powered Offenses
(AP Photo/Bill Feig)

Posted Jan 25, 2010


The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts rode their home field advantage through the playoffs all the way to the Super Bowl. The Saints knocked off the mistake-prone Vikings while the Colts dispatched the upstart Jets. This year's game will feature two of the best offenses in the league.

It's not the historic matchup of unbeaten teams many were dreaming about six weeks ago, but the Colts and Saints will offer up plenty of fireworks.
The most popular storyline will be Colts quarterback Peyton Manning playing against his hometown team - the one his father played 10 losing seasons for from 1971-1982. Archie still calls New Orleans home, and will no doubt have some conflicting emotions as the Saints play in the franchise's first Super Bowl.

His son will be playing in his second in the past four years. And after facing a pair of run-based opponents that swarm the quarterback on defense, Peyton Manning knows he'll have to put consistent points on the board to win a second championship. New Orleans gave up 475 yards of offense to Minnesota, but also forced five turnovers.

The Saints beat up Kurt Warner and Brett Favre on their way to South Florida, but Manning typically receives excellent protection and has plenty of playmakers with which to burn single coverage.

Meanwhile, New Orleans' high flying offense nearly went into hibernation the second half against Minnesota. Granted, the Colts lack the bulk along their front seven to dominate the trenches the way the Vikings did. But defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis will have an opportunity to swing the game should the Saints continue to face constant third-down situations (3-for-12 against Minnesota).

In fact, both front sevens can be dominated physically. Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams admitted he lacks elite personnel up front, which forces him to turn to exotic blitz packages.

For the Colts, it will be about limiting the ground game and not getting sucked into big plays on screen passes so Freeney and Mathis can pin their ears back on third down. Saints quarterback Drew Brees struggled to step up in the pocket and make strong, accurate throws in the face of pressure against Minnesota.

In the end, these are teams build in very similar modes capable of putting on quite a show in South Florida in two weeks.

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