All Right, so it's here at last, THE BIG GAME with the Colts and the Saints and the John Madden Meatballs and the Frank Gifford Hoopla and the Joe Buck Hair Gel. I'd like to say that I have some great, deep thoughts about how this game is going to go, but after watching how the Conference Championships went two weeks ago, I don't think there's much to figure out.
This is the Colts game to lose. Period. The Jets came out with a great game plan in the Championship game, had a lead, and the Colts (read: PEYTON MANNING) just made a few adjustments and ended up swatting them away like flies. On the other hand, the Saints came out and moved the ball, or at least appeared to move the ball against Minnesota, but they couldn't stop the Vikings. They only won that game because the Vikings basically turned into the team I knew they were all season long: A talented, but fundamentally weak team that would implode in a pressure situation. Adrian Peterson couldn't hold on to the ball, Brett Favre made his typical Brett Favre mistake, the Saints got a couple of breaks and won the game in an overtime thriller.
If the Saints come out and put forth a similar defensive effort against the Colts, they're going to lose by 30 points. The Vikings were a mistake prone team and the Colts just don't make mistakes. The only way the Saints can win is if they move the ball, but slowly, rather than the fast break, shoot down the field method that's worked for them all season. Yes, as we've learned in the past, ANYTHANG'SPOSSABULLLL! A lot of people have been going with the underdog and picking the Saints. They've become a very chic pick these past couple of weeks, and it's somewhat similar to the number of people that picked the Jets in the AFC Championship (something I did myself). But this season, the NFL has yet to figure out how, exactly, to stop the Colts at full strength. Unless someone comes up and pops Peyton Manning in the jaw and knocks him out of the game, the Saints are going to have to play a perfect game x2 to beat Indianapolis today. Sorry, New Orleans, sorry, lovers of the underdog. These games have a habit of being slow to develop and lacking in pace, before there's some sort of late flurry. I think the Saints can keep it a game, but the Colts have ridiculous killer instinct and they put it away late.
My pick: Colts 41, Saints 30