New Orleans Saints (15-3) Vs. Indianapolis Colts (16-2)
Time: Sunday at 6:25 PM EST on CBS
How they match up: This is a dream match up for the avid football fan. These teams stack up so well on paper that (for once) there doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming favorite. The obvious pick is the Colts due to Peyton Manning’s leadership and his over the top playoff numbers. But, don’t overlook the rag-tag group from New Orleans. Drew Brees and company finished with the top ranked offense in the NFL by being the only team to average more than 400 yards per game. The unit also finished #1 in points scored (the only offensive stat that really matters) at an astonishing 31.9 points per game.
To say that New Orleans has a ton of weapons is a ridiculous understatement. Marques Colston (1074, 9 TD), Devery Henderson (804, 2 TD), Robert Meachem (722, 9 TD) and Jeremy Shockey (569, 3 TD) all finished with over 500 yards receiving. The three headed attack at running back in Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and Reggie Bush is unstoppable. Of course, the leader of this group is Drew “Who Dat?” Brees. He was one of the top rated quarterback’s in the NFL this season (4388 passing yards, 34 TD, 11 INT).
The one downfall of the Saints is their defense, or lack there of. They were in the bottom half of the league (25th), but allowed barely more points (21.3 average) than the Colts (19.2 average).
The Colts have a slightly better defense, but their real strength is on the offensive side of things. They are led by Peyton Manning and two of the best receivers in the game., wide out Reggie Wayne (1264 receiving yards and 10 TD) and tight end Dallas Clark (1106, 10 TD). Not to be overlook, though, are their two wildcards who seemed to come out of nowhere, Pierre Garcon (765, 4 TD) and Austin Collie (676, 7 TD). The big problem with the Colts offense is their lack of any semblance of a running attack. Having the worst ranked running unit in the NFL during the regular season hasn’t seemed to be a problem for Indy yet, though. I keep waiting for their one-dimensional offense to be exploited, but it never does. They only had 42 yards rushing against the Ravens and still won 20-3 and they had 101 yards rushing in a 30-17 win over the Jets in the AFC championship. They may as well have Joseph Addai sitting next to Manning in a lawn chair because they clearly don’t need him.
Last time they played: September 6th, 2007: Colts 41, Saints 10.
Prediction: Much like Adam Richman’s triumphant eating victory (180 oysters in 21 minutes) in New Orleans, the Saints, carried by their passionate and (overly) patient fans, will find a way to take down the Colts 34-28. Let it be known, that if you are betting on this game, you should probably bet the opposite. I’m like the Bernie Lootz of NFL playoff prediction.
*What do you think about my prediction? Who do you think is going to win the big game and why? Throw me an email email@example.com or drop a comment below
30 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist and sports editor. He also writes about fine beverages for drinkingmadeeasy.com and Chilled Magazine. On top of that, he writes about college and professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, throw him an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on twitter http://www.twitter.com/chrisosburn