While NestMinder went 2-0 against the spread in the conference championship edition of our picks. Nick-A-What!? successfully picked both winners straight up. (Editors note: Also, lost both spreads) So now on to the last game of the NFL Season.
Colts -4.5 v. Saints
The city of New Orleans has never seen a Super Bowl, let alone a Championship ring. So at least we’ve got one of those things out of the way, and as much as I’ll be rooting for them Sunday, and I definitely will be, I don’t think they can beat Colts.
Reason #1-10: Peyton Manning. Do you need any other reasons? As if the conversations about Manning being the greatest player in the history of the NFL these past 2 weeks haven’t found your ears enough. The Colts are so good they’ve got a chance to win the Super Bowl without the help of a running game. Manning controls EVERYTHING. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen anything like it. Nobody dominates his sport the way Manning does. He’s 33 years old and it wouldn’t surprise me if he played until he was 40. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he wound up with 5 or 6 Super Bowl Rings.
As long as he stays healthy and getting sacked 10 times a year is keeping him that way, he’ll be around for quite some time. The Saints have the hope of a city ravaged by a Hurricane just a few years back and the hearts of the nation behind them, but unfortunately I don’t believe they can pull through.
The Colts one weak link is their Defense, and its not a very weak link at all. So far in the two playoff games they’ve only given up 20 points and exactly 0 of those points have come in the second half. So what does that tell you… the Colts know how to play with the lead.
If Breesus can break through that D early the Saints might be able to hang around, but if they don’t put this one in the books.
Colts 34 Saints 21
Saints +4.5 vs. Colts
Nick-a-What!? makes some strong arguments for the Colts there. Hard to argue with the assertion that, yes, Peyton Manning is playing better than perhaps any QB we’ve ever witnessed. The Peyton that used to choke in the postseason seems to be nothing but a distant memory at this point, replaced by this new, unflappable robotic gun-slinging terminator.
All I can do is hope against hope that Pey-Pey has a bad game. Along with that, maybe, just maybe, the injuries to Dwight Freeney and now Reggie Wayne are legit enough that they actually end up making a significant difference on the way the game unfolds. The extra half-second that a 65% Freeney may afford Drew Brees could be enough.
There is no way the Saints hit Peyton like they were able to hit Favre. Favre is a guy who, even at this age, will stand in there and take the hit to deliver the ball-its just the way he plays, and always has. Peyton, on the other hand, NEVER takes big hits. Just look at the way he crumpled like a little girl when Haloti Ngata had a clear shot at him three weeks ago.
That’s how Peyton plays. He’ll never get confused with the McNairs or Roethlisbergers of the world, guys who are “tough” and who take hits and keep on ticking. That’s just not his game. And it works for him. Nick says Peyton might play until he’s 40. If he keeps going on like this, I say more like 45. Football fans don’t like to see players shying away from contact, or being called “smart” for doing so, but that is exactly what happens with Peyton Manning, and I don’t see it changing any time soon.
So, to recap: Uncharacteristic bad game from #18, and an ineffective Dwight Freeney = Saints may have a chance.
Saints 31 Colts 28