72°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

For Argument’s Sake: Feb 2, 2010

For Arguments Sake: Feb 2, 2010

?Why the Colts Will Win

BY SEBASTIAN LENAOver the years Peyton Manning has cultivated the role of play-off choke artist. Sure, he quarterbacked his team to a Super Bowl title in 2006, but many critics credit that to a surprisingly strong performance by the defense. How else do you win a Super Bowl when your quarterback finishes the postseason with a 3-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio? However, this year will be different.In two play-off games so far, Peyton Manning has been on fire. He has completed 67.5% of his passes for 623 yards, 5 touchdowns, one interception, and a blistering 105.75 quarterback rating. Impressive, especially if you take into consideration how the year began.Manning entered the season without his favorite target in Marvin Harrison, a new head coach, and a questionable defense. The fact that the Colts are sitting at 16-2 and in the Super Bowl goes along way in showing Manning’s maturation as a player. His stats can back that up.Manning finished the regular season with a 68.4% completion percentage, the highest of his career. His 4,500 total passing yards had him ranked second in the NFL, only behind Houston’s Matt Schuab. Blow out. Come from behind. Shoot out. You name a way to win, and Manning’s found a way to do it this year.However, he hasn’t been alone.On offense, many thought the departure of Marvin Harrison would deplete the Colts’ receiving corp. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark had other ideas. Wayne finished with a career high in receiving yards (1,264) and receptions (100). He also added 10 touchdowns and led the league with 73 receptions for first downs. Clark also added career highs in receiving yards (1,106) and receptions (100). He too finished with 10 touchdowns. In total, four receivers finished with at least 500 receiving yards. Together, they’ve helped the Colts lead the NFL with a 49.2% third down conversation rate. Not bad for a supposedly depleted corp.On defense, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis proved why they are one of the toughest tandems offensive lines have to go up against. Freeney finished tied for 3rd in the NFL with 13.5 sacks, while, Mathis contributed 9.5 sacks to go along with 5 forced fumbles. Together the two should help create enough pressure to make life uncomfortable for Drew Brees and make life easier for a Colts secondary that hasn’t looked too sharp without safety Bob Sanders. In two games this postseason, the Colts defense has already caused 7 turnovers.On paper, there doesn’t seem to be too much separating the Colts from the Saints. Two high-powered offenses with a quarterback that knows how to get the ball into the end zone. But what should prove to be the X-factor in this game is experience.In a game with so much on the line, experience is a valuable attribute to have on your side. With Peyton Manning under center, the Colts have that. He’s been here before, he knows exactly how to calm down his side and keep them disciplined. During the regular season, the Colts were the second least penalized team in the NFL. In two post-season games, the Colts have only had five penalties for 30 yards, Compared to 15 penalties for 132 yards in the Saints two postseason games. Brees doesn’t have that same amount of postseason experience, and is making his first Super Bowl appearance. Watch for experience to be a large factor in this game.Overall, this game should be a hard fought battle between two teams who started out a combined 27-0 in the regular season. Look for the Colts defense to capitalize on a few turnovers from the Saints on their way to capturing their second Super Bowl title in the last 5 years.Prediction: Colts 24 Saints 14Why The Saints Will Win

BY ANDREW OTOVICOn paper, I don’t think this game should even be remotely close, but given the intensity of the Super Bowl, it probably still will be. With as many as 6 different threats, who on the Saints do you cover? Reggie Bush has proven this postseason that he can score in many ways. All-Pro Drew Brees lets nothing bother him and has had all the time in the world to throw. Four different receivers had at least 48 catches, including Robert Meachem who registered touchdowns on a fifth of his catches. Not to mention, where did this Pierre Thomas come from? Only two years ago, he was third on the running back depth chart after being signed as an undrafted free agent from Illinois where he was a back-up. Now it appears that Thomas is a number one guy who can handle 300 carries.This offense is a force to be reckoned with and the numbers can speak for themselves. The Saints had the number one total offense at 6461 yards or 403.8 yards per game. The Colts, on the contrary, were number 9 at 5809 yards or 363.1 yards per game. If that was not telling enough, the Saints averaged 131.6 rushing yards per game while the Colts were 50 yards per game less at 80.9. Maybe if the Colts realized that Joseph Addai is overrated and Donald Brown should be the lead back, this stat could be closer.Enough with the offense, what about the defense? New Orleans had 26 interceptions this past season compared to Indy’s 16. Of those 26 INT’s, 3 of them resulted in touchdowns, while none of the Colts’ 16 were taken back. The Saints have the best safety in football not named Ed Reed in Darren Sharper and will make Dallas Clark a distant memory. Now that Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter are healthy, Reggie Wayne will also not be a factor. What this will come down to: can Malcolm Jenkins stop either Austin Collie or Pierre Garcon? Big thing with this is, the Colts have not played a team with a legit offense since week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals. That was close to 4 months ago. The Colts will be caught off guard with the Saints and their screens, play actions, and go routes all game long. The Colts cornerbacks and safety’s are mediocre at best. Especially without Bob Sanders, it will be tough to contain New Orleans big and fast wide receivers.Look for Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey to be the X factors in this game. The only way Indy wins is if Joseph Addai wakes up and Dwight Freeney sacks Drew Brees 7 times. Other than that, look for the Saints to win their first ever Vince Lombardi trophy to cap of the best feel good story the NFL has seen since the 2001 New England Patriots.Prediction: Saints 34 Colts 20