Sunday, February 07, 2010

Super Bowl Thoughts

I've seen point spreads for today's Super Bowl online that have the Colts as much as a six-point favorite. I wouldn't go so far as to call that line crazy, but it does seem strange to me. It means that if this game were being played in New Orleans, the Colts would be three-point favorites.

I'm excited about the game now, with only five hours or so until kickoff, but the last two weeks have been a slog, listening to people on the radio (I know, I could just turn it off) talk about what the game means for Peyton Manning's legacy, or what it means for the "people of New Orleans." Forget all that. It should be a good game, and I think the Saints have a real chance, though weirdly almost no one is giving them one. The Colts are a legitimate favorite, but there seems to be a consensus about them winning, and it just seems right to remind everyone that the Saints started the season 13-0, didn't score less than 24 points in a game until Dec. 19, and often scored a lot more than that -- 45, 48, 48, 46, 38, 38... Yes, they ended the regular season on a down note, but they've scored 76 points in two playoff games. They've got a better rushing game than the Colts. They're healthier than the Colts at the moment. The Colts have looked good in the playoffs, but the Ravens and Jets combined don't have half the offense of New Orleans. And though Manning is phenomenal -- he's going to have a claim on Best Quarterback Ever when he's done, no matter what happens tonight -- Drew Brees is no pushover. Years ago, my friend Brad came up with the label Nolan Ryan Syndrome to describe when someone is really great but still somehow overrated. Brett Favre probably qualifies for it. Drew Brees is the opposite. The underrating of him goes back to when the Chargers drafted Philip Rivers (who's pretty good himself, granted) when they already had Brees. Brees' numbers over his career have been pretty sick, and even though Manning was a deserving MVP this year, Brees' numbers in '09 were, if anything, a little better.

Bottom line, it's impossible to be surprised if the Colts win. And given all the talk of offensive explosions in the lead-up to the game, a 17-10 affair seems likely, karma-wise. But if the Saints win, it won't be a huge upset. These are the two best teams in the league, which is as it should be. If this afternoon the Colts are No. 1 and the Saints No. 2, it's not by a hell of a lot.

My prediction: Saints 35, Colts 31

Enjoy it.


Blogger ANCIANT said...

I wish we could bet this, J. I'd take the Colts with a 10 point spread. I don' think it's going to be close. Saints did not look good against Minnesota, and I don't believe in their defense. My prediction
Colts 32
Saints 20

6:54 PM  
Blogger JMW said...

Needless to say, I'll take those 10 points if you'll still give 'em.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Doyle said...

Solid pick. Great game. The most underrated play of the night had to be Vilma's deflection of Manning's third-down pass to Collie--40 yards downfield. If Vilma hadn't broken that up, the Colts would have gone up 24-16, instead of settling for a 51-yard field goal, which, of course, they missed. The Saints then marched down the field to take a 24-17 lead. When you think about it, Vilma's deflection was a 14-point turnaround. Just an outstanding play.

11:42 AM  
Blogger ANCIANT said...

Sigh. Yes, I was proven vastly wrong last night. Too bad. I don't know why, but I really wanted the Colts to win. Something about the whole "New Orleans NEEDS these guys" metanarrative that's been imposed on the game by the media made me grouchy. Why can't we just have a game--why does it always have to be turned into some mediocre feel-good Disney movie?

Nevertheless, the game itself was great. Good call on your pick. Pretty damn close.

3:39 PM  
Blogger JMW said...

The metanarrative was very annoying. But it was on the Colts' side, too -- as if Peyton Manning would be the Best QB Ever if he won this game, but just a Very Good QB if he lost. The guy's career is hardly over, I wish everyone would chill out. The need for narrative, in general, or the perceived need for narrative, has really put a dent in sports.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to making bad predictions...

5:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home