Early Superbowl Chatter
I figured a few may stop by here to see what I have to say about the Superbowl match-up this year. Last year I said to Bet the Farm on Arizona, and those who followed my advise have two farms now, or may have traded up to live in the city. For once it looks to be a competitive Superbowl on paper which is nice. While watching both New Orleans and Indianapolis this season, I found them to be the two most over-rated undefeated teams ever. Sure they both got to 12 or 13 wins before facing a loss, but both teams tended more to come from behind to win then simply blowing teams out week after week like New England was doing a few years back. I did think that they were the two best teams and was expecting this match-up when the playoffs started. It looks like the line opened at Indy -4 with some pressure to move the line higher. At his point I like New Orleans for several reasons which I will list below. This is an early call and subject to change.
Reasons for New Orleans
1) Teams appear to be fairly matched so take the points
2) New Orleans beat the crap out of Favre on Sunday. Pressuring and hitting Manning is key to beating Indy, and New Orleans seems to have what it takes.
3) I like New Orleans coach better, but he needs to learn from a few big mistakes made on Sunday.
4) Minnesota's Defense is better than Indy's and N.O. still put up 31 points on them. New Orleans should score more than that in the Superbowl, which means Indy will need to put up 40+ points to cover.
5) New Orleans never let Minnesota take a big lead, though Indy did get way behind the Jets in the first half (not counting two missed FGs).
Reasons for Indy
1) It's a bit scary that New Orleans got 5 turnovers against Minnesota, and needed to go to overtime. Some of this was bad coaching, but I do not expect them to get 5 turnovers in the big game.
Coaching Issues from Sunday
Two big mistakes jump out at me from Sunday's New Orleans Game. They are subtle but important. When New Orleans got the ball late with a 7 point lead inside their own 10 yard line, they started playing not to lose, instead of to win. They should have assumed that Minnesota would get another TD, and been playing for more points, and not ultraconservative protect the ball football. They ended up punting, and Minnesota did get the TD to tie it. They should have tested them deep when Minnesota was expecting them to be careful. The last mistake nearly cost them the game. Minnesota was driving for the winning FG, when they completed the ball at the 32 yard line of New Orleans with about 1 minute left. With the clock running, for some reason N.O. used their last timeout, basically granting Minnesota an extra timeout. With the clock stopped for the stupid N.O. timeout, Minnesota was able to save one of their timeouts. Later when faced with third down from the 37 with a few seconds left, Minnesota would have been forced to kick a long FG. Instead, they had time to run one more play which was intercepted, but could have got them the yards for the winning FG. When N.O. got the ball back in decent position, they would have still had a timeout left, and may have been able to win in regulation. The wasted timeout was just a huge mistake IMO, and I am hoping they will learn from it.