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Who Dat? New Orleans Saints (13-3) players are having the football season of their lives. A franchise best 13 wins, first NFC title, energized their rebuilding city, and now, a chance to win their very first Super Bowl. New Orleans football history is filled with highs and bag-headed lows since the Saints began play in 1967. They're riding a high now. Is it their time to win it all?
Head coach Sean Payton has all systems firing. A prolific offense led by Drew Brees and an opportunistic defense capable of making game changing plays. His biggest challenge on Sunday will be keeping his young team focused. Which way will he go with game planning? Will it be a big play day of stretching wide receivers deep down field vs an Indianapolis defense deficient in pass coverage? Or, will he choose a more patient time consuming strategy aimed at keeping Peyton Manning off the field of play?
Keys to Victory - Offense: Line needs to play huge. If Brees has time to find streaking receivers then they can score 45+ with quick strike plays. Who will be the go to guy at running back? Reggie Bush is getting all the press this week. His speed will open up great matchups out of the backfield on passing plays. Saints wide receivers are fast. They must avoid drops as every missed opportunity could soon become a game changer. Brees - one never knows how a QB will handle "The Big Game" pressures? He needs to stay calm and not force throws. Protect the ball at all times.
Keys to Victory - Defense: Is there really any way to contain Peyton Manning? There's only one way I see New Orleans being able to slow down the Colts offense. The defensive line has to disrupt Manning's timing. Stunts, bull rushes, zone blitzes, all of the above. Every once in a while he'll force one and New Orleans defensive backs will have to come up big. Keeping the defense fresh (stamina) is huge for both teams. This game could turn into a shoot out. Whichever teams D gets burnt first will spell doom and gloom.
Keys to Victory - Special Teams: Reggie Bush always seems one play away from breaking off a long touchdown. Last season he returned 3 punts all the way. None in 2009 with a low 4.8 average/return. Kickoff returns will be handled by Courtney Roby who boasts as 27.5 average. Thomas Morstead hopes not to be used but will be ready to boom a few punts when his number is called. Place kicking is a potential hazard. Garrett Hartley is unproven. Get ready for pressure kicks kiddo.