Superbowl XLIV has all the makings of a classic match, and kind of reminds me of the titanic Steelers Cowboys Superbowls from the 1970s.
Only difference being this is two high-octane offenses against two overachieving defenses.
There are going to be intriguing battles all over the field next Sunday in Miami, here are five of those chess matches that I think will determine if Peyton Manning or Drew Brees will hold the Vince Lombardi trophy above their head and shout to the skies ‘By the power of Greyskull……..I have the power!”
Saints RB Pierre Thomas v Colts defensive tackles Daniel Muir and Antonio Johnson – The sexual chocolate that is New Orleans RB Reggie Bush has shown that once and for all his talent does not lie by getting 4 to 5 yards a pop up the gut, so that job of moving the chains in the traditional method is left to Pierre Thomas.
Thomas has had a quiet season, with only one one hundred plus yard ground game (Week 3 v Buffalo) but he did finish the regular season with an impressive 5.4 a carry. Thomas has only had 33 touches in two playoff games so far so this could be the time he is unleashed as part of a ball control gameplan by Sean Payton, the former Leicester Panthers quarterback.
Going against Thomas will be the rather unknown pairing of Muir (312 lb) and Johnson (310lb). Seen by some as a weakness these two pillars have nullified both Ray Rice and Thomas Jones in the postseason, and they have the intestinal fortitude to do it one more time.
The Colts have given up 20 points overall in their last two games, and Rice and Jones (two dominant rushers) combined for just 109 yards on the ground.
Neither had the opportunity to pound the rock twenty times or more because their teams were required to come back from deficits using the passing game, but the combo of Muir and Johnson have become unsung heroes on a team that if full of no name defenders, with the exception of pass rushing defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
Advantage – Saints – Thomas has not been asked to carry the ball 25 times a game so he will be fresh. With Mike Bell there to pick up some short yardage runs Thomas could be an MVP candidate but only if the gameplan flows the way of the ground game.