Posts Tagged ‘Superbowl XLIV’

Colts and Saints - two #1 seeds and two potent offenses

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.

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He may look like the rabbit out of Donnie Darko but you gotta love some Reali

I swore to my wife that I would do some more exercise and spend more time away from a tv screen (unless I was sweating profusely doing some Wii boxing).

 
That all changed a few weeks ago when yet another piece of junk mail from Sky Television landed in my porch. I have to say I normally bin the reams of coloured crap that Sky send, but this one had ESPN on it so being a huge American sports fan (apart from Ice Bore Hockey) I opened the envelope.
 
The offer was £4.50 a month for three months for ESPN (which in the UK is NOT the USA version of ESPN instead it shows round ball football including some exclusive Premier League games and UFC), ESPN Classic (which shows old World Cup videos and some great archive boxing like when Mike Tyson was the best brawling boxer on the planet) and ESPN America (live College Football, live NBA basketball, live NHL bore hockey, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption and other USA ESPN shows).
 
This half-price offer was just perfect. I can justify to my wife that it is £1.50 per ESPN channel per month, and at the same time I get to watch all the USA sports journalists talk crap about the NFL right up until the Superbowl XLIV on Feb 7 2010 in Miami.
 
Yes PTI presenters Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon were battered with the ugly stick at birth, and yes Around the Horn presenter Tony Reali looks the spitting image of the nightmarish rabbit in Donnie Darko but they sure know how to entertain me.
 
Anyone in the UK that is a Sky Sports subscriber and a fan of American sports need to get some ESPN action in their lives.
 
If you don’t have Sky you can still pick up the audio only version of PTI and Around the Horn for FREE through iTunes. This audio file version is splendid for free, but its much more fun to see the expression on people’s faces and what Around the Horn guest Woody Paige has written on his chalk board behind him each day. Woody’s most recent chalkboard was ‘Don’t eat clowns, they taste funny’. Classic Paige.
 
This weekend has three great live College football games on ESPN America here in England – Tennessee at Mississippi, Iowa at Ohio State and Notre Dame at Pittsburgh.
 
All three NCAA games will have some great storylines, crazy painted fans in the stands, student bands, wacky mascots and pumped up commentators.
 
Only problem now is trying to get to see any of this Saturday evening – my wife deservedly dominates the remote control tonight and will be watching Strictly Come Dancing, the X Factor (big up Jedward!!!) and Casualty (a drama show based in a hospital).
 
Thank god for Sky+ so I can record me some College football.
 
Gotta love some ESPN (as long as you can afford it).