Home > NFL > NFL Picks – Super Bowl XLIV: Colts vs. Saints

NFL Picks – Super Bowl XLIV: Colts vs. Saints

For those that hate my NFL writing, congratulations! Last game of the year until September. I may write a post game blog post, but other than this no more NFL talk.

The Super Bowl already? Come on, it’s only been five months since the start of the season. I want more football, damnit! That’s what I tell the people (women mostly) that complain about football “consuming” my life. Are you serious? There are only 21 Sundays that matter in the NFL season. There are also Monday nights and some Thursdays, but it’s the shortest professional sports season of them all. If you’re like me and you’re tired of the haters saying you watch football all the time, remind me of the grueling seven month offseason we have to endure. Seven months without the NFL for me is the worst part of the year. Summer? Pfft, who needs it? I’d rather watch a game with the boys with a beer in my hand and some nachos on the table. That’s what I like.

You see that speech right there? It was passion. It was from the heart. Keep in mind that I’m a lifelong St. Louis Rams fan, as a 6 year old boy in 1986 watching Eric Dickerson’s jheri curl flapping in the wind, that watched his team win 6 games in three years. You should have seen me when my team was actually good! When they actually mattered! I was happier than Rex Ryan in a buffet line. Now I feel as uncomfortable as Jim Caldwell doing standup comedy. (Have you heard the man talk? No? Me neither.) That’s when I REALLY loved the game. Now? I have other things like fantasy sports as well as gambling to keep me entertained. Speaking of, I look forward to Super Bowl Sunday in the afternoon when I spend a good hour or two laying down prop bets on the most ridiculous things. Good times. Oh, I should get to the game huh? Might as well.

New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts @ Miami (6:25pmET CBS)
I think this is a great Super Bowl matchup. Any time you get both #1 teams in the Super Bowl you have to be happy with that because you have to admit that they deserve it. Sure, the Vikings outplayed the Saints and should have won had they not had 5 turnovers to the Saints 1, but the fact is the Saints did win. They didn’t impress me as much as I thought they would (that second half they played was poor), but I admire their ability to come up with the big plays when they needed it. As for Indy, they throttled the Jets like I thought they would even though they started a bit slow. When they got it going they couldn’t be stopped even by a defense that was arguably the best in the league. That’s pretty scary when you think about it. If you’re going on momentum alone, it’s hard to go against the Colts. With that said, the Saints had a much tougher opponent on Championship Sunday because the Vikings are a better team than the Jets. Being battle tested does matter and in the case of the Saints, the fact that they survived that game two weeks shows a lot about their heart. They could be the “team of destiny” or the team of luck considering that ball that should have been picked by the Vikings safety when Colston bobbled it. Can you tell I bet on the Vikings or what?

To the Saints credit, they really moved the ball well offensively and they did force those turnovers. It’s not like Minny just dropped the ball. They really went after it. The Saints defense reminds me of my Rams’ defense from 1999 to 2003 when they weren’t great defensively, but they were instinctive and made plays when needed. If you have a great offense like the Saints do, all the defense really needs to do is to get the offense back on the field. I love watching Drew Brees orchestrate the offense. As great as Manning is at spreading it around, Brees gets even more people involved. He’s got three different running backs (sometimes even four), two tight ends and five receivers that he throws to. It’s hard to stop ten guys. Some of them are going to make things happen. There isn’t much a defense can do. That’s why they can absolutely win this game even as 4.5 point underdogs. If you can put points up on the board on a consistent basis you can win any game in the NFL, especially when your offense is as good as New Orleans. I like the Saints a lot, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that only one team can win and I happen to like the other team more.

Like? No, I REALLY like the Colts in this game. I think Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in the history of the NFL whether he wins this game or not. I might be biased because I’ve seen his whole career from start to finish whereas with a guy like Montana my only memories are as a kid. He’s playing at such a high level right now and at such a high level that he’s going to be hard to stop. Think about it. He’s 16-0 this year in games that matter. The last two weeks of the regular season were exhibition games basically. Nobody’s beat him this year. The teams he played against for the most part are familiar with him from being in the AFC. The Saints? They only play the Colts once every four years. They don’t know how to stop Peyton Manning. (Conversely, you can say the same thing about the Colts not really knowing Brees.) They also don’t have a very good defense. It’s okay, sure, but they also gave up 450 yards to a Vikings team at home. You think they’re going to slow down Manning? I don’t. When the Jets took away Wayne and Clark, his two favorite targets, he unloaded to Collie and Garcon. Not exactly household names. That’s why Manning is great. The key to stopping him, or at least slowing him down, is getting pressure. I give the Saints credit for getting pressure on Favre. They beat him up big time. Can they do that to Manning? I’m not sure. Nobody really gets to Manning, even great defenses like the Ravens or Jets. He destroyed them. Every blitz they did, he had a counter. Every zone scheme, he found the hole. I’ve never seen a QB play as well as Manning is right now. I know I’m going on gushing about him, but what else is there to talk about? The team goes as far as he carries them. He’s the MVP. Hell, sometimes I think he’s the coach too. Best QB ever, kids. And I think he’ll prove it again on Sunday night.

I think the game is going to be exciting. The QB play, much like last year, will be exceptional. It’s a QB driven league. We have the two best QBs in the NFL right now playing in this game. (Tom who?) Things like experience don’t matter too much to me. Sure, sometimes that can mean the less experienced starts out slow, but that’s not always a bad thing. It’s better to finish strong than start strong and finish slow like the Saints did against Minnesota. Look at the Cards last year. Other than Kurt Warner, they were inexperienced in the Super Bowl setting, but they sure showed up in that second half. That’s what tends to happen. I think of the Cards last year as well as the Panthers in the Nipple Game aka SB38. Ultimately, it comes down to who the better team is. I like Indy because of #18, but also because I think their defense can put up more defensive resistance than the Saints can when they have to.

After all is said and done, after The Who breaks a hip trying to move on stage, what’s the score going to be?
Colts 34-Saints 24

JC’s Money Picks
Every week I’ll pick four games against the spread or using the over/under. This week with only one game on the schedule I’ll only be picking the spread and the over/under. I was 2-2 in championship week. These odds come from pinnaclesports.com as always.

COLTS -4.5 over Saints – I think they win by 10, but the last two Super Bowls have been very close.
Colts/Saints OVER 56.5 – I have it at 58, so I’m just barely over.

Playoffs: 5-7
Season: 38-28-2 (.576)

I may write a quick recap post Super Bowl on my blog Sunday night or Monday morning. Other than that, no more previews till next year.

Enjoy the game.

John Canton

Categories: NFL Tags: ,
  1. Aaron
    February 4, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    I’m going to enjoy this game. I bet on Minny as well, and aside from FIVE FUCKING TURNOVERS, they outplayed New Orleans, and a pass interference on a ball that was uncatachable and a trp that was not overruled.. Minnesota could argue that they should still have a chance to win that game.

    Anyway, I agree with you John. Colts are the pick.. and by 10? Pretty accurate. I got a 41-28 score so we’re on the same wavelength in thinking this game. My heart is rooting for New Orleans for two reasons: 1) Someone new, as a fan I want to see new teams, and noone is as new as New Orleans is… the Aint’s in the super bowl? The only thing more shocking was the Bucs winning it in SB37. Reason number 2? I live in Baltimore. While I’m not a Raven’s fan, I know had the Colts been here during my childhood, I WOULD have been a Colts fan. Seeing the Horseshoe still pains anyone from Baltimore. Those were our Colts. Now the next generation of fans will not be able to taste the bitterness older Baltimorians have, but I still got a feel of it (today being my 30th birthday, I lived 12 years of my youth without a hometown franchise).

    And I’m a Lions fan. John, I have every reason to be bitter. Thank god for gambling and fantasy football.

    Cheers, and let’s all enjoy a good Super Bowl… afterwards… the Rams are on the clock.

  2. Biggs
    February 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    As always, I like how you have broken down the matchup. If Freeny plays, I still don’t think he can be that effective. While Jared Allen is more of a power\bull rusher (who had 0 sacks against NO by the way) Freeny relies heavily on his speed coming off the edge. I’m no doctor, but I don’t know how well you can play in a game after tearing a tendon in your ankle 2 weeks prior. And speaking of rushing the passer, if the Saints can get to Manning like they have Warner and Favre, then I think the Saints win-however Manning is the hardest QB to get to in the league. I hate to go along with most media outlets here but I really think the X factor here is Reggie Bush. If he can give them 100+ all-purpose yards and at least a TD I truly believe the Saints will march. Maybe it’s a little bit of a biased pick since I got to watch the Saints this year (against your Rams) and would like to say that I watched the Superbowl team play that year (I also got to watch Vince Young play in 05′ at Mizzou the year they wont it all). So my score is 35-31 Saints for what it’s worth. Keep up the great writing!

  3. Shane
    February 4, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Just a comment about the length of the season – I’ve always thought that it was pretty short. Our two major football codes in Australia (NRL and AFL) have 26 rounds and 22 rounds respectively, PLUS 4 weeks of finals at the end of the season, and the AFL has a 4 week pre-season “comp” as a sort of warm-up to the main season. That, coupled with the fact that NFL players wear all that protective gear, and are only on the field half the time, and Aussie footballers wear a mouthguard and that’s about it, and there’s no such thing as an “offensive team” and a “defensive team” in our codes, well, we could summarise that American’s are a bit “soft” when it comes to football. But, they probably earn a whole lot more cash…

    • Aaron
      February 5, 2010 at 8:45 AM

      I have a lot of respect for Aussie rules footbll. I enjoy watching it. Problem is I don’t have the emotional investment so I’ll never fully appreciate it. I like American football for teo reasons. 1, the afore mentioned emotional investment I have in the sport and it’s players. And 2, I think it’s the closest thing we have to a live action, real life chess game. Sure it is not as physical as Aussie rules football (or UFC, or Boxing) but the stop and go, the strategic planning, the execution of a game plan play by play. Stopping, and starting again.. it’s an awesome conecept that constantly evolves. I can’t say that basketball, hockey, or Baseball (America’s other three major sports) evolve nearly as much as american rules football. Contastly changing, (for better AND worse) and alwasy incorporating technology into it’s sport. As an avid baseball fan as well, I appreciate the traditions and the non-evolution for the msot part, of our “pasttime”. But I love football for the opposite reasons.

      And I don’t agree with extending the season. Players barely make it through entire seasons as it is. I’m not trying to protect the record books or anything like that, but as short as it is, it’s a grueling season (on and off tthe football field on Sundays, as practices and the day to day schedule is taxing), and for the safety of the players, 16 games is enough.

      In any event, cheers. football, no matter how it’s played, is a great sport.

  4. RKO
    February 4, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    The BOO DAT nation weeps Sunday; reinforce the levies bc NO might flood from all the tears of Aints fans.

  5. February 5, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    The Colts are going to win because of Manning being the greatest
    quarterback of all time… there is no way to stop him. If he wants
    to win the game, he will. They have had a vast amount of 4th quarter
    comebacks this year and when the Ravens sat back, Peyton found a way
    to beat them, when the Jets came blitz heavy, Peyton found a way to
    beat them…

    He is just too good and will continue to be until his retires on top
    of the game. As a fan of the game, I used to hate Manning because of
    how good he was, but through-out the years, it’s impossible as a fan
    of the game not to enjoy watching him play.

    Drew Brees on the other hands, is no slouch, in my eyes, he is the
    best quarterback other than Peyton and this is going to be quite the
    SuperBowl. TheCoach was predicting a Saints-Colts SuperBowl earlier
    in the season and I am so glad it’s happened!!

    Feel free to check out TheCoach’s Pick @

    Best of luck to both teams this week,

  6. JCITY617
    February 5, 2010 at 4:20 AM


    • Ryan
      February 6, 2010 at 1:56 AM

      i am with ya there buddy….avid Pats fan here….can not in good conscience ever root for the Colts….so Go Saints lol

  7. Aaron
    February 8, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Well.. Saints win.. fairly surprised. Kept the ball away from Peyton for the last three quarters.. that was the key. Give the Sains credit for lettin’ their balls hang out.. guts calls.

  1. February 6, 2010 at 12:44 AM

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