Monday, February 8, 2010

Saints Ain't Aints No More

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints defeated their own Archie Manning's son Peyton and the mighty Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV and finally replaced the stigma of the brown paper bags of Archie's "Aints" with the Who Dat? Nation of the Sean Payton and Drew Brees era! And it sure feels good for a city such as New Orleans which suffered the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and is still trying to get it's feet back on dry ground. The underdog New Orleans Saints did the unthinkable in beating Manning and the Colts 31-17 in Miami at Sun Life Stadium.

It was a great Super Bowl! No matter who you wanted to win, it was just a great game to watch. The Colts dominating the 1st Quarter with a lead of 10-0. The Saints stole the momentum back in the 2nd Quarter making it 10-6 going in to halftime on two field goals, failing to convert touchdowns but putting points on the board nevertheless. They never gave back the momentum in the second half; opening up with a gutsy on side kick and recovering the ball to drive it down field for a TD and their first lead of the game at 13-10. But more important than the lead the Saints continued their momentum and even though the Colts did score one more TD New Orleans just did what they had to do; scoring another 18 points including a Field Goal, a TD and two point conversion and the pick-6 of Manning on his would be comeback drive by Cornerback Stacy Porter. That pretty much sealed it with the Saints up by two TD's. Porter was instrumental in picking off Brett Favre late in the NFC Championship win over the Minnesota Vikings as well.

There was no Peyton Manning heroics at the end of this one. Hey, the Saints won this one for old Archie. Finally the New Orleans Saints have won a Super Bowl. They're world champs. Take off those paper bags. This is the Who Dat? Nation now. Let Mardi Gras begin early! Grab a drink and a Po Boy. Lets party. Oh when the Saints, Oh when the Saints, Oh when the Saints come marching in. Oh how I'd love to be in that number. When the Saints come marching in.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Can Saints Stop Super Manning In Super Bowl XLIV?

I usually root for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the post season after the Jets are out of contention. Indy is kinda my "second team" after the Jets. Especially since they've been out of the AFC East. When they were in the Jets division I hated them. Once the NFL realigned the divisions in 2002 from five to four teams per division and placed the Colts in the AFC North I had no problem liking them. Hey, they weren't in my team's division anymore. They were always an exciting offensive team to watch with a great quarterback in Manning and I liked Tony Dungy. So why not? Jets fans needed a team to root for in the Playoffs anyway. So I chose the Indianapolis Colts. But this year I just can't do it. Not after the NY Jets fell to the Master Manning and his Colts in the AFC Championship Game two weeks ago. I just can't bring myself to root for them. So I'm gonna go for the New Orleans Saints.

I love the city of New Orleans, having gone down there many times to go to Jazzfest, a wonderful music and heritage festival held every spring during the last weekend in April and first weekend in May. I absolutely fell in love with New Orleans while there for my annual fix of music, food, and partying in the streets. So why not cheer for their football team? Seems the right thing to do to me. After Katrina the city definitely can use the money and attention associated with a Super Bowl win. But can the N.O. Saints stop Manning in Super Bowl XLIV? It's not going to be easy! The Saints secondary is the weak link to their defense and Peyton Manning will find a way to exploit that weakness. Hell, he finds a way to exploit defenses even when they don't have such a suspect group like the Saints secondary. So why shouldn't he in this game? The key for the Saints defense will be if they can apply pressure up front with the front seven and rush Manning in to making quick decisions. If they can do that and contain the Backs (a huge feat in itself) they will have a chance. Like I said it's not gonna be easy!

Most teams, like the Jets, can come up with a plan to rattle Manning temporarily, but eventually he will figure the plan out and then he'll pick them apart. It's almost like opposing defenses should come up with two game plans for Indy and Manning. One for the beginning of the game and the other to switch to after Manning starts figuring out the first one. I kept thinking that that's what the NY Jets should have done in the AFC Championship Game. After Peyton started figuring them out and directing traffic in the second half the Jets should have come at him with something completely different. Like showing pressure up front but then dropping back in to coverage after the snap. Who knows? Maybe Rex can figure it out next year. Now it's Sean Payton's turn. Hopefully he can figure out a way.

I really just want to see a good game. It would be real sweet to see the Saints win the big game finally after all those years of futility and the wounds of Hurricane Katrina still fresh. It's just what the city can use. Drew Brees wants to deliver the victory to his adoptive city. And I'd definitely like to see Peyton lose now. So let's go Saints. It should be a great offensive game for both teams and that should make for a fun game to watch. Enjoy everyone. Who Are You? Who Who? Who Who?