I may not have gotten the scores exactly right, but hey, as far as I'm concerned I got close enough to declare victory. Before getting to the Super Bowl prediction, some random thoughts about yesterday's games:
- There have been a lot of great quarterbacks playing in the past 20 years, but outside of Joe Montana, I'm not sure if I've seen a better game than that played yesterday by Peyton Manning. It didn't set any records on the statistical front, but it was a magnificent performance. I love watching Manning play; the way he takes over a game, reading the defense right up to the last second, and then taking whatever the defense allows. Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, and Joseph Addai were also great, and given how infrequently Manning gets hit hard, you have to think that the Colts are going to be around for a while.
- It dawned on me yesterday that I've never heard Colts Coach Jim Caldwell say anything - not a single word. It's almost a perfect parallel to George Seifert taking over from Bill Walsh, and the 49ers not missing a beat.
- Man, I am so glad I'm not a big Vikings fan, because that was the sort of game that stays with you for a lifetime (for 49ers fans, the obvious parallels are the 1983 and 2000 NFC Championships, painful losses to the Redskins and Giants). I'm thrilled that New Orleans is finally in the Super Bowl, but the Vikings should have won that game, and I'm sure they know it today.
- Brett Favre is coming back. I just hope he spares us the agony of another season of "Will He Or Won't He?"
- What the heck happened to Robert Meacham, the guy who was positively tearing up the league in November? I can only remember his name being called once yesterday. Odd.
On to the prediction:
The Colts were up against it yesterday, sucked it up, and won going away over an opponent with absolutely nothing to lose - the most dangerous kind. The Saints are capable of great football, but I worry a bit about their ability to put four great quarters together under the biggest spotlights any of them have ever been under. They could win, and it won't be until the game begins to flow that I'll know who I'm rooting for, but in the end I don't think they will. Manning will play another great game - he'll study those Saints rushes, and figure out a way to outmaneuver them - or at least, often enough to make things work.
Final Score: Colts 27, Saints 17