The New Orleans Saints will be Super Bowl champions.
Yes, the same team that was once dubbed “the Aint’s” will soon be seen hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in the franchise’s 42-year history after they defeat the Indianapolis Colts.
Don’t believe me? Well let’s take a closer look at the NFC champions who once flirted with perfection this season to see just what makes this team so special.
Hands down the main reason the Saints have been able to resurrect and come as far as they have. He’s thrown for 4,388 yards, completed more than 70 percent of his passes and has been able to find his receivers in the end zone 34 times.
Brees’ .706 percent completion percentage set an NFL record and solidifies this is a quarterback who knows how important each possession is and how costly a turnover can be.
Look at his counterpart a couple weekends ago in the NFC championship game. Think Brett Favre has had any second thoughts about his decision making?
But Brees has something most players and teams in the league don’t. Aside from a birth mark that makes him look like he just defeated Rocky Balboa, Brees has the support and faith of an entire city.
New Orleans, still a few years removed from the Hurricane Katrina disaster, has used it’s Saints as an escape from reality as it’s city still tries to pick up the remaining pieces. The Saints, more appropriately nicknamed “America’s team” (Sorry Cowboys fans), have given the people of this city all they could have asked for these past few years.
What’s funny is how it’s not just the people of New Orleans that have fallen in love with the Saints, but even some of the students here at Eastern Michigan who seem to think it will be the Saints that come marching in.
“I have to go with the Saints for Super Bowl XLIV,” senior construction management major Matt Rempe said. “They have most of the nation rallying around them to give a spark back to the city of New Orleans. I think their adversity has really been tested in the past few years and that is what is going to help them succeed in the big game. I think Drew Brees will have a game-winning drive, (and the Saints) win by four points.”
However, the hidden gem that might just be the difference maker in a game of this magnitude could be the play of the Saints’ defensive front four.
After basically assaulting two of the games older, but premiere quarterbacks (Kurt Warner and Favre) the past two games, it’s hard to say that the Saints front four consisting of Bobby McCray, Sedrick Ellis, Remi Ayodele and Will Smith have been anything but ineffective.
Look for these beasts to give the Colts offensive line as well as quarterback Peyton Manning all he can ask for.
And when Manning is able to get time to get off a pass, he’ll have to deal with the cornerback play of Darren Shaper. Sharper has nine interceptions this season and has taken three of those picks back to the house.
The “pick 6” – an interception returned back for a touchdown – or as I like to call it “the greatest play that can possibly happen in football” could be what makes the game for the Saints as they try to slay NFL Most Valuable Player Manning.
Offensively, other than the play of Brees, you will get to see a team that leads the league in both scoring (31.9 points per game) and yards (403.8 yards per game).
Look for the running of Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell along with the occasional trick play with Reggie Bush to lead an attack against a defense that could be without star end Dwight Freeney.
Bush, who also returns kicks and punts, could be the X-factor. He has the speed and ability to change the game every time he touches the ball. However he also has had crucial mistakes in big situations.
If Bush can consistently give his offense great field position, I don’t see why the Saints can’t make this a double-digit victory.
Michael Rapp, a senior studying supply chain management, sees this as a game destined for the Saints to take.
“I want to see the Saints win,” he said. “Not only because of what happened to the city of New Orleans, but because they have yet to win a Super Bowl and they have had a great season and postseason thus far.”
This brings me to my prediction. If you can’t tell by the favoritism in this article, I’d like to see New Orleans bring it home. If its offense stays on hot and its defense can consistently pressure Manning and force him into mistakes, I feel the Saints will be champions.
Therefore, in light of all that has been said, New Orleans 34, Indianapolis 24.