On the eve of Super Bowl XLIV, it is time to announce my pick. The last couple of years have shown us that the NFL has gained the parity it sought.
Last year we saw the Cardinals give the Steelers a fight to the finish after many felt Arizona would make an early exit from the playoffs.
The year before, we saw the mighty New England Patriots run the table and bring an undefeated season into the Super Bowl, only to be out done by a the underdog New York Giants and their tough defensive line.
In Super Bowl III Joe Namath and the New York Jets beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. My point with these examples being never count out the underdog.
This year, the Indianapolis Colts are five-point favorites over the New Orleans Saints. Like Super Bowl III, the Colts are the team with everything to lose and many people are discounting their opponent. It was a big mistake against the Jets and it is a mistake against the high-powered New Orleans passing attack.
My pick is the Saints (+5). I think the Saints will win, but they will need to get pressure on quarterback Peyton Manning, control the ground game and avoid mistakes. It won’t be a runaway by any means – the Colts shouldn’t be underestimated any more than the Saints. If New Orleans can get an early turnover early and get a lead, we could very easily see the Colts scramble to get back in the game, making them prone to mistakes of their own.
The Saints aren’t the popular pick, but either were the Giants when they beat the Patriots - that’s why they play the game. New Orleans is deserving of their Super Bowl appearance and if they avoid mistakes, they’ll be deserving of their Lombardi Trophy.
Saints 35 – Colts 28