By By JOHN W. PEELER/THE BAYONETFebruary 4, 2010
Sunday, the two best teams in the National Football League will square off in Miami but only one of them will be crowned the NFL champion.
The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts represent the No. 1 seeds from the NFC and AFC, so it is only fitting the two meet in Super Bowl XLIV to determine the best team in professional football. You would think it would always be that way, but since 1975 the top-seeded teams in each conference have faced each other only eight times in the Super Bowl - the last time was in 1993, when the Dallas Cowboys played the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII.
That game was not so super. The Cowboys handed the Bills their fourth Super Bowl loss
in rather convincing fashion, 30-13.
I don't believe this year's Super Bowl has a lot to worry about when it comes to giving fans an exciting game to watch.
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is arguably the best quarterback in professional football. I am not a Colts fan, but Manning is the most well-rounded, best-coached quarterback playing. He sees the entire field and seems to always know what is coming long before the ball is snapped. He might as well be in the defensive huddle because he reads the defense faster than they can react.
On the other side of the field will be Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Brees guided the Saints to being the highest-scoring offense in the NFL this year with 510 points. He possesses more mobility than Manning and gets the ball out of his hands quickly, but is not as adept at reading defenses.
Make no mistake, both teams can score a lot of points.
Going into the playoffs, the Colts were taking hits from the "talking heads" of radio and television about resting their players and not attempting to go unbeaten. The Saints were being beat up because they didn't win in the final few weeks of the season. Most predicted neither team would make it this far - both teams proved the pundits wrong. That's why they play the game, and that is why broadcasters and sports show hosts are in the booth rather than on the field.
Statistically, most prognosticators believe the game will be a high-scoring, close affair. The Colts are installed as a five-point favorite, but I believe it is going to be one of those games where the team that has the ball last wins.
So, who will that be'
In the spirit of my favorite team's quarterback, Brett Favre, I believe the winner will be the Saints, no Colts. No, Saints ... wait a minute, Colts. Well, maybe not.
Oh, just wait and ask me Monday when it is all over, I will have an answer then.