Going back to the first Super Bowl, held in January of 1967 and won by the Green Bay Packers 35-10 over the Kansas City Chiefs, odds makers and analysts have employed a plethora of data to conclude why one team has an advantage over the other. The science of predicting, while often accurate, is manifestly inexact.
The most reliable indicator is not mounds of statistics but merely ones eyes telling them what they see, even if they cannot explain the complexities of the Cover 2 defense or a 3-4 gap based scheme.For Super Bowl XLIV taking place this Sunday at Dolphin Stadium in Miami (6:28 P.M. kickoff), most peepers have reasoned that the Indianapolis Colts will come away with a victory over the New Orleans Saints and produce their second title in the last four years, having also won Super Bowl XLI in 2007 at Dolphin Stadium.A majority of voices in the media have given the edge to the Colts primarily because of their quarterback Peyton Manning. After watching Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings dice the Saints’ defense in the NFC championship game nearly two weeks ago, logic dictates that Manning, the game’s best practitioner at his position and some maintain the greatest ever, will do the same.Although the Saints ‘defense battered Favre, he still moved the Vikings’ offense at will as they amassed 475 total yards. Only careless turnovers by the Vikings are why the Saints are still standing. Similarly, Manning will have his way with the Saints’ defense. That leaves the Colts defense versus the Saints offense, directed by quarterback Drew Brees, who has evolved into a perennial MVP candidate.This match up has become the most intriguing when it was revealed over the weekend that Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, the best pass rusher of the last 10 years, has a third-degree low basketball sprain of the right ankle, meaning serious ligament damage.If Freeney cannot play or is limited, the Saints’ chance of an upset dramatically improves. Either way, it should be a highly competitive game. The average margin of victory for the past two Super Bowls has been 3 1/2 points.Expect a similar result with the Colts coming out on top 27-24.