Wednesday, January 24, 2007

5 Reasons Why the Colts will win the Super Bowl

1. The Indianapolis defense rarely coughs up the big play. With head coach Tony Dungy in charge, the Colts lean on the tender mercies of their Tampa 2 coverage scheme.
This scheme discourages the deep throw by lining up a safety as far out of the picture as John Kerry.
Such a tactic could prevent one of the few Bears offensive weapons — the deep pass from Grossman to a swift character named Bernard Berrian. Berrian has demonstrated the ability to get behind a defense with greater frequency than a group of desperadoes who bet the unders.
2. Manning has the smarts to read a defense and audible into a play that exploits Chicago's vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities include strong safety, where the absence of injured Pro Bowler Mike Brown makes Colts tight end Dallas Clark a deadly weapon down the middle.
The Bears also have to scheme around a lingering weakness on the interior line, where hamstrung Tommie Harris had been the best three-technique tackle in the league. Peyton possesses enough moxie to read "pass" and check into a run right over the spot Harris used to lock down.
The absence of Harris also lessens Chicago's ability to collapse the pocket and chase Peyton into the arms of a hard-charging edge rusher.
Another variable: Manning will not be required to find receivers with a gorilla on his back. What started out as a figurative monkey had upgraded to a King Kong-caliber simian that managed to simultaneously look like Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Now that he's triumphed in a big game, handling Super Bowl pressure could be much easier than starring down the Patriots in the AFC title date.
3. The Colts have enough offensive balance to handle what the Bears' defense can dish out. If burner Nathan Vasher locks into Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison, Manning can look at Reggie Wayne against Charles Tilllman. The aforementioned Clark is no hayride to deal with in coverage, while rookie running back Joseph Addai is a threat inside and outside. It also should be noted that center Jeff "Super Bowl" Saturday can make the end zone TD recovery with the best of 'em.
4. The cold-blooded pass-rush efficiency of defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis allows the Colts to bring the heat without the vulnerability of a jailbreak blitz. This reluctance to blitz — combined with the deep drop of the Tampa 2 — may encourage Grossman to resort to his shaky intermediate game. Please note that Rex is as iffy in the pocket as your rent money.
5. The Colts have wisdom on the field and on the sideline. Sure, Manning has been chucking the ball around a bit recklessly in the postseason, but don't expect the pre-game limelight to make Peyton and his teammates act cuckoo. When the game is on, they probably won't mock the Bears by pointing at pursuing defenders during a touchdown play that ends in a front flip into the end zone (nice job of getting the reeling opposition geeked up again, Reggie Bush).