The last post I put up was an analysis of the Quarterbacks contending for this championship. This post relates to the organizations as a whole. Who will prevail and why between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts?
The Saints and the Colts both have defenses whose official ratings are below average. I suppose that to some degree these teams disprove the old adage that “Defense wins championships”. Of course that is an over simplification. There are a lot of oversimplifications that I will not have time nor energy to decipher in this short analysis. However, since so few people read this blog I suppose you cannot expect much collective bargaining power. I will make a flying passing analysis of the whole organization except the quarterbacks to compliment the first part of my analysis.
2. Comparing the organizations outside of the quarterback position.
I. Lets compare the coaches first. Jim Caldwell is a rookie head coach but has been with the Colts as a coach for eight years. He has the advantage also of having been with Tampa Bay from 93-2000. He should have a great deal of experience with the climate in Florida during this time of year — the human climate as well as the meteorological climate. Sean Payton did coach at Miami for a year or so but unfortunately it was the wrong Miami — Miami of Ohio. However, when the impressive early season with the Saints in 2006 ended, Payton was chosen the Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, the Maxwell Club, Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America and The Sporting News. He seems to have just kept improving since then. I think he is up against formidable competition but if there is ever going to be a price to pay for being a rookie head coach then Payton will exact it from the other Payton’s head coach Caldwell. COACH GAME READINESS: ADVANTAGE SAINTS, SLIGHT.
II. The next thing to compare is the Bench. Here I am including the quarterbacks not included in the first part of this analysis as well as all the rest. The Saints have so much variety and diversity on offense that I think it takes the pressure off of any given payer’s relief and therefore strengthen’s the whole Bench. I do not think that Drew Brees’ loss could have been survived in any earlier game and leave them capable of winning this game. However, with Burnell as field marshall I think the Saints could march in to victory if Brees left after a first half lead. It would be hard for them to out gun the Colts but possible to hang on. I think if Dwight Freeny is only in marginal condition and a couple of key Colts (Manning and somebody else) then it will be very hard for the Colts to win. Saints fans have to hope for Vilma and some others to have big games on defense but even so they are a very brad team. BENCH: SAINTS ADVANTAGE, MODERATE.
III. Special Teams is another area to compare. The Saints totally surpass the Colts in punt returning. In almost every other area their special teams perform comparably. I think that the Colts plan on punting very little. That means that the advantage is not likely to count for a whole lot. If Hartley cracks under pressure as he might it would be a foreseeable cost of the key player being so inexperienced and this further narrows the gap beyond statistics. SPECIAL TEAMS: ADVANTAGE SAINTS, SLIGHT.
IV. The last category is the Super Bowl Culture. There are many small factors which make up playing in and winning a Super Bowl that are distinct from the other games a team could play. In each and all of those factors the Saints have little to put up except Sean Payton’s stint on the winning Giants team. Shockey knows about getting there but did not play the game for his ring. These advantages are hard to quantify but they are real. SUPER BOWL CULTURE: ADVANTAGE COLTS, LARGE.
I think that both for the game as a whole and for the organization besides the QBs the final result is too close to call. I am pulling for the Saints but am not picking anyone.