Sep 6, 2007

Saints vs. Colts

The 2007 NFL season kicks off tonight when the New Orleans Saints visit the Indianapolis Colts. My, how times have changed...a few short years ago, the Saints were considered a laughing stock of a franchise -- trading all its draft picks for Ricky Williams; Aaron Brooks throwing passes backwards; overweight first round picks seen eating in the press box; scandals involving players, coaches and Saintsations, moving to San Antonio -- but now the NFL has chosen the Saints in their showcase game on national TV. The Saints are definitely one of the up-and-coming teams in the league and with superstars like Reggie Bush, Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister, etc., the Saints are a laughing stock no longer.

On the other side of the field will be the defending Superbowl champion Colts led by QB Peyton Manning and best-selling author/head coach Tony Dungy. The Colts had a good bit of turnover on their roster, and they will want to show the country that they are still the team to beat in the league. On offense the team lost starting LT Tarick Glenn and will replace him with rookie Tony Ugoh. They also selected WR Anthony Gonzalez to add to their potent aerial attack. Second-year RB Joe Addai won't split carries this year and wants to show that he's the man. Defense is the weak point on the Colts and after losing both starting CBs and a few other pieces, the Saints #1 ranked offense should be able to move the ball on them.

This game looks to be a shoot-out with two of the best offenses in the league battling it out. The game may come down to field position and special teams. There may not be a lot of punting, but whatever teams' defense steps up and forces the punter on the field will have an advantage. With Reggie Bush looming as a punt returner, the Saints will have an edge if their defense forces a couple of stops.

I see a back-and-forth game with the scoreboard being lit up. A few areas to watch: how will an injured Jammal Brown handle Dwight Freeney, can Tony Ugoh protect Manning from the likes of Will Smith and Charles Grant, who's secondary will step up to this challenge, what does Sean Payton have up his sleeve, how much will Bush return kicks...

Saints 33
Colts 29

No comments: