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Peyton Manning Gives Edge to Colts

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We should all be rooting for the Saints.

Their roster is truly fantastic, riddled with talented players, an explosive offense, elite coaching and one of the games dominant and most likable quarterbacks.

They have a passionate, dedicated fan base, capable and willing to consistently fill the Superdome to its 72,000+ person capacity on a weekly basis. They’ve brought this support without fail for over 40 years, despite not winning a single playoff game till the year 2000. They have been one of the NFL’s most embarrassing franchises for the majority of their existence.

Ever see a fan of an atrocious team wearing a brown paper bag over their head? That started in New Orleans, the year the Saints lost their first 14 games.

And then, of course, there was Hurricane Katrina, that terrible, horrific storm that affected, changed, and took the lives of so many. Katrina was able to simultaneously remind us all how silly yet necessary sports truly are.

In a time when rebuilding homes and lives was a necessity, these Saints were able to provide that superficial yet wonderful feeling that turns young men and women to sports in the first place. They provided hope.

And for that alone, the entire world should be rooting for the New Orleans Saints to be Super Bowl Champions.

But it’s not going to happen.

For the Colts have Peyton Manning.

In their first two playoff games, the New York Jets defense allowed 14 points each to two of the leagues better offenses. They were being proclaimed by many as not only the best “D” in the NFL, but maybe even in its history.

The Colts doubled both those teams point total, scoring 30.

They were able to do so because they have Peyton Manning.

Discounting their final two matches in which they rested their starters, the Colts scored 30 or more points in half of their games. They did so against some of the league’s most talented and highly-regarded defenses. They even scored 35 on Bill Belicheck.

They were able to do so because they have Peyton Manning.

They went 14-2, a feat that drew a collective yawn and a ho-hum from fans of the NFL, not due to any lack of grandeur, but mainly because they seem to win that many games every year. They have, in fact, one 12 or more games every season since 2003, a feat unmatched by any team during that period, including the New England Patriots.

They won their first 14 games, and seemed poised to become only the 2nd team in the history of the League to go 16-0 in the regular season. They were beaten, not by their opponents but by themselves, removing their valuable starters, choosing precaution over legacy and sending the statement that their only priority was winning a championship.

Considering the “white-flag” style in which Indianapolis received both of their defeats this season, the Colts should be in the discussion as one of the greatest teams of all time.

They achieved all this, despite the subtraction of future Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison, as well as the NFLs lowest-ranking rushing attack.

They were able to do so because they have Peyton Manning.

This Colts team is vastly different from the one that won the Super Bowl in 2006. Tony Dungy is no longer the coach. Players such as Harrison, Cato June, Adam Vinatieri, Bob Sanders, and Dominic Rhodes, all major contributors to that 2006 Championship, are either hurt or long removed from the roster. Perennial Pro-Bowler Dwight Freeney may also be out due to an injury suffered against New York.

They will, however, have arguably the greatest football player ever under center from start to finish. So in the end, none of it will matter.

Because the Colts have Peyton Manning.

Eric Marmon wrote this for SportEvents.com, which helps real NFL fans find NFL game tickets and tickets to the Super Bowl.

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