MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan is down on the sidelines, passing along his observations as both teams begin to make their way onto the field for warmups.
- Its clear to me that this game is going to be the first for the new era of football. Both teams use a wide-open spread attack. Yeah, the Saints run the ball, but this game is going to come down to about 80 throws and at least 60 points.
- I got a chance to spend some time alone with Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and Jets CB Darrelle Revis to talk about these teams. For Revis, who played both teams this year, he thinks you can’t lock up one guy because both QBs are distribution passers. They spread the ball around and will have no problem going to eight or nine different receivers during the game.
- Everyone knows Dwight Freeney is going to play and he might even take a shot to numb the pain. The interesting storyline is the potential for Freeney to play on the left side because he can push off his good ankle that way. I’m certainly thinking we’re going to see him on the left side. And if the Saints get into a run situation, they will run right at him.
- The advantage in the kicking game clearly goes to the Colts. They have a veteran kicker in Matt Stover who has been here before. He was on the field earlier and looked relaxed. The pressure is surely on the Saints’ Garrett Hartley in this one. Where the game could turn is in the return game, where the Saints clearly have an advantage. The Colts’ coverage unt is not very good, especially their kick coverage unit, which is at the bottom of the NFL.
- As far as offense goes today, both teams are prepared to run the no huddle. What it’s going to give both of them, especially the Colts, is a chance to reduce the amount of blitz calls coming from the opposing defense. I’m looking for Peyton Manning to come out early and go no huddle and take some of the speed out of Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams‘ defense.
— Pat Kirwan