MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — New Orleans looks very good on special teams. Otherwise, look out. This Super Bowl could be getting out of hand.
The Saints’ defense has been on the field far too long already. They continue to give up critical third-down plays, and Peyton Manning is in the zone. Manning began the second drive with a huge checkdown from the 4 for a quick first down, then he audibled out of the shotgun and into a running play, where Joseph Addai surged up the gut for a 16-yard gain. WR Reggie Wayne is doing some great work in run blocking.
New Orleans’ deepest vulnerability is against the run. It lacks size and standout individual run stuffers, and the Colts are delivering a difficult combination of finesse and brawn right now. The Colts have been able to spot Dwight Freeney’s snaps, and if this lead gets too much bigger, then the Saints will have to go one-dimensional and abandon the run. Running the ball is the greatest way to attack Freeney’s ankle, and they would be wise to run right at him. The last thing you want is Freeney rested and spelled and able to take aim on some obvious passing situations.
The Saints badly need a clock-churning drive in this second quarter. You get the sense that Manning already smells blood, up 10-0 after one quarter of play.