It’s been a long week, but Championship Sunday is finally here. Football fans today will be treated to a pair of exciting matchups in conference championship games that will yield 2 winners and another riveting matchup for Super Bowl XLIV.
If you’re here reading this blog, you’re probably a person with interest in the Vikings-Saints game. If that’s the case, you have just a bit longer to wait for Championship Sunday to come to full fruition. The NY Jets and Indianapolis Colts will play in today’s first game. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. CT in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts are heavy favorites in this game, but the Jets have been marching through the playoffs as underdogs every step of the way. Rex Ryan, in his 1st season as an NFL head coach, has gotten to the AFC Championship game with an aggressive defense, a dominant run game and brash confidence that has inspired his team.
QB Peyton Manning is the Colts leader and is coming off another MVP season, the 4th of his career. He’ll try to lead the Colts to a Super Bowl for the 2nd time in 4 seasons and he’ll have to do it while navigating through an athletic and play-making Jets defense.
But while those are the main headlines of this matchup, I think it might actually come down to how the Colts defense plays. We know what the Jets will try to do offensively. They are going to run the ball. No team ran more often or more effectively than the Jets during the regular season, and the Jets are not going to change now. The Colts challenge on defense is to stop the run, which allow Manning and Co. to get a lead. If the Jets fall behind by too much too early, they won’t be able to play catch-up.
Right now there are 4 teams remaining in the Super Bowl tournament, but when the Vikings and Saints kickoff today at the Louisiana Superdome around 5:40 p.m. CT, there will be only 3 teams remaining. The Vikings and Saints will battle to play the winner of the Colts-Jets game in Super Bowl XLIV.
We’ve already set the table for this matchup and analyzed matchup upon matchup. It’s almost time to quit the speculation and machination and finally play this game. The Vikings and Saints were the 2 best teams in the NFC all season long and they represent the top 2 seeds in the conference, with the Saints boasting the NFL’s #1 seed and the Vikings being the #2 seed.
Both teams have injury concerns heading into the game, both teams have experienced and productive QBs and both teams have offensive-minded head coaches. The Saints were the #1 scoring offense in the NFL and the Vikings were the #2 scoring offense.
But the key to this game might be the Vikings defense, and whether or not they can stop the Saints high-powered offense and allow the Vikings offense to get a lead and tame what is typically a frenzied Superdome crowd. For the Vikings defense, it’ll be about their 4 defensive linemen and their ability to 1) shut down the run and 2) disrupt the Saints passing game.
Regardless of who wins and how they win, football fans are in store for 2 great games today, on Championship Sunday.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 38 Comments »