I was planning to do a detailed Super Bowl preview, but I got lazy and I could never do it as well as Bill Barnwell and Aaron Schatz anyway:
We've covered seven Super Bowls since Football Outsiders launched in 2003, and out of those seven games, Super Bowl XLIV looks like the closest matchup before the fact...
The Saints may be a little bit overdependent on big plays, whether they be deep bombs, kick returns, or the kind of turnovers that Peyton Manning rarely makes. On the other hand, the Colts may be a little bit overdependent on the health of Dwight Freeney's ankle. Put it all in the big blender of matchups, and the result still comes out 50-50. This should be, and hopefully will be, an exciting, high-scoring, and very close game.
There is a lot of analysis in their entire article, maybe a little too much, but all that work for an even matchup?
I've said it all postseason, but turnovers will be the difference in the game. The problem at this point is that the Colts and Saints are both pretty good at protecting the ball, according to Team Rankings, the Colts had 1.4 turnovers per game vs. 1.6 for the Saints. On the other hand, no team was better last season at takeaways then the Saints. And that doesn't mean that one of those teams won't start turning it over in the Super Bowl. Sometimes teams that had been good at avoiding turnovers all season can collapse at the worst possible moment, and I'm specifically thinking of the Vikings two weeks ago. Though you could say the same thing about the Packers in Arizona during the Wild Card game.
One interesting point that Football Outsiders mentioned: the Saints are really good in the red zone on offense and defense. Plus the Colts are a great red zone offensive team. This isn't a key to the game, but I'll be watching the great Colts red zone offense against the great Saints red zone defense.
What are you going to be watching for on Sunday? Or will you just turn in for Favre's Hyundai ad? Predictions?