Superbowl Points of Impact

Superbowl XLIV is only a half week away and there are no shortage of storylines to feast on. Some stories are media bliss and others are web page fillers. Here are some things I’d like to point out about this year’s championship game:

Hartley X

To borrow a phrase from “The Situation” (yes I was hooked on “The Jersey Shore” and I’m man enough to admit it), Garrett Hartley flipped his own script. He went from a zero to a hero in about 3 seconds or how ever long it takes for a perfect 40 yard field goal to go through the uprights. Hartley was the most hated man in New Orleans in week 15, now a 23 year old who kicked himself in the history books past the great Morten Anderson and Tom Dempsey. Hartley gained much needed confidence with the most important kick in Saints history. Hartley is the x-factor for the Saints in the Superbowl. With all the talk of the offenses of both teams it’s quite possible the game can come down to a final kick. Hartley exorcised the demons of missed field goals past, and the Saints can rest easy knowing Hartley is ready should they call his number again.

Freeney Will Play

The media has blown this issue way out of proportion. Anyone who thinks a sprained ankle that will have had 2 weeks to heal, will keep Dwight Freeney out of the Superbowl must have rode the short bus to school. The entire sage of Freeney’s ankle was manifested to create the drama the media felt the game needed. It’s stupid and nothing short of a gun shot wound is going to keep him out of this game. Even with a banged up ankle he could still give Jerome Bushrod a world of trouble. Knowing this Freeney will suit up and lock in on a certain #9.

Difference Between Brees & Manning

What separates Drew Brees from Peyton Manning is the way they conduct themselves. Not in the terms of class or preparation but their body language and attitudes. Peyton Manning believes the Lombardi Trophy is rightfully his and Drew Brees is just prolonging the inevitable. His swagger epitomizes it. Since trumping the Patriots in ’07 playoffs, Manning has developed a killer instinct unseen before in him. Give him the gun and he will shoot Old Yeller without hesitation or remorse. It’s what elevated his game to yet another level. When it’s time to go for the jugular Manning does, and it has become his calling card in 2009.

When you look back at the great clutch quarterbacks like John Elway and Tom Brady, when the moment arrives that every athlete dreams of…they seized the moment. Since the loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Brees has looked almost apathetic in the game’s waning moments. You can bet the farm that Manning noticed Brees’ conduct and body language in the pivotal 2nd half of the NFC Championship. He looked like Rocky Balboa trying to survive the 1st round with Ivan Drago. With the exception of the divisional round against the Cardinals, Brees has not put away opponents like all great quarterbacks do. If given the opportunity Brees needs to punch Manning on the chin or it will be his ultimate mistake.


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