1. It goes without saying but Drew Brees needs to play at or close to his peak for us to stand a decent chance. I'm thinking the Patriots or Giants games from earlier this season. If Drew was to suffer a Super Bowl nerve display day, think Jim Kelly or John Elway (early years) to name but a few, then the Saints will really struggle. It's clear the Saints MVP and leader needs to be at his accurate best for the Who Dat to come out flying.
Drew Brees MVP Super Bowl
2. As per my last point our Saints need to come out flying. We need to put the points on the board early to steady the nerves and make the Colts play catch up. Easier said than done but given the past Super Bowl and big game experience many Colts players hold it's imperative we come out fighting in the first to help steady many a young Saints players heart.
3. Getting to Payton Manning will be key. As Gregg Williams has identified it doesn't matter whether we get there with a clean sack but we have to let Mr Unflappable himself know that we are there and we mean business. If that means Bobby McCray paying another $20K fine come Monday morning for late hits then so be it... I'm sure Bourbon Street will be happy to gather the cash in a hat to help out. Manning will pick us apart if left standing too often.
4. Jeremy Shockey needs to impose himself. The big man truly is the Saints talisman and when he is in the game he gives opposing D's a heck of a headache. With all the other weapons on the Saints O the presence of number 88 frees up space for the likes of Bush and Thomas in the flat given the mismatches it causes. I for sure will feel more confident if Jeremy Shockey is out there running routes from early as he can make a physical and emotional difference.
5. Jonathan Vilma, Darren Sharper, Roman Harper, Will Smith, Tracy Porter... heck they'll all have to play out of their skins. The D needs to be aggressive, strip some balls and hope they can throw Mannings reads off enough if we are to have a better than evens chance.
6. Thomas Morstead to continue his great kick offs and punts and Reggie Bush and Courtney Roby to continue making good yardage on their returns. The play of the special teams and the field positions they leave the O and D with respectively will be all important.
That may all seem negative but if I was a bookie I would be giving the Colts the better odds because I think they are that little bit better all round. That's tough for me to say but it's the honest truth. We will need to put in an A-team performance across the board. That said it is well within our capabilities to do so and Sunday night will be a time for hardcore mental strength. Yes they can do it, yes they should believe, yes they will!!