Sunday, February 7, 2010

10 Things to Know before the Super Bowl

  • The average number of points scored by the winning Super Bowl team is 30.1 points while the average for the losing team is 15.3 points.  However, those numbers are somewhat skewed by the assortment of rule changes that have favored the offenses.  Before the adoption of the illegal contact penalty in 1978, the average score was 23.4 to 9.6.
  • Drew Brees has yet to win a playoff game outside of the Superdome.  If the Saints win the Super Bowl then Brees will become just the 8th QB to have his first career non-home playoff win come in the Super Bowl.  The last to do it was the recently retired Kurt Warner in 1999.
  • By the time Super Bowl XLIV starts, it will have been exactly 400 days since the Colts lost a game in which Peyton Manning played into the 4th quarter and 504 days since they lost to a team that plays a 4-3 defense under that same condition.
  • Speaking of 4-3 defenses: the Colts will finally play one in the playoffs for the first time since Super Bowl XLI against the Bears.  Indy has not lost a playoff game to a 4-3 team since January 4, 2003.
  • If Adam Vinatieri plays vs. the Saints then it will be his sixth Super Bowl which will tie the most ever by a single player (Mike Lodish).  If the Colts win then Vinatieri will have five Super Bowl wins which will tie him with Charles Haley for the most all-time.
  • The Colts’ current starting kicker, Matt Stover turned 42 on January 27, 2010 which means he will be the oldest player to ever play in the Super Bowl once the game comes around.
  • Jim Caldwell will seek to become the 3rd rookie head coach to win a Super Bowl joining George Seifert and Don McCafferty.  Like Seifert (Walsh) and McCafferty (Shula), Caldwell is following in the footsteps of a hall of fame coach (Dungy) and all 3 coaches had the luxury of coaching a QB that can arguably be considered the greatest of all time.  (McCafferty had Unitas, Seifert had Montana, and Caldwell has Manning).
  • Drew Brees has fumbled 6 times in 5 career playoff games and he has fumbled 12 times in 17 games played this season.  That’s not good news especially considering the fact that Robert Mathis leads the NFL with 31 FFs since 2004 and Dwight Freeney is 3rd over that span with 23 FFs.
  • If the Saints are to win then Brees will have to overcome his history of poor performances in Miami.  In two career games at Pro Player/Dolphin Stadium, Brees has thrown 1 TD compared to 4 INTs while being sacked 8 times.
  • Speaking of playing surface, Brees has struggled when playing on grass this year as compared to turf while Manning has actually played better on grass than turf despite playing his home games in a dome.  Here is how their numbers stack up when playing on grass:

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