Top seeds battle it out in Sunday's big game

By Tim Guidera - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - There's Peyton Manning against his hometown. There's Drew Brees against the odds.

There's the Colts trying to solidify their legacy of recent dominance with their second championship in the last four years and the Saints attempting to change their reputation as perpetual underachievers with the first title of their 43-year history.

The standard sub-plots are in place for Super Bowl XLIV.

It's the matchup that is unique this time, the top seed from both conferences reaching the Super Bowl for the first time in 15 years as Indianapolis and New Orleans prepare to answer a question that has been asked since the first week of this NFL season: Which of these teams is better.

They both looked unbeatable early, winning their first 13 games each before cooling off at the end of the season and coasting into the playoffs. And they both suffered momentary scares in the postseason, the Colts trailing the Jets at halftime of the AFC Championship Game while the Saints only hung on to beat the Vikings for the NFC title when Brett Favre threw an interception in the final seconds of regulation.

But these have been the two best teams in pro football since September. Sunday night in Miami, only one will be crowned the best.

Whichever team that is will likely earn the distinction with offense.

The two most potent teams in the league could provide one of the highest scoring Super Bowls of all time.

The Saints scored more during the season, averaging 32 points per game to the Colts' 26. But Indianapolis played a near-perfect second half in their last game, scoring on three of their first four possessions before concentrating on the clock at the end.

And while the New Orleans offense was not as consistent against the Vikings as it had been all season, the only significant injuries in the game are on the Colts defense, the absence of safety Bob Sanders and uncertain status of defensive end Dwight Freeney perhaps making Indianapolis vulnerable.

By any measure, Sunday's game could be one of the most explosive and evenly matched in Super Bowl history. It could also be one of the most watched.

You can watch it only on WTOC, with coverage beginning at noon and kickoff scheduled for 6:25pm.

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