This Sunday’s Super Bowl game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts is more than a showdown between star players from both teams. We are also expecting some unknown players to provide their teams with big plays at critical moments. Such X-factors have emerged from their obscure roles.
On the Saints side, cornerback Tracy Porter is believed to be the essential defensive player to blanket wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon on the outside. Putting on his Saints jersey again after taking off some time to take care of his injured knee, the second-year cornerback witnessed Saints’ defense regaining its opportunistic prowess. With the existence of Porter, coordinator Gregg Williams is able to use some of the exotic pressure packages that have been a hallmark of his defenses for years. And Porter’s performance will determine how often Williams could use the scheme that has always caused problems to opponents during the postseason games.
On the Colts side, defensive end Raheem Brock will be a valuable contributor of scores. He may also be added to the starting lineup if Dwight Freeney turns out unable to play the playoff because of his ankle injury. Having 3.5 sacks in the regular season, Brock has shown a knack for getting to the quarterback in the past, and came up with a critical forced fumble in the divisional-round win over the Baltimore Ravens. Brock will surely be used as an edge rusher to put pressure on Drew Brees and disrupt his rhythm in the pocket, in case Freeney won’t play.