National Football Post columnist Michael Lombardi was a guest of the Dale & Holley show Thursday afternoon and talked about the Saints' strategy for the Super Bowl. "You want this game to be a fourth-quarter game, close, with you with the ball [at the end]. And I think that's the way you win the game," Lombardi said.
"I just think there's too much going for the Colts to not think they're going to win," Lombardi added. "However, that being said, without [Dwight] Freeney and playing outdoors ... I think the Saints will move the ball effectively on them, and if they keep the game close and we get down to a two-minute game, I think ultimately the Saints can put the ball in the end zone. But they cannot give it back to Manning with a chance to win the game."
Asked later for his prediction, Lombardi said the Colts, 27-20. "Peyton Manning at the end of the day, I don't think there's a solution for [Saints defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams. All the false bravado about him blitzing is just false bravado."
Lombardi said he respects Bill Belichick's team-building ability, which may be delayed this year as teams wait to see what will happen regarding a new collective bargaining agreement. "I think the problem everybody's having right now, and why you're not seeing very many deals done, is nobody knows what the rules of engagement are," Lombardi said. "And in the NFL, before you can make any decisions, you'd better know what the rules are. And then you figure out how to play the game. And that's Belichick's ultimate strength: Show him what the rules are, and he'll figure a way to win the game within the rules. And I think that's what he's waiting for. And I think that's what everybody is waiting for."
Lombardi expects the Patriots to focus on building up their line in the draft. Said Lombardi: "You've got to get faster on defense, which they continue to do, you've got to find ways to rush the passer with more effectiveness, get off the field and help your team."
To hear the interview, including Lombardi's analysis of University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
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A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
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