The Sports Daily > Colts Authority
Chess Match

(Note: tip to Garrison for the post idea, and my apologies to Paul Kuharksy who mentioned last night that he’s going to do a post with a similar theme later this week.  I swear I didn’t steal the idea from you!)

Some reporters noted with awe that Peyton Manning watched three year old game film to prepare for last week’s matchup against Rex Ryan.

That’s nothing.  I’m betting he goes back ten years this time.

New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has bounced around quite a bit over the past decade, but his first run in with Peyton Manning occurred in the 1999 playoffs.  Overall, he hasn’t had a lot of success against Peyton Manning, but his first game against the Colts’ quarterback falls high on list of Most Painful Losses.  Here’s the full chart of the game where Manning took Gregg Williams on, either as a head coach or defensive coordinator.

Year Points C A yards TD INT W/L
Titans DC 1999 16 points 19 42 227 0 0 L
Bills HC 2001 42 points 23 29 421 4 2 W
Bills HC 2001 30 points 17 27 199 1 0 W
Bills HC 2003 17 points 26 42 229 0 0 W
Redskins DC 2006 36 points 25 35 342 4 0 W
Jags DC 2008 21 points 15 29 216 1 2 L
Jags DC 2008 24 points 29 34 364 3 0 W
Totals 154 238 1998 13 4 5-2

As you can see, Manning has played well against Williams designed defenses, posting a passer rating of 102.2.  Williams hasn’t always had the most talented defenses, I suppose, but he’s offered little resistance to Manning.  Peyton will be sure to watch tape of every game he’s ever played against Williams, despite the fact that I’m not sure he wants to see Jerome Pathon and E.G. Green ever again.  I seriously doubt Williams will be able to do anything to surprise Manning.  The Saints are going to have to work on out executing the Colts offense.

Good luck with that.

The Saints defense is a middle of the pack kind of defense this season, ranking 14th overall in the FO rankings.  They are better against the pass (9th) than the run (29th).  Their ranking in conventional NFL stats is crazy low, but what matters is that they are 3rd in interceptions, 3rd in defensive passer rating, and have allowed the 5th fewest passing touchdowns.  The Saints have one dominant rusher (DE Will Smith who has 13 sacks). No other Saint has more than 5.5, but 12 different players have at least half a sack.  The Saints are clearly a team that relies on blitz pressure in order to get to the quarter back.  They also have 11 different players with at least one interception, though the key is Safety Darren Sharper who had 9 picks on the season.

Much like the matchup with Rex Ryan, Williams is going to have to work hard to disguise his blitzes and coverages in order to show Manning something he has never seen before.  Considering that this isn’t Williams first trip to the Super Bowl, I seriously doubt he’s going to be able to invent something completely new just for Manning. He’s coached in too many big games and key spots in order to whip something out of his bag of tricks that he’s been saving for this moment.  Whatever he had, he would have used last week against the Vikings or perhaps back in the 1999 Super Bowl against the Rams.

He’s faced him plenty of times.  There is lots of tape to watch.

Gregg Williams is a known commodity to Peyton Manning.

Mad God have mercy on his soul.