Lately, Super Bowls have lived up to the hype – full of drama. Over the past six years the average margin of victory has been six points, with four of those games coming down to the final drive.

If Freeney and the Colts can't get a pass rush, expect a lot of celebrating from Drew Brees and the Saints Sunday.

If the Colts’ regular season is any indication of things to come, Super Bowl XLIV won’t be any different. This year they have mounted seven fourth-quarter comebacks – the most in an NFL season in more than 30 years.

The Colts won just five games against teams with winning records this season by an average of seven points a game. All but one of those contests – a 31-10 victory over Arizona – was decided in the final minutes.

The Saints are easily the best team the Colts will face this year. New England and Arizona – both 10-6 — are the only 10-win teams the Colts defeated during the regular season. Neither had the firepower the Saints possess.

This season New Orleans boasted the No. 1 ranked offense in the league (403.8 yards per game); had top six rushing (sixth) and passing offenses (fourth); featured the highest rated passer (109.6) with the best completion percentage (70.6); and had an opportunistic defense (39 turnovers, second-best total in the league).

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last week, Colts’ defensive end Dwight Freeney has a badly sprained ankle that may keep him out of Sunday’s game. My guess is Freeney will play, but will likely be a shadow of himself.

This poses a big problem for the Colts, whose best shot at slowing down Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense is getting pressure on the passer. In the Saints’ two losses this season with Brees behind center, opponents were able to generate a pass rush to rattle him.

In the Cowboys’ 24-17 win over the Saints, Brees was hit six times, sacked four times, fumbled twice, and threw an interception. The following week in the Buccaneers’ 20-17 victory over the Saints, the Bucs brought plenty of pressure while holding the Saints scoreless in the second half.

The last time Freeney missed a big game was in the 2007 playoffs against the Chargers. In that game, the Colts’ defense didn’t generate a single sack and only got one hit on the quarterback. Philip Rivers and Billy Volek combined to throw for 312 yards, three touchdowns, and completed 74 percent of their passes in the Chargers’ 28-24 victory over the Colts.

Makes you wonder what Brees and the prolific Saints’ passing attack might be able to do against a Freeney-less defense.

With or without Freeney, I expect this game to be close.

For the Colts, it will ultimately come down to Peyton Manning and the offense. The Colts will have to put up points, stay on the field, and take care of the football to outlast the Saints.

These are all things the Colts have been able to do through the playoffs thus far. Against two of the NFL’s best defenses the Colts have scored 25 points a game, controlled time of possession, and hold a +3 turnover ratio.

There was a time when Super Bowl blowouts were the norm. It appears that trend is changing, and Sunday should be no different.

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