Five key players

Merrill Hoge takes a look at the five key players from each team.

Updated: January 30, 2007, 6:50 PM ET
By Merrill Hoge | ESPN.com
Every Super Bowl is decided by the play of one or two players, and this one will be no different. Here are five players from each team who will help decide who hoists the trophy at the end of Super Bowl XLI.

Indianapolis Colts

QB Peyton Manning: One of his major strengths is that he's mentally ahead of everyone else on the field. He knows not only what he wants to do and what he wants his offense to do but also what the defense wants to do and how to make them do the exact opposite. This season we've seen him become a better manager of the offense. He realizes he doesn't have to throw the ball 40 times a game to win but can rely on his running game to create longer drives to win games. He's also become an extremely accurate thrower who plays well under pressure when he has to throw on the run.

RB Joseph Addai: What more can you ask for from a rookie? He runs hard every play and does a good job catching the ball out of the backfield, and he has been great on blitz pickups. That will be vitally important this week as he will have to win battles against Bears MLB Brian Urlacher a couple times to keep Manning safe.


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