Five key questions

Joe Theismann takes a look at five keys to Super Bowl XLI.

Updated: January 31, 2007, 5:25 PM ET
By Joe Theismann |
It's Super Bowl time and this year's matchup should be a good one. I'm predicting a 21-10 Colts win, but there are still some questions that I think are going to be key to who wins this game.

How will Chicago play Dallas Clark?

Are the Bears going to play a nickel package or will they go with their normal package and treat Dallas Clark like he's a tight end, even though he plays like a wide receiver? This is vitally important because I will be shocked if Clark, Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes don't finish with a combined 15-20 catches in this game. Peyton Manning is going to do everything in his power to force Brian Urlacher downfield so he can work the middle of the field with Clark. Look for some deep pass route looks where Clark starts the play off chipping at the defensive end and then releasing to the middle of the field once Urlacher clears out.

Will Manning be able to put Urlacher on a yo-yo string?

That brings us to the next question. Urlacher is the best linebacker in the business. He's becoming eerily reminiscent of the late '90s and early 2000s Ray Lewis. He's tenacious, can play the run and pass effectively and watch out when he comes in on a blitz. Manning will try to play-action him to death to force him to have to change motion quickly to catch up to his responsibilities. Urlacher is amazingly fast and has great instincts, so anything the Colts can do to get him going the wrong way for even a second swings the advantage back in their direction.

Joe Theismann

Football analyst
Former college and pro football star Joe Theismann has served as an analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Football since 1988. He also is frequently heard on ESPN Radio, regularly contributes to and has contributed to the NFL Draft.