Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/22/11

The Indianapolis Colts at the New Orleans Saints. It was being billed at the beginning of the 2011 season as the rematch of Super Bowl XLIV. With Indianapolis now bearing an 0-6 record and Peyton Manning presumably sitting in a suite inside the Superdome for this particular matchup, it becomes something well short of any kind of a real rematch on second thought.

The Saints, meanwhile, with a current record of 4-2 and in second place behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South with the exact same record, look to rebound after last weekend’s loss to those Bucs in Tampa. Luckily for New Orleans, they take on the 0-6 Colts this Sunday night at home followed immediately by the 0-5 St Louis Rams on the road next Sunday afternoon. This would appear to be the perfect set-up for the Saints to warm up to a real rematch with the surging Bucs the very next weekend back in the Superdome again.

An interesting thing of note that has transpired in the short week following the Saints’ second loss of the season thus far is the fact that veteran C Olin Kreutz has apparently decided to step gracefully away from the Saints, and the game of football, after reportedly not feeling the passion for the game anymore, according to his agent this Friday. The latest moves by the team to reflect that decision by Kreutz today were to waive/injured OT Alex Barron, waive C Olin Kreutz and to sign QB Sean Canfield to the active roster.

Kreutz had appeared in 195 career games with 187 starts in his 14-year NFL career. Originally a third round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 1998, the former University of Washington standout had spent the first 13 seasons of his career in Chicago where he was a six-time Pro Bowl selection. He started all four games at center he appeared in for New Orleans in 2011 after signing with the club in training camp.

Kreutz had missed two road games against the Jaguars in week 4 and the Panthers in week 5 with a left knee injury he sustained in week 3 against the Texans in the Dome before returning to the starting lineup again last week in Tampa. In his absence for those games it was C/G Brian De La Puente, a free from the Saints practice squad a season ago, who stepped into the starting center role and performed quite flawlessly, or so it would seem based on the wins posted in those two games.

Another development in recent days was the purchasing of the naming rights to the building once known only as the Louisiana Superdome by Mercedes Benz to officially change its name to the MercedesBenz Superdome.

Searching for story lines in this Colts versus Saints matchup lead me only to the Purdue versus Purdue quarterback battle between Curtis Painter and Drew Brees.

It definitely is (exciting). I’m happy for Curtis and the opportunity that he’s getting. All of us have a lot of pride in Purdue, and the opportunity that we got there, the opportunity that it’s afforded us to have to play in the NFL. So the fact that we have three quarterbacks (Kyle Orton in Denver) in the NFL from Purdue, it’s a pretty neat thing. –Drew Brees

While Painter has only thrown for 806 yards with five touchdowns and one interception and is making just his fourth NFL start, Brees has 2,152 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions, has won a Super Bowl against the Colts in 2010, has been to the Pro Bowl five times and was selected the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2008.

You can’t try to compete with him. Obviously, he’s a great quarterback. But for me, it’s just going out there and worrying about us, and not try to compare to him or anything like that. –Curtis Painter

Brees and Painter have both said that they are hoping their former Purdue coach, Joe Tiller, can be at the game to watch them compete against one another on the field.

He was able to come to the game when I played against Kyle (Orton) back in 2008, I believe. I’m sure (it was) neat for him to see two of his quarterbacks playing against each other. He came down on the field afterward, and we took a picture and had a chance to chat a little bit. That was a great memory for me, and I’m sure it was for him, too. I think for a coach, those are the kinds of things that make your heart swell up, when you see guys that you coached and had an impact on their lives playing at the next level. –Drew Brees

The best that Painter can hope to do, it seems, is to not make any big mistakes to lose the game for his team against this high-powered Saints offense and aggressive, ball-hawking defense.

Though it is highly unlikely that Curtis Painter and the Colts can stand toe-to-toe with Drew Brees and the Saints in a shoot-out, if you look at the team stats for each squad, that may just be their best and only hope for a win here.

So far this season, Painter has thrown five TD passes and has only one INT. Unfortunately, the Colts just haven’t been able to come up with points in the final quarter to win games and are 28th in the league in scoring.

Maybe all of that changes this weekend in the MercedesBenz Superdome against the Saints who just came off a road loss against one of their division rivals? Then again, maybe not.

Derrick’s Final Score Prediction:

Saints 31, Colts 16

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Get a New Orleans Saints 2011 Schedule for your desktop wallpaper here: http://isportsweb.com/2011/06/24/orleans-saints-2011-schedule/

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