Saints Go Marching In

After a bumpy 1st quarter saw the Colts get out to a 10-0 lead the Saints dominated the final 3 quarters to win 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.  Drew Brees was player of the game by going 32-39 passing with two scores, but the play of the game was the Porter pick six for the final points of the game.  The Colts didn’t play their best, as both Garcon and Wayne had a couple drops, but full credit goes to the Saints defense here.  They were on Colts receivers tightly most of the night.  There were a couple exceptions, but usually when Manning completed a ball it was into tight windows and dancing around in the pocket.  You can’t make a living fitting the ball in like that.  As for the Saints offense, a sluggish start including the Colston drop that soured a drive and Dwight Freeney was able to be a factor early, but they steadily kicked it through the range of gears as the game progressed.  They dominated the 2nd quarter but only had a couple field goals to show for it.  It was right around halftime when the game really started to turn.  The Colts made a defensive stand to keep the Saints out of the end zone but tried to run the ball 3 times for a 1st down which didn’t work, and the Saints were able to get their field goal at the end of the half.  As an aside full props to Saints kicker Garrett Hartley.  He missed a shortie that caused them to lose the Tampa game in Week 16.  No such problems tonight, making three field goals of 40+ yards, which was a new Super Bowl record.  Then came the play everyone will be talking about for awhile, Sean Payton’s gamble to try an onside kick to start the 2nd half.  It worked, the Saints won the melee for the ball and drove the field to score a touchdown.  Sure the Colts went back down to get a TD, what proved to be their last points of the game, but the pace was still set.

A controversial play though it ends up perhaps not really mattering on the only challenge of the game.  After the TD completion to Shockey to give the Saints the lead at 22-17 with about 5:30 to go they of course went for 2 points.  The ruling on the field was no good because the Saints receiver did not make a complete catch.  The pass was short of the goalline and he did a spin move to reach the ball across and lost the ball when he landed.  To my mind that should have been an incomplete pass as he didn’t keep the ball to the ground.  The Saints challenged (a good challenge irregardless with that little time left having not challenged in the game prior) and Scott Green disagreed with me and agreed with the Saints.  Not sure about that one, but since the Colts never scored again I guess its relatively moot.

Bottom line is congratulations to the New Orleans Saints.  I will avoid the Katrina analysis, assuming others will pick up that slack.  So I’ll merely conclude with “Who Dat?”

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