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New Orleans Saints Can Thank an Onside Kick for Super Bowl Win

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New Orleans Saints Can Thank an Onside Kick for Super Bowl Win
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

An onside kick won Super Bowl XLIV for the New Orleans Saints.

It was the last thing the Indianapolis Colts were expecting when the second half started up 10-6 and with the ball to start the third quarter.

Head Coach Sean Payton always has had the propensity to go for the jugular when least expected. He called a flea-flicker in the against the Arizona Cardinals three weeks earlier in the Saints' first playoff game.

Knowing his team could not contain Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning who made surgeon-like work of the Saints defense for much of the first-half, the former Eastern Illinois star did not want to face the prospect of trailing 17-6 before his offense took the the field.

Thomas Morstead had his kick touched by the Colts' Hank Baskett, then recovered by Chris Reis at the New Orleans 42.

New Orleans then scored on a 58-yard drive capped off by a Pierre Thomas 16-yard touchdown run to bolt to a 13-10 advantage.

The momentum completely changed from that point.

However, we should have seen this coming from Payton and his staff. Late in the second quarter the Saints rolled the dice on fourth-and-goal from the inside the Colts three and were turned back by the Indianapolis defense.

"We talked about being aggressive coming into this game," Payton. "All week we practiced (the onside kick). "I told my guys you have to make me look right."

And the Saints did, outscoring the Colts 25-7 the remainder of the game. 

The Saints went onto win their first NFL championship in 44 years.

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