Peyton Manning stood solemnly on the sidelines, blue and white Colts cap on his head and eyes staring at the scoreboard as the clock hit 0:00. The Super Bowl had just ended, but he wouldn't be celebrating. Instead, the Saints would dance away from Miami with their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history after shocking the Colts 31-17 in the big game.
It wasn't supposed to happen this way. No, Manning was supposed to win his second Super Bowl and further cement his legacy among the all-time greats, wasn't he?
Better luck next year.
In a game that saw Indianapolis dominate early on, taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, Brees and Co. responded by scoring 13 unanswered points, including seven off of a drive that was kick started by–get this–an onside kick recovery. Of course, Payton and the boys in blue would strike back with another score in the third quarter, a four yard run by Joseph Addai. It would be their last points on the board, as New Orleans responded with a field goal and two touchdowns to seal the win.
However, don't be fooled by the two touchdown difference on the scoreboard. This game was a lot closer than it looks and if a couple plays had gone the other way, could have looked a lot different, too.
First, the endzone pass to Shockey with 4:57 remaining was followed by a two point conversion attempt. Although Lance Moore did manage to secure possession inside the goal line, it was initially ruled no good as he bobbled the ball afterwards. It was only upon review that it was ruled a successful conversion.
Second, with only a couple minutes remaining and the Colts down by a touchdown, Manning was trying to get something going when he threw...an interception. And not just any interception. It turned out to be a pick six by Tracy Porter that left the Colts nation reeling and virtually out of the game. A drive by Indy that got inside the ten yard line but failed to come up with any points sealed it officially, and the Saints could finally start celebrating.
Drew Brees earned the game's MVP honors, completing 32 passes on 39 attempts for 288 yards with two scores but no picks.