Another NFL season ends with a very exciting Super Bowl and a new champion. The New Orleans Saints are celebrating tonight as Super Bowl XXIV champions after a very hard fought game. After falling behind early to Peyton Manning and the Colts, Drew Brees and the Saints made up a ten point deficit in the second half. Brees threw for 2 touchdowns in the second half and for 288 yards overall as he earned his first Super Bowl MVP award.
The first half of Super Bowl XXIV looked like it was played between four teams instead of the traditional two. Both teams had a dominate quarter on both offense and defense. The Colts got off to a quick start on offense after initially forcing Drew Brees and the Saints to punt after only three plays on their first possession. Peyton Manning and the rest of the Colts offense looked like they could do no wrong on their first two possessions. A field goal on the first drive opened the scoring as the Saints defense stepped up big on a third and goal to turn a touchdown-capable drive into a field goal-settling drive. Another stalled drive by the Saints led to a dominate 11 play, 96 yard drive in just over four and a half minutes by Peyton and his crew; capped off by a 19 yard catch by Garcon along the sideline for an easy touchdown.
As the second quarter started, it became obvious that Brees began to settle in and get down to work. The Saints offense might as well have been their best defense; they held the ball on offense for almost 12 minutes of the second quarter and kept Manning on the side lines. Two drives stalled in the red zone that led to a field goal and a turnover on downs. The Saints held the Colts after the turnover on downs deep in Colts territory and were able to kick a last second field goal to end the half and pull the Saints within four points of the lead.
It was a back and forth war for most of the second half as the lead was traded 3 times with the last change giving the Saints a 7 point lead after a two point conversion pass play that was first ruled incomplete but overruled on a coach’s challenge.
Late in the fourth the Colts were driving down the field in an extremely methodical fashion until on a 3rd and 5 play, Manning was picked off by Tracy Porter who proceeded to go “marching in”-to the end zone after a 74 yard sprint as the crowd roared in celebration. The Colts never recovered or scored again even after getting back in the red zone after the turnover, turning the ball over on downs with 44 seconds left. After Brees took two knees in the victory formation, it was offical, the New Orleans Saint had done the improbable.
Let the party begin in the Big Easy, your Saints are Super Bowl Champions, and your savior in Drew Brees now has a Super Bowl MVP to add to his impressive season. Enjoy the celebration Bourbon Street, it will be the best hangover you’ll ever have.