The Colts went ahead in the first quarter by a score of 3-0. The first score came on 38 yard field goal by Matt Stover. The Colts got on the board again on 96 yard touchdown drive that tied the longest scoring drive in Super Bowl history. Indianapolis capped off the drive when Peyton Manning connected with Pierre Garcon with a 19 yard touchdown pass over the top of the Saints defense to take a 10-0 lead.
On the next possession, the Saints had a promising drive going before Drew Brees was sacked on third down by Dwight Freeney, who had been questioned all week if he was going to play or not. New Orleans settled for a 46 yard field goal by Garrett Hartley to cut the lead to 10-3. After stopping the Colts on their next possession, the Saints had a first and goal at the Indianapolis 3 yard line. However, the Colts manned up and stopped the drive on a fourth down play. New Orleans responded with a big defensive stop by forcing the Colts to a three and out.
The Saints were able to get the ball back after the punt, and drive down the field for a 44 yard field goal as time expired in the first half to cut the Indianapolis lead to 10-6. The shootout that everyone had expected was no were to be found, but you had the feeling that Manning and Brees would get it together at some point and start putting some points on the board.
The Saints started off the second half in surprising fashion by recovering an onside kick. New Orleans were able to capitalize on the trick play when Drew Brees hooked up with Pierre Thomas on a 16 yard screen pass to take their first lead of the game at 13-10.
Then Peyton Manning did what Peyton Manning does, and he led the Colts down the field and completed an absolutely perfect pass to Dallas Clark along the way that you just have to see. The drive was finished off by a 4 yard run to pay dirt by Joseph Addai to put the Colts back on top, 17-13. New Orleans answered right back, with a 47 yard field goal to tighten the score to 17-16.
On the next possession, Indianapolis was on move again but was forced to attempt a 51 yard field goal. Stover subsequently hooked the kick to the left, giving the Saints the ball with a chance to take the lead. Brees directed the Saints down the field, and hit Jeremy Shockey with a 2 yard TD pass for the go ahead score. New Orleans went for the two point conversion to try and go ahead by 7. Brees hit Lance Moore on an out route, but Moore juggled the ball and the pass was rule incomplete. New Orleans coach Sean Payton challenged the call, and ruling was overturned and the pass ruled complete and the conversion good.
With 5:42 left in the fourth quarter, the Saints were up by a score of 24-17. However, you got the feeling that Manning would show why he is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game and lead the Colts down the field for the game tying TD. Indianapolis was driving down the field, but near the Saints thirty yard line, the Colts face a third and five. Manning tried to hit Reggie Wayne on a quick slant for the first down, but Saints corner Tracy Porter undercut the route and picked off the pass and took it all the way to the house. After the extra point the Saints were in the lead 31-17.
Indianapolis' last gasp fell short, as Manning’s fourth down pass from the Saints’ five yard line went through Wayne’s hands and fell harmlessly to the turf. New Orleans kneeled on the ball once, and the celebration began, as the New Orleans Saints were the Super Bowl XLIV Champions by a score of 31-17.
Bourbon Street went crazy and Mardi Gras began a week early as Saints had done what many had thought impossible, and beat the Colts. Drew Brees was named the Super Bowl MVP, and the Saints had won for more than just themselves, they had won for a whole city. The team that used to be known as “The Aints”, are now sitting on top of the football world. Who Dat? The Saints are Dat.
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