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New Orleans Saints Beat Indianapolis Colts 31-17

Erin Ennis

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In an epic clash between the top teams in the NFC and AFC, the New Orleans Saints were able to rally in the second half past Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts to win Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, Florida on Sunday Feb. 7. Screams and shouts of the Saints slogan, “Who Dat!?” echoed through Bourbon Street as the underdogs won 31 to 17 after a startling first half 7 point deficit.

Pointing the way: Saints star Tracy Porter runs back an interception for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts. (A REUTERS PHOTO)

During the regular season, the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts were considered the powerhouses of their respective divisions. The Indianapolis Colts, considered to be one of the greatest teams in NFL history, went 14-2 in a controversial season that ended with unnecessary second string losses in December. Led by star quarterback Peyton Manning, a phenomenal line composed of tight end Dallas Clark and rookie wide receiver Austin Collie, and a powerful defense driven by defensive end Dwight Freeney, the Colts were considered the best passing and defensive team in the entire AFC. While they struggled in the post season against the Jets, the Indianapolis Colts were expected to be hard opponents in Super Bowl XLIV. The New Orleans Saints were no exception. Finishing 13-3 in the NFC, the Saints were able to rally over the veteran quarterback Brett Favre in the NFC Championship Game to clinch their respectful Super Bowl title. With quarterback Drew Brees and running back Reggie Bush, the Saints were considered unstoppable offensively.

The “Aints”, as the New Orleans team has been called in the past, took the field for Super Bowl XLIV cautiously in the first half. After winning the coin toss, the Saints under direction of Coach Sean Payton went three and out and allowed the Colts to pick up an easy field goal. On their next drive, Indianapolis marched down field to score their first touchdown with Pierre Garcon. The Saints responded with a 46 yard field goal from Garrett Hartley. The Colts looked to be in a rhythm, however, as they continuously pushed New Orleans defensively and made big play stops. New Orleans was forced into halftime with a 44 yard field goal and a slim 10-6 deficit.

The Who took the Super Bowl stage during half time and wowed the crowd with an intense light show and some of their oldest hits. While an older British band, The Who still delivered an incredibly interesting and powerful performance that lacked the normal “weird” moments that come from most Super Bowl bands.

The New Orleans Saints started the second half in the most unusual and fantastic way: an onside kick recovered by Chris Reis. The Saints, finally looking like the offense known throughout the NFC, came to life as Pierre Thomas rushed into the end zone to take the first Saints lead of the game. In his normally simplistic way, Manning responded with a simple touchdown to Joseph Addai to raise the score to 17-13. The half however, was dominated by the Saints, who went on to score and convert on a two point try. The oldest kicker in NFL Super Bowl history missed for the Colts as the Saint’s Hartley made history by completing his third 40 + yard field goal kick.

In a surprise and final note to the game, cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted Peyton Manning for a 76 yard touchdown run. The Colts’ final attempt for a comeback was stopped by the Saints defense as players raced to the field to celebrate the franchise’s victory.

In the post game, Sean Payton held up and kissed the Vince Lombardi trophy, shouting “Who Dat!?” as Drew Brees came to accept the award for MVP. Son in hand, Brees smiled to the crowd as he accepted the trophy to take home to New Orleans.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
New Orleans Saints Beat Indianapolis Colts 31-17