New Orleans Saints Win Emotional Super Bowl XLIV

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Leading 24-17 and trying to stop the Colts, CB Tracy Porterintercepted a Peyton Manning pass and raced 74-yards for a touchdown that gave the Saints a 31-17 lead. Porter, a native of Louisiana, delivered the first Super Bowl title in Saints history.

The Saints staved off two consecutive early scoring drives that staked the Colts to a 10-0 lead and responded with two long distance field goals by Garrett Hartley, including a 46-yard as time expired in the first half to bring the Saints to within four points of the Colts, 10-6.

WR Devery Henderson

WR Devery Henderson

The Saints out gained to Colts in the first half, 179 yards to 169 yards with the ten yard advantage primarily in passing game, as Drew Brees threw for 164 yards in the first half to Peyton Manning’s 97 yards.

The Indianapolis Colts opened the scoring with a 38-yard field goal by Matt Stover, giving the Colts a 3-0 lead 7:31 into the game and followed it up with a 96-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Colts QB Peyton Manning to WR Pierre Garcon that made the score 10-0. The Saints responded early in the second quarter when K Garrett Hartley hit a 46-yard field goal and the second year kicker finished the half with a 44-yard effort that made the score 10-6.

The Saints won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff from Colts kicker Matt Stover. KR Courtney Roby returned the kickoff 20 yards to the Saints’ 23. On first down RB Pierre Thomas tried the middle of the line for a gain of two yards, and on second down Brees checked a pass down to Thomas for a pickup of six yards. Brees, on third down, tried to hit a streaking Robert Meachem down the seam but overthrew the speedster by a few feet. Thomas Morstead hit a 42-yard punt that wasn’t returned for any yards as Roby hit rushing as soon as he caught the punt at the Indy 27.

Indianapolis and Peyton Manning came out firing on first down, with an 18-yard completion to TE Dallas Clark on first down. On the ensuing first down from the 45, RB Joseph Addai picked up two yards, while a second down pass to Addai picked up four yards. The Colts converted their first third down of the game when Manning hit Clark over the middle for a gain of seven yards. The Saints again seemed to have the Colts facing a third and long (seven yards), but Manning found WR Austin Collie for a gain of 14 yards and another first down. Addai the picked up three yards on the ground on first down, but the Colts were guilty of an illegal motion on G Kyle DeVan, which pushed the Colts back five yards. Manning and Addai then teamed to pick up seven yards, but the Saints stopped the Colts on a third-and-five when Manning and WR Pierre Garcon couldn’t connect and the Colts ended the 11-play, 53 yard drive with a 38-yard field goal by Stover.

The Saints began their second drive at their own 26 and after a first down incompletion, Brees hit Marques Colston for a gain of three yards. On third-and-seven Brees foundReggie Bush over the middle of the field for a completion, and Bush turned it up-field and picked up 16 yards and a first down. After a three-yard run by Bush, Brees found Colston over the middle, but the big receiver appeared to take his eyes off the ball at the last second and dropped a pass. Brees tried to find Colston again on third down but S Matt Giordano broke the pass up. Morstead hit a 46-yard punt that was down at the Indy by Roby.

RB Reggie Bush

RB Reggie Bush

On first down Manning threw a short pass to RB Donald Brown that picked up 11 yards and a first down. On the next first down Manning’s pass to Brown was incomplete. Addai found a hole for 16 yards on second down. On first down from the 31 pressure from LB Scott Shanle forced an incompletion, but Addai came right back with a pick up of 11 yards and another first down. Manning and Reggie Wayne picked up five yards to the Indy 47, and Brown picked up four yards on second down. On a third-and-one Addai shook a tackle and went for 26 yards. After a first down incompletion, Brown picked up four yards on a carry up the middle. On third-and-six from the 19, Manning faked a handoff and found WR Pierre Garcon in the end zone for a touchdown. After Stover’s extra point the Colts led 10-0 with :36 left in the first quarter.

The Saints responded with an 11-play drive that covered 60 yards in 6:02. Big plays on the drive included an 11-yard pass from Brees to Colston, a short run by Bush that was aided by Colts LB Phillip Wheeler hit Bush out of bounds and added 15 yards to the run, and a 10-yard completion between Brees and Colston. The drive ended on a third-and-three from the Indy 22 when DE Dwight Freeney sacked Brees for a loss of seven-yards. KGarrett Hartley put the Saints on the scoreboard with a 46-yard field goal that made the score 10-3.

The Saints then forced a Colts three-and-out, with Pat McAfee hitting a 44 yard effort that was fair caught by Bush at the Saints’ 28.

The Saints began the drive with a first down incompletion on a pass intended for TEJeremy Shockey, but Brees came right back and hit Pierre Thomas for a gain of six yards. Brees and Colston converted the third down with a 13-yard completion. Bush then added a yard rushing on first down, and Brees and Shockey teamed up for a gain of seven yards on second down. On third down Brees found WR Lance Moore for a gain of 21 yards to the Indy 23. Devery Henderson was then stopped for a loss of seven yards on first down, but on second-and-17 Brees hit Colston over the middle for a gain of 27 yards to the Colts’ 3. CB Kelvin Hayden stopped Brees and Moore for no gain on a first down out route. Zach Strief was then flagged for a false start that pushed the Saints back five yards, but Thomas picked up seven yards on a second down carry to the Colts’ one-yard line on the final play before the two-minute warning.

On a third-and-goal Bell tried to get around the right tackle but slipped in the face of heavy Colts pressure. The Colts called their first timeout of the half with 1:55 remaining and the Saints facing a fourth-and-goal from the one. The Saints showed a multiple receiver set and ran a handoff to Thomas, who was stopped short of the goal line by LB Gary Brackett and LB Clint Session.

Indianapolis attempted to come off the goal line with inside runs and picked up four yards by Mike Hart on first down and five yards by Addai on second down. The Saints called their first timeout of the half with: 51 remaining and with the Colts facing a third-and-one. The Saints stacked up Hart at the line of scrimmage when Bobby McCray split a block and stopped the running back. The Saints called their second timeout with :46 left in the half and forced McAfee to punt from his own end zone. McAfee hit a 46-yard punt that Bush returned four yards to the Saints’ 48.

Brees hit Henderson over the middle for a gain of 19 yards and Brees directed the team to the line of scrimmage when he clocked the ball with :20 left. Brees then hit Henderson in the flat for gain of six yards and the Saints called their final timeout with :11 left. Brees hit Bush for a short gain and the running back stepped out of bounds with :05 left. Hartley ended the first half with a 44-yard field goal that narrowed the margin to 10-6 after the first half.

The Saints started the second half with a surprise onside kickoff that was recovered by LB Jonathan Casillas. The ball appeared to hit Colts receiver Hank Baskett but Reis came out of the pile with it at the Saints’ 42. Brees then hit Thomas over the middle for a gain of 12 yards. Brees then found Henderson crossing over the middle for a gain of nine yards and came right back to Henderson for five yards and a first down. Colston then helped Brees continue his hot hand, as the two teamed up for a gain of nine yards to the Indy 23. Thomas hit a cutback run for seven yards to the 16 for a first down and on the next play Brees hit Thomas on a screen pass that the elusive running back turned into a touchdown and the Saints’ first lead of the game, 13-10.

Starting at the Indy 24, Manning hit Clark for seven yards, then Addai for five yards and a first down. Addai then weaved his way through a hole for an 11-yard gain and another first down. Manning connected with Collie for a gain of two yards before Scott Fujitatracked him down. Addai tried a cutback run before being stopped by Hargrove on second down and the Colts, on a third and four witnessed Manning roll to his right and loft a perfect pass to Clark for a gain of 27 yards to the Saints’ 20. Manning tried to find Clark again but Shanle batted the ball away. A short completion and a run brought up another third down, with Manning again finding Clark over the middle of the field. Two plays later Addai spun out of a tackle and found the end zone from four yards out, giving the Colts the lead, 17-13, with 6:15 left in the third quarter.

Roby then returned the ensuing kickoff 34 yards to the Saints’ 34, where after an officials timeout the Saints set up shop. Thomas started the drive with a five-yard run. Brees found Bush circling out of the backfield for a 13-yard gain to the Indy 48. Following a first down incompletion, Brees hit Henderson for a gain of 12 yards and another first down. A first down completion to Meachem didn’t net any yards, but a second down carry by Thomas added three yards to the drive. A third down pass to Shockey picked up four yards, but was three yards shy of the first down. Hartley, with a 47-yard field goal, became the first player in Super Bowl history to convert three field goals from 40-yards or further in a single game. The score, after Hartley’s third field goal was 17-16.

The Saints’ Anthony Hargrove and Malcolm Jenkins leveled kickoff return man Chad Simpson at the Indy 11 after Morstead’s 74-yard kickoff. Manning and Collie started the drive with a nine-yard completion and Brown converted a second down into a first down with a five yard run. Manning, on the final play of the third quarter, found Collie for a gain of four yards. Manning then found Garcon cutting towards the middle of the field for a gain of 17 yards for another first down. Jonathan Vilma stopped Addai in the backfield for a loss of two yards on first down, and Manning tried to find Wayne deep downfield on second down but tight coverage by Tracy Porter forced an incompletion. On third-and-12 Manning found Wayne for a gain of nine yards, and Manning convinced the Indy coaching staff to go for it on fourth-and-three, with Manning finding Wayne on a slant for 14 yards to the Saints’ 32. Addai then picked up two yards on first down, butMalcolm Jenkins stopped Collie for a loss of three yards on second down. Vilma defended a seam route on third down, which forced Stover to try a 51-yard field goal, which he pulled to the left, giving the Saints the ball at the Saints’ 41.

Bush started the drive with an inside handoff that he turned into a 12-yard gain and into Indy territory. Brees then bought time and hit Pierre Thomas for a five-yard gain. Brees and Henderson teamed up for Henderson’s sixth reception of the game, this time a six-yarder for a first down. Brees and Bush then joined forces on a completion of eight yards to Indy 28. Brees found Colston for eight more yards to the 20 and another first down. Meachem then took a smoke screen and broke two tackles and picked up six yards to the 14. David Thomas caught his first reception of the game on a pass over the middle to the five for a gain of nine yards. Pierre Thomas then took a handoff and picked up three yards and on second down Brees hit Shockey slanting into the end zone for a touchdown. On the drive Brees hit all seven of his passes. The Saints went for two points but were stopped when Moore couldn’t haul in a pass attempt from Brees. The Saints led 22-17 with 5:42 left to play in the game. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton challenged the ruling on the field, stating that Moore had possession of the ball and got it over the goal-line, thus giving the Saints the two-point conversion and a lead, 24-17.

Brees’ 32 completions tied a Super Bowl record for most completions in a game (Tom Brady-Super Bowl XXXVIII against Carolina).

Simpson returned the ball to the Colts’ 30 with 5:35 left in the game and with the Colts trailing with a touchdown and an extra point. Ryan Diem was hit with a false start penalty on first and ten, but Manning bought plenty of time and hit Garcon for a 17-yard gain. Jenkins dove in front of a pass intended for Wayne and knocked the pass away. Manning came back and found Garcon for ten yards and then Wayne for 12 yards. Wayne reeled in another pass for a gain of five yards on first down and the Saints pressured Manning into an incompletion on second down from the Saints’ 31. On third and five Wayne tried to find Wayne but Porter stepped in front of the pass and streaked 74-yards for a touchdown that gave the Saints a 31-17 lead with 3:12 left.

Manning hit Clark for a short gain before being drilled over the middle by Jenkins on a crushing hit after a pickup of five yards. Manning and Clark completed another pass, this time for 11 yards. Manning and Collie teamed up for a 41-yard completion on the final play before the two-minute warning.

Manning and Addai then joined forces for a 17-yard completion, and again for six yards on the next play with Hargrove getting flagged for a late hit. Manning tried to hit Garcon in the end zone, but Garcon was flagged for offensive pass interference with 1:27 left in the game. Manning hit Addai over the middle on a pass that took the ball to the Saints’ three with 1:16 left and the Colts used their first timeout of the second half. Shanle batted a Manning pass into the air on second down and on a third down Addai tried the middle of the line but was stopped by Sedrick Ellis. On fourth down Manning’s pass was batted away by Shanle.

Updated 02-08-2010

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