While many will point to the back breaking pick of Tracy Porter as the play that cost the Indy Colts their second chance at a title in four seasons, the Colts offense, one that played so well in playoff wins over the Ravens and Jets, never seemed to get into a flow in Super Bowl XLIV.
“We probably never got into a great rhythm,” Peyton Manning said. “We were certainly worse in lapses in our final possession. Like you said, we got the ball on the first drive and had a good drive, then the second drive went down there and scored and then it was strange there after that not having, I think maybe six plays in the second quarter then of course once the Saints won the toss, it was big to hold them there at the end of the first half on that goal line stand. Disappointing possession on that next series not being able to maintain the ball, run the clock out, gave them three more points, and then we let them have the onsides kick on that first series of the second half. That kind of negated the coin toss. That was disappointing so certainly made it tough.”
The Saints deserve the credit for keeping the ball as long as they did, as it was about 70 minutes in between when the Colts ran offensive plays. While in a normal game that would have been a lot less considering The Who doesn’t usually play halftime at most games, it was hard for the offense to get things going after sitting for so long.
“Every possession felt precious out there. I was disappointed on the first series having to settle for a field goal,” Manning said. “Then we had a third-down drop which stopped another drive, had the third one where we got stopped, and then moved the ball pretty well in the second half when we had it. Then obviously the turnover – disappointing – then the turnover on downs at the end of the game was disappointing.”
Three years ago it was Manning and the Colts that were celebrating the euphoria of a Super Bowl title, and now, it’s pretty much the same Colts team that will have to sit back and talk about how tough it is to watch another team celebrate with the Lombardi Trophy.
“We are disappointed; certainly having won a Super Bowl three years ago I know how exciting it was for our team and for our players and our fans,” Manning said. “So I know the people of New Orleans and the Saints have that same feeling right now and I congratulate them.”