The New Orleans Saints can forever put away the paper bags.
Sunday night in Miami, they not only answered all those questions, they took their place as the best team in the National Football League. Led by a great outing by the games MVP, quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints beat the favored Indianapolis Colts 31-17 to win their first ever Super Bowl trophy.
Brees tied a Super Bowl record with 32 completions, the last a 2-yard slant to Jeremy Shockey for the winning points with 5:42 remaining. The defense put the game away the following drive for the Colts, as cornerback Tracy Porter stepped in front of wide out Reggie Wayne and took back a pick 74 yards for the game clinching score to ice the win.
“We just believed in ourselves and we knew that we had an entire city and maybe an entire country behind us,” Brees said. “What can I say? I tried to imagine what this moment would be like for a long time and it’s better than expected.”
Colts QB Peyton Manning was 31-for-45 for 333 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Colts seemed on their way to their second title in four years, as they led 10-6 at halftime, and then 17-13 with 6:15 to play in the third quarter after Joseph Addai went in from 4 yards out.
That’s when the Saints took over. Their offense took it down for kicker Garrett Hartley to nail a 47-yard field goal to make it 17-16. Then in the fourth quarter after Colts kicker Matt Stover missed a 51-yard field goal wide left, Brees and the Saints went on a 9-play, 59-yard drive that ended with Brees hitting tight end Jeremy Shockey with a 2-yard TD pass, then Brees hit Lance Moore with the two-point conversion, which at first was ruled incomplete, but then overturned.
The Colts drove to the Saints 26 before Porter picked off Manning for the game-clinching score. “It’s time for the Saints to celebrate,” he said. “It’s their field and it’s their championship.”