The New Orleans Saints used a 14 point fourth quarter to defeat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 on Sunday to win their first Superbowl in franchise history. Drew Brees broke open a tight game midway through the final quarter with his touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey, and Tracy Porter scored on a 74 yard interception return as the Colts were driving on the next series to secure the victory. Brees was named Superbowl MVP on the basis of his 288 yard, 2 touchdown, 0 interception performance.
After enthusiasts had come in early on the favored Colts, a good deal of buyback on the Saints had pushed the line to -4′ and the New Orleans backers were enriched by their team’s outright victory. The underdog has now covered three straight Superbowls and taken the money in five of the last seven games. The 48 points scored stayed well under the posted total of 57.
In his postgame interview, Brees gave much of the credit to the city of New Orleans:
“We play for so much more than ourselves. We played for our city. We played for the entire Gulf Coast region. We played for the entire Who Dat nation that has been behind us every step of the way. It means everything. We’re here because of their strength and everything they fought through here the last few years. They’ve given us so much support, so we owe it all to our fans.”
“Just to think of the road we’ve all traveled, the adversity we’ve all faced. It’s unbelievable. I mean, are you kidding me? Four years ago, whoever thought this would be happening? Eighty-five percent of the city was under water. Most people left not knowing if New Orleans would ever come back, or if the organization would ever come back. We just all looked at one another and said, ‘We’re going to rebuild together. We are going to lean on each other.’ That’s what we’ve done the last four years and this is the culmination in all that belief.”
Never known for his elocution, Peyton Manning had little to say after the game particularly about the decisive interception return:
“Made a great play. Made a great play. Corner made a heck of a play. Certainly disappointing, very disappointing. Disappointing.”
Saints’ coach Sean Payton made a bold call at the beginning of the second half when he called for an onside kick. New Orleans recovered and linebacker Jonathan Casalis suggested it was a game changing play:
“We were really excited when he made the call. That changed everything.”
Payton explained the unusual decision:
“We’re going to be aggressive. We’d seen the onside kick all week and guys executed it well. It turned out to be a big change of possession.”
The city of New Orleans will celebrate their team’s victory with a parade. With Mardi Gras celebrations already scheduled to begin shortly thereafter, it could be quite some time before New Orleans returns to business as usual. Add New Orleans to cities like Miami, Bar Harbour, Palm Springs and Fire Island as must see spots for any fabulous football fan on the go.
Ross Everett is a widely published freelance sports writer and respected authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Northern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former interior secretary James Watt.