Saints March To Their First Super Bowl Win
The New Orleans Saints made a statement yesterday, with their 31-17 victory over the Colts in Super Bowl 44. They are for real, and the new power house in the NFC. Drew Brees was pretty much perfect after the 1st quarter yesterday, and was well deserving of the MVP award. Though two other people should have been considered for the award, and that is head coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. They both coached a brilliant game yesterday and put the Saints in a position to win.
While the Saints offensive line had no trouble keeping Brees upright, Payton did a great job of ensuring Brees had plenty of short and dump off targets to keep the chains moving. Brees and Payton more or less neutralized the Colts pass rush by staying out of 3rd and long passing situations. And Payton had the call of the year, by onsiding the 2nd half kickoff. What made the call even bolder was the fact that the earlier bold call, of going for it on 4th and goal didn’t go his way. That onside kick changed the course of the game, not only was the Colts defense unprepared to stop Brees, but I think it finally allowed the Saints to believe they could win the game.
The other coach that deserves a lot of credit is Williams, whose defense was the first to beat Peyton Manning this season. While overall the Saints had a great game plan, and much will be made about the interception return, three drives in particular epitomized the Saints performance yesterday. The first was the Colts first drive of the game. Manning was moving the Colts down the field, and it looked like a given that they would be putting 7 points on the board. Instead the Saints defense tightened up and held them to a field goal. The next key drive of the game, was early in the 4th quarter after the Saints cut the Colts lead to 17-16, and Peyton Manning converted a 4th and 2 to the Saints 32. Again it seemed as though Peyton was about to score and make it an 8 point lead. At the very least, the Colts needed about 3-5 yards to attempt a fairly makable field goal, instead the Saints forced them to lose 3 yards and Indianapolis missed a 51-yard field goal (which also gave the Saints offense great field position). The last defensive drive of the game, really showed the Saints tenacity. Manning drove the Colts down to the Saints 13 with just under two minutes remaining and a pair of timeouts. Sure the Colts would have needed to score and get the onside kick, but it looked like the Colts were about to make it a one score game, yet they never found the endzone. All-in-all it was a tremendous performance by the Saints defense to bend, but not break to the Colts offense.
The real MVP of the game of course was the field general, Drew Brees. After the first quarter Brees went 29 of 32 and just left the Colts guessing. He did a fantastic job of executing Sean Payton’s game plan, and constantly kept the chains and the clock moving. Brees’ performance was even more impressive given the fact that the Saints running game completely disappeared last night, managing just 51 yards and 2.8 yards per carry. Despite being one dimensional, the Saints passing attack was incredibly effective. Hopefully with the Super Bowl win and MVP award, Brees will start being thought of among the elite quarterbacks in the league (in all honesty outside of Peyton, who can you say is better than Brees?). It shouldn’t be to much of a debate though since I don’t see the Saints going anywhere as long as Brees is behind center.