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Reggie Wayne suggests Super Bowl XLIV pick-six wasn’t his fault

of the Indianapolis Colts of the New Orleans Saints during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Getty Images

Even as former Saints cornerback Tracy Porter was running to the end zone with the championship-clinching interception in Super Bowl XLIV, the blame already was landing on Colts receiver Reggie Wayne for failing to be in position to catch the ball. Which means, naturally, that the game-deciding blunder wasn’t the fault of quarterback Peyton Manning.

Wayne, the experts said, failed to “cross the face” of Porter, a football-guy term that means what it implies. Wayne needed to fight through Porter to be where Wayne needed to be when the ball arrived. Appearing on NFL Network’s Game Day Morning, Wayne suggested that none of that mattered because Porter saw the play coming.

Which makes it Manning’s fault.

“Let me tell you something about that,” Wayne said. “We ran that play about four times that game. He was waiting on it. He was waiting on it. He sat on it. He sat on it and he waited. He broke before I did. I didn’t help, I slipped a little bit. But he got there before I did. If I would have run the perfect route, I think he still would have got there before me.”

NFL Network’s Deion Sanders seemed to agree with Wayne, saying the Porter was sitting “in that rocking chair” waiting for the throw.

It meshes with what Porter said immediately after the game: “We knew that on third and short they stack, and they like the outside release for the slant.  It was great film study by me, a great jump and a great play.”

Porter later elaborated in an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show regarding what Porter saw and why he broke on the ball.

“We went to man-to-man coverage, and the formation that the Colts came out in is one that we’ve been studying the majority of the week,” Porter said. “With the inverted split end, [Austin] Collie we knew was going to motion down and they were going to run a stick route. The point guy, Reggie Wayne, was in the slot, and he was going to try to wide the part and out-leverage the corner and cut back across his face.

“Once I saw Collie motion in, I was like, ‘OK, here comes the stick route,’ and once I saw him try to wide the part, I just stepped inside and when he went to make the break to come back in I was already in front of him and I picked the ball off.”

Other scapegoats emerged, from the offensive line to running back Mike Hart. The guy who threw the pass — and who ran the offense with the ability at the line of scrimmage to make whatever adjustments he thought he needed to make — never was blamed for calling the play (or allowing the play to remain the call) and making the throw.

Why are we mentioning it now? First, Wayne said what he said while on NFL Network this morning. Second, it’s fair to consider Manning’s role in the event things go off the rails on Sunday, especially since the guys who’ll be working the game for CBS have a reputation for treating Peyton with kid gloves.

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39 Responses to “Reggie Wayne suggests Super Bowl XLIV pick-six wasn’t his fault”
  1. lemmetalkwouldya says: Jan 24, 2016 9:40 AM

    “Hey, has anyone seen my, err, my wife’s, HGH???”

    I can’t believe Roger Gooddell didn’t order an IMMEDIATE investigation into this.

  2. realfootballfan says: Jan 24, 2016 9:41 AM

    The only people who have been blaming Wayne are the Peyton Manning sycophants. I mean he just only has several other examples of him shrinking in big playoff moments to draw on, but I guess some people still need to have heroes to believe in. You know, unicorns and all that kind of stuff.

  3. patsxsaintsfan says: Jan 24, 2016 9:42 AM

    One of the greatest single plays in super bowl history. My family got season tickets to the saints from a friend the year they rebuilt the dome and that’s when I really started to like football. My moms first game that season was the blocked punt and my first game I remember reggie bush returning a punt. I loved going to those games and seeing that team win the super bowl a few years later was amazing especially when it was against manning.

  4. clarencewhorley says: Jan 24, 2016 9:44 AM

    Blasphemy. Peyton Manning has never made a mistake in his life. When everyone in the world picked the Colts and Peyton threw 3 picks to Ty Law (should be in the HOF) and only scored 3 points it was 100% everyone else’s fault.

  5. patsfan says: Jan 24, 2016 9:57 AM

    he also said his departure from the Pats camp was due to it “not being any fun there.”

    Reggie Wayne is writing the Reggie Wayne story hoping that someone will read it and send him to Canton.

  6. truthfactory says: Jan 24, 2016 9:57 AM

    If you think Peyton “doesn’t get enough blame” for his performances, I completely disagree. Every conversation around Peyton revolves around his playoff performances.

    On the flip side, does the media give too much credit to Brady? Much of his legacy (3 Superbowls) was built while being a game manager, much like Alex Smith has been this year. He won a Superbowl throwing for 140 yards. He won an AFC championship while throwing 3 picks. Yet these games are all included in his “Legacy”.

    As far as I’m concerned, Brady became an actual “Great” QB on the field in 2007 to present where he has been the focal point of the team and offense. He’s done a great job since then making it to 3 SB’s and winning one.

    My point is, QB’s always get extra credit, and blame regardless of what is happening with coaching or the other 2 phases of the game.

  7. PATRIOTSDYNASTYLIVES says: Jan 24, 2016 9:59 AM

    I dont understand the significance of talking about this now but more importantly throwing Manning under the bus so to speak. Nothing goods gonna come from it. His stay in New England was very short and Im glad . He spent three weeks there and ripped the team for no reason too……….he always was a Colt even with the Pats practice uniform on………

  8. rufustfirefly1303 says: Jan 24, 2016 9:59 AM

    Great article. Its always someone elses fault when manning pees down his leg, according to the ballwashers. Just like its unthinkable he would ever take hgh

  9. takingbacksundays5 says: Jan 24, 2016 10:02 AM

    What’s the obsession with “blame” here? Why can’t we simply give credit to Tracy Porter??

    Porter made a great play. From film study, Porter recognized the formation and understood the play. This knowledge allowed him to utilize his physical talents to then capitalize and get the pick.

    While other factors certainly played a role, it was Porter’s split-second recognition and reaction that resulted in the outcome. He deserves credit.

  10. gilamu says: Jan 24, 2016 10:04 AM

    “My point is, QB’s always get extra credit, and blame regardless of what is happening with coaching or the other 2 phases of the game.”

    You’re right; they absolutely do. But with Peyton Manning, there is always that sense of him managing and tweaking that credit or legacy.

    Look at when he passed Favre’s record, and when he went to retrieve the ball, his teammates played keep-away with it. Turns out he had planned and even practiced it with them.

  11. youknowiknowitall says: Jan 24, 2016 10:06 AM

    the guys who’ll be working the game for CBS have a reputation for treating Peyton with kid gloves …

    while also donning their knee pads and removing their dentures.

  12. belicheckisgod says: Jan 24, 2016 10:08 AM

    If your going to give Manning all the credit when things go right, I think he deserves the blame when he screws up. Unfortunately most every national media pundit believes he is a god and it could never be his fault. Brady has the NFL record with 22 playoff wins vs Peyton’s nfl record 13 playoff losses. Enough said.

  13. manningcheats says: Jan 24, 2016 10:08 AM

    The Peyton Manning “mystique” is a false narrative perpetuated by his toadies in the media and in the league. His history in big games, going back to his time at Tennisee, has been spotty at best. He’s had success piling up big stats playing in a dome with a GM who ran to the rules committee to tailor the rules to enhance that succes, but the truth of the matter is his entire career has been overshadowed by Brady, and by Rothlesberger for that matter, when it comes to the ultimate prize. Ask Marino about holding a bag full of passing records. One day someone else will come along and break those records, relegating you to a footnote in history. The truly immortal greats make their mark in the the spotlight in the biggest games of their careers. Manning has proven time and again that he withers under the intense heat of that spotlight.

  14. rbell2123 says: Jan 24, 2016 10:10 AM

    Peyton Manning is most Overrated player of all time just ahead of Brett Favre.

  15. cinvis says: Jan 24, 2016 10:14 AM

    And its Wilsons fault for the Butler pick, but rarely does anyone say that… Media darling disorder

  16. 12brichandfamous says: Jan 24, 2016 10:22 AM

    Manning already had blame for the pick. It’s called statistics and they show Manning threw a pick.

  17. quinzze says: Jan 24, 2016 10:29 AM

    Stats are for losers…Brady didn’t become great starting in 07 because he was the focal point of the offense his decision making and solid play that had won his team 3 Super Bowls did. A game manager is a good thing espeshely when the system he’s in is a first down offence. On 3rd and 5 Bledsoe would go for 15 to 20 yard outs and possibly get sacked,picked,or incomplete forcing a punt… Brady would hit a quick pass for 6 yards to get the first down and keep the offense moving. The difference was night and day for the Pats in 01 when Brady took over and I’ll take his game management over his stats any day. (BTW Brady’s 3 picks came in 07 VS the chargers as he was force feeding Moss because he was the focal point.)

  18. valentino8100 says: Jan 24, 2016 10:34 AM

    Jim Nantz’ man-crush on Peyton Manning is enough to make me want to puke.

  19. spoiledsport99 says: Jan 24, 2016 10:38 AM

    Football is a team sport, win as a team lose as a team. It’s never one players fault.

  20. parilli15 says: Jan 24, 2016 10:50 AM

    Yup. Brady really sucked in his first Super Bowl when he passed for only 145 yards. And that 53-yard drive with no time outs left from the Patriots 17 to the Rams 30 into field goal territory was simple “game management” that any Alex Smith could have carried put. I remember broadcaster John Madden predicting a Patriots victory the moment they got the ball with 1:21 on the clock because the task ahead was so easy.

  21. noteamforlosangeles says: Jan 24, 2016 11:00 AM

    Look at the bright side…Peyton won something for the Saints that his father never did (in a way)

  22. benjitx777 says: Jan 24, 2016 11:09 AM

    Saints should have never been in the Super Bowl in the first place, as they, and the refs, cheated the Vikings in the NFC Championship.

  23. spiffybiff says: Jan 24, 2016 11:10 AM

    Just like the Malcolm butler pick it was a great play by porter. The guys who play defense are pretty good. That’s why they get paid

  24. babyjunkie says: Jan 24, 2016 11:16 AM

    Blame whomever you want. Blame Porter. The Saints won XLIV. WHO DAT?!

  25. roseann894 says: Jan 24, 2016 11:18 AM

    Ari Fleischer, start earning your money.

  26. sladewilson85 says: Jan 24, 2016 11:24 AM

    sounds like a play calling issue, not a Manning or Wayne issue.

  27. cobrala2 says: Jan 24, 2016 11:43 AM

    Old news. Saints D bragged about it years ago. Might have been part of the Saints America’s team episode on NFL network.

  28. northeastkiller says: Jan 24, 2016 11:59 AM

    No kidding. As a Saints fan I remember well how Porter’s account got ignored in favor of a media pile-on for Reggie Wayne so poor ol’ Peyton went blameless, and such shameless Peyton toadying in the media is a reason why I’m pulling for the Pats today…the Pats get their hype, but at least they’ve earned it. Nothing ever being Peyton’s fault is ridiculous.

  29. koenig61 says: Jan 24, 2016 12:07 PM

    I agree with the other posters. QBs get too much credit for success, and too much blame for failure. It’s the nature of the position. You could easily have written an article on how every time Tom Brady throws and incompletion, it’s because of how inexperienced his receivers are, or how they ran the wrong route, it’s never Brady’s fault. I rarely hear an announcer blame tom Brady. I just read an article on here that praised manning for his football knowledge and how he could be a coach. So maybe Wayne was a little late getting to his route, maybe meaning was too predictable in his play calling, perhaps he didn’t even call the play, perhaps Wayne said run this route, I’m always open, perhaps Porter made a great play, or just perhaps there’s a little truth to all of it, and that’s why they play the games on the field and not based on statistics.

  30. dirtmcgirt24 says: Jan 24, 2016 12:12 PM

    Little known fact: every time Peyton had lost in Jaunary has been someone else’s fault.

  31. hawkforlife says: Jan 24, 2016 12:21 PM

    Why does anyone care what Deion Sanders says ??

  32. inallsincerity says: Jan 24, 2016 12:44 PM

    With the exception of Johnny Football, they treat all White QBs with kid gloves. That throw was on Peyton and no one else. Just like last year’s SB, that throw was on lil’ Johnny Mathis, although Bevell made the dumb play call. Year after year, I hear the commentators make excuses for White QBs but always place the blame on a Black QB. For instance, a WR comes across the middle and the white QB throws the ball a little behind the receiver, who drops it. First thing out of the TV analyst’s mouth is that the WR has to help the QB out in that situation, adding if it hit the WR’s hands, it should’ve been caught. Same scenario with a Black QB, the same TV analyst will say the Black QB is terribly inaccurate, adding that the Black QB is going to get his WR blown up throwing a pass behind his WR across the middle. If it gets picked off, then you start hearing comments like, “not a smart throw” and such. Like they say on the four-letter network, “C’mon man!!!”

  33. jolink653 says: Jan 24, 2016 1:23 PM

    @ inallsincerity

    That can’t be a serious comment, can it? Wes Welker was one of the most dependable receivers in the last ten or fifteen years and what will he always be remembered for? The drop in 2011 against the Giants, and the debate is always on who made the worse play, Brady or Welker. I’ve watched a lot of football and I’ve never seen any disparity on how commentators treat QBs of different races. They get on any QB for making a terrible throw and they get on the receiver if he drops a good pass. They did nothing but complement Teddy Bridgewater during the game against Seattle about how well he managed the game. Race has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    And that pick was on no one but Tracy Porter. Porter read the pass and made a fantastic play on the ball. Why is there a need to blame anyone? He studied it, recognized it and reacted accordingly. Give him and the Saints staff credit for practicing and learning it. It wasn’t on Wayne, Manning or any other Colts member. It was 100% on Tracy Porter

  34. patsfan1820 says: Jan 24, 2016 1:45 PM

    I’m sorry but for the guy that said the media never blames Brady and they always crack on Manning what color is the sky in your world? After Tom Brady lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 46 the ESPN, Deadspin, and all the sports media outlets ran with the headline is Tom Brady overrated hell they even got major dummy Rob Parker to say Brady would never reach another Super Bowl and the rest of the analysts other than the insufferable Skip Bayless nodded their heads in agreement. After the Super Bowl 48 loss by Manning and the Broncos to the Seahawks 43 to freaking 8 the analysts said this does nothing to tarnish his legacy. Get out of here with that revisionist crap.

  35. streetyson says: Jan 24, 2016 1:57 PM

    takingbacksundays5 says:
    Jan 24, 2016 10:02 AM
    What’s the obsession with “blame” here? Why can’t we simply give credit to Tracy Porter??
    ———————–
    I agree, but you see, fragile player-egos (or their supporters) prefer to blame others than congratulate an act/play superior to them (or their hero) because they can’t accept someone bested them. So they (or their sycophants) start blaming team-mates’ failures.

    Btw, much as I detest the too-unquestioning hero-worship of Peyton (they ignore teabagging and won’t drag him through the mud on medicinal-HGH like they have Brady over natural-PSI), I’m sure Peyton himself would simply say Porter made a great play.

  36. rajbais says: Jan 24, 2016 2:19 PM

    It’s about time the truth came out. Ever since 2003, the media has always tried to tell us how much greater than Peyton Manning is compared to not only the current greats but the all-time greats.

    Can we at least give Tracy Porter a hug and praise for being a good player? We were doing this to Malcolm Butler before he became good. Now Tracy Porter is showing that he can still play. Let us give porter his due before it is too late.

  37. switchwitch59 says: Jan 24, 2016 2:42 PM

    streetyson says:
    Jan 24, 2016 1:57 PM

    takingbacksundays5 says:
    Jan 24, 2016 10:02 AM
    What’s the obsession with “blame” here? Why can’t we simply give credit to Tracy Porter??
    ———————–
    I agree, but you see, fragile player-egos (or their supporters) prefer to blame others than congratulate an act/play superior to them (or their hero) because they can’t accept someone bested them. So they (or their sycophants) start blaming team-mates’ failures.

    Btw, much as I detest the too-unquestioning hero-worship of Peyton (they ignore teabagging and won’t drag him through the mud on medicinal-HGH like they have Brady over natural-PSI), I’m sure Peyton himself would simply say Porter made a great play.
    ———————–
    As to that last sentence, you’re wrong. Peyton might say that today, but at the time, he was the first one to throw Reggie Wayne under the bus. You’ve forgotten that, when he was with the Colts, Peyton always threw his teammates under the bus. He doesn’t do it as much with the Broncos, but he does still do it.

  38. Magyver says: Jan 24, 2016 7:03 PM

    The quarterback has to aim to the spot the receiver is, not the other way around.

  39. uncletuna says: Jan 25, 2016 11:30 PM

    If you think the announcers have a mancrush on Manning, wonder what y’all think when the CamLove starts…

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