Five years ago Saturday, the Saints’ daring paid off big-time

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Five years ago Saturday, the Saints made their lone Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, and they emerged victorious, pulling away to a 31-17 win over Indianapolis in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Super Bowl XLIV was, in many ways, a legacy-making triumph for Saints quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton.

Brees was spectacular in his first Super Bowl appearance, completing 32-of-39 passes for 288 yards for two touchdowns and garnering MVP honors. He threw just one incompletion after halftime, connecting on 16-of-17 attempts for 124 yards and both TDs as New Orleans outscored Indianapolis 25-7 in the final two quarters.

Payton, meanwhile, oversaw a team and coaching staff that made the most of its chance on the Super Bowl stage. The Saints didn’t commit a turnover, and they were assessed just three penalties. They were sound, and they were well-prepared.

Most of all, the Saints weren’t scared.

The Saints’ onside kick to begin the second half was as bold as it was surprising. If it failed, the Colts — who led 10-6 — would have had the ball around the New Orleans 45.

However, Colts wide receiver Hank Baskett couldn’t handle Thomas Morstead’s bounding kick, and Saints safety Chris Reis recovered. Six plays later, the Saints took the lead on Brees’ 16-yard toss to Pierre Thomas.

Then, with the Saints holding on to a 24-17 lead late with 3:24 left, the defense made the game-clinching play. On a third-down play, the Saints blitzed, and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning aimed for Reggie Wayne. Cornerback Tracy Porter stepped in front, and he was on his way to a 74-yard touchdown.

Porter’s pick-six and the onside kick are part of Super Bowl lore, and they were products of a fearlessness that merits its own place in game history, too.

42 responses to “Five years ago Saturday, the Saints’ daring paid off big-time

  1. And Elway wants to keep Peyton Manning around on an off chance he has enough arm left to get the Broncos beyond the usual one-and-done before choking in SuperBowl 50? Come on, man.

  2. This Super Bowl was tainted by Bounty Gate and will forever have an asterisk on it.

    Not to mention Reggie Bush Mr. Jr Bill Cosby spiking girls drinks.

    Give the Minnesota Vikings our rightfully deserved Super Bowl ring.

  3. Oh for crying out loud will you people stop calling everything tainted! I could care less about the Saints but give it a rest already. Every super bowl champion you’ve ever seen is legit and deserved. Get over it!

  4. This is the difference between manning and Brady. Brady’s guys make plays, mannings don’t. garcon drop, baskets flub, versus Adam V. and Malcolm butler.

  5. Yeah, what a great moment in NFL history. That whole bounty gate thing where they ended Kurt Warner’s career and then lied about it repeatedly. How cool for them. What a memory.

  6. thepftpoet says:
    Feb 7, 2015 1:24 PM

    Give the Minnesota Vikings our rightfully deserved Super Bowl ring.

    I never knew the Vikes won the Super Bowl for the Saints?! a team must get there, then earn it, to deserve it. just be glad they changed the over time rules for you cry babies. …Nah that was more of goodells hate for the Saints then anything hince the bounty stuff you cry about all the time.

  7. What a great reward for a team that paid to have their opponents maimed!

    —————————————————————

    Name one player that was ever maimed by the Saints. Just one. I’ll give you a thousand dollars if you can give me just one.

  8. The only thing that’s almost as good as remembering how great that game was is knowing that Vikings fans are still butt-hurt over losing their only chance at getting there.

  9. The Saints beat the Colts in the SB, no question about it. Despite several Vikings turnovers, if it wasn’t for the hatchet job done on the Vikings by referee Pete Morelli and his crew in the NFCCG — ESPN, for example, had a four minute piece on the wrong and missed calls all in favor of the Saints — the Vikings, not the Saints, would have faced the Colts in the SB.

  10. There is a lot, and i mean A LOT of documented evidence showing the intentional illegal targeting of Vikings players in the NFCCG and the insane amount of missed calls. Its all on YouTube if anyone cares about the truth. People so seldom do these days, but I digress, the game should never have even been that close in the first place for the pick to occur. Look it up.

  11. To all those idiots who think that the saints didn’t deserve to win because of bounty then I guess we have to take away jerry rices hall of fame status since he used stickum
    Michael Jordan only one five times because he pushed off on the game winner
    also did a bounty cause the Vikings to fumble six times or cause garret Hartley kick the field goal in OR

    SHUT UP AND DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT MINNESOTA VIKINGS WILL NEVER WIN A SUPERBOWL

  12. Tainted by what? The BountyGate for which all Tagliabue negated Goodell’s punishments? Then they tried to call it salary cap issues, as players were earning money beyond the contract. What about, then, anytime a QB goes to the Pro Bowl and treats his O-line to a Hawaiian vacation, since he wouldn’t have had a Pro Bowl season without them? Pay for performance.

    And I guess now that every one of Jerry Rice’s receptions are tainted, and so are the 49ers’ rings.

  13. Hey Vikings fans….

    Now you really didn’t want to become the first team to lose FIVE Super Bowls, right….I’m sure Manning would have preferred to play the Vikings since Bevell (your OC at that time) likes to give away Super Bowls at the last minute, right?

  14. British Accent says: Feb 7, 2015 2:58 PM

    There is a lot, and i mean A LOT of documented evidence showing the intentional illegal targeting of Vikings players in the NFCCG

    —————————————————————

    This is, to be blunt, totally incorrect. You need to look at your facts.

    “It is essential to recognize that Vilma is being most severely disciplined for “talk” or speech at a team meeting on the evening before the Saints-Vikings game. He is not being punished for his performance on the field and, indeed, none of the discipline of any player here relates to on-field conduct. No Saints’ player was suspended for on-field play by the League after the game in question. If the League wishes to suspend a player for pre-game talk including “offers” to incentivize misconduct, it must start by imposing enhanced discipline for illegal hits that involve the kind of player misconduct that it desires to interdict. The relationship of the discipline for the off-field “talk” and actual on-field conduct must be carefully calibrated and reasonably apportioned. This is a standard grounded in common sense and fairness. It rests also on the competence of NFL officiating and the obligation and ability of the League to closely observe playing field misconduct, record it and review for illegal hits or other related misconduct.

    Adding to the complexity, there is little evidence of the tone of any talk about a bounty before the Vikings game. Was any bounty pledged serious? Was it inspirational only? Was it typical “trash talk” that occurs regularly before and during games? The parties presented no clear answers. No witness could confirm whether Vilma had any money in his hands as he spoke; no evidence was presented that $10,000 was available to him for purposes of paying a bounty or otherwise. There was no evidence that Vilma or anyone else paid any money to any player for any bounty-related hit on an opposing player in the Vikings game.

    I neither excuse nor condone the alleged offer of a bounty on Favre, whether offered by any player, coach, other Saints’ employee or third party. Such conduct has no place in the game of professional football. I cannot, however, uphold a multi-game suspension where there is no evidence that a player’s speech prior to a game was actually a factor causing misconduct on the playing field and that such misconduct was severe enough in itself to warrant a player suspension or a very substantial fine.”

    – Paul Tagliabue

  15. mdd913 says:
    Feb 7, 2015 2:01 PM

    Name one player that was ever maimed by the Saints. Just one. I’ll give you a thousand dollars if you can give me just one.

    ———————————————————-

    I’ll give you FIVE:

    Brett Favre
    Kurt Warner
    Aaron Rodgers
    Cam Newton
    Matt Hasselbeck

    That’ll be $5,000

    Pay up.

  16. I’ll give you FIVE:

    Brett Favre
    Kurt Warner
    Aaron Rodgers
    Cam Newton
    Matt Hasselbeck

    That’ll be $5,000

    Pay up.

    ——————————————-

    None of these are correct.

    Favre and Warner were fine enough after big hits, they both finished the game out. Cam Newton has never once been hurt against the Saints, and neither has Hasselbeck. I do not have any idea where you are pulling those names out. Rodgers pulled his hamstring without being touched.

    Now, please tell me how those players were “maimed”.

  17. and no, a strained calf or hamstring does not count as “maiming,” if that were the case then every team every week is “maiming” the other team. Some of you people are out to lunch.

  18. “the Saints made their lone Super Bowl appearance in franchise history”
    ========================================

    LOL

  19. people keep on crediting cris reis with the recovery but if you look at the play in slo-mo you see that Jonathan Casillas hit the colts player which gave more control through reis

  20. My goodness, y’all – PLEASE don’t discourage Vikings fans from their whining. Why? Because it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

    I love watching the YT vids of their fans reaction to Porter’s pick of Choke-man Farve.

    Better still is listening to their announcers…. “Why would you even ponder passing?!”. And the best ever: “This isn’t Detroit man, it’s the Superbowl!”

    Thanks Vikings fans, we love it when you bring back all those great memories!

  21. Ancient history but saints fans sure love to live in the past. Of course with where the team is headed now, the past is all they will have to brag about. And even that is forever tainted by bountygate.

  22. Omg…… Please stop. Anyone with half a brain seen the horrible calls the officials made and missed. NFL is fixed it’s not even funny. New Orleans, you got your Super Bowl, although it will always be tainted and marked with a ASTERISK

  23. As for the people that bring up bounty gate. I guess you always call someone guilty regardless of the fact there was no real evidence. You’re just like roger Goodell.

  24. That unexplainable joy we experienced that night was absolutely pure bliss and could never be taken away regardless of what the whole 1000 or so fan base of the Vikings would like us to believe. That night was magical and when every Saints fan passes on they’ll be able to say ” I got to see the Saints win a Super Bowl.” Keep up the good work Vikings fans. Your tears are our fuel for reminiscing.

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