4. XLIV: New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17
There was a lot of discussion leading up to Super Bowl XLIV about quarterback Peyton Manning and whether a second Lombardi Trophy in four years would place him among the top players at his position in the history of the league.
Jim Caldwell’s club would take a 10-0 first-quarter lead via a 38-yard field goal from Matt Stover (Adam Vinatieri missed the majority of the season) and a Peyton Manning 19-yard TD toss to Pierre Garcon. Sean Payton’s club would settle for a pair of second-quarter field goals, the last on the final play of the half. And with the Colts’ expecting to get the ball via the second half kickoff, Payton called for an onside kick and it stunned Indianapolis. Just over three minutes later, the New Orleans Saints had the lead thanks to Drew Brees’ 16-yard pass to running back Pierre Thomas. Still, Manning and company reclaimed the lead, 17-13, on Joseph Addai’s four-yard run roughly five minutes later.’
However, the rest of the game belonged to the team from the Big Easy. Brees would finish with 288 yards through the air, connecting on 32-of-39 throws. His second touchdown pass of the game came with 5:42 to play and the team trailing by one point. The two-yard strike to tight end Jeremy Shockey was followed by a two-point conversion toss to wide receiver Lance Moore. Moments later, Saints’ cornerback Tracy Porter stepped in front of a Manning pass intended for Reggie Wayne and raced 74 yards for the exclamation point.