My analysis of Super Bowl 45 is simple: fate deemed that New Orleans would win. Why? Because every break went the way of the Saints.
While most people would write that the Tracy Porter interception was THE play of the game, I will disagree. That sealed the win but it wasn’t the turnaround play of the night.
There were two – the second-half onside kick (a gutsy call from Sean Payton, the man who SHOULD have been the Cowboys’ coach) and a challenge flag with less than six minutes to play.
New Orleans did not do a great job in the first half stopping Indianapolis’ offense so getting the first possession of the second half, after making adjustments, would have proven crucial to the Colts, leading 10-6.
But the successful deception turned that momentum around instantly. The Colts did methodically march right down the field to score and take the lead, but they did so while trailing instead of leading. It then became a game that appeared to be one decided by final possession.
Perhaps MORE important was the challenge call on the Saints’ final go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter. Had the ruling on the field NOT been overturned, it would have been a five-point game which meant Indy could have settled for two field goals (requiring LESS yardage to gain) for a one-point win. Making Indy score a touchdown offered a more difficult challenge, which proved too much for the Colts to overcome.
So once again, a Colts team, favored to win in Miami, lost a Super Bowl to an underdog, beloved by much of the nation … ala 1969 against the Joe Namath Jets.
Who dat? The upstart Saints are already etching a pose for Sports Illustrated Sportsmen of the Year. Dat who!