Sorry for the corny title…Drew’s name lends itself well to headlines like that.
As for the game, it wasn’t what a lot of people expected, I think. Congratulations to New Orleans and the Saints. You have slain the giant, the mighty Colts.
It started out with the Colts taking a 10-0 lead after one quarter. That was the end of the Colts dominance. The tables completely turned in the second quarter as the Saints kept Peyton Manning and company off the field except for six plays. Three of those plays came in the final two minutes of the half when they were trying to run out the clock.
That’s where I think the Colts lost this game. At the time, there were leading the game 10-3, and were set to get the ball first in the second half. Here, they had a huge opportunity to break the game wide open and put the Saints away. They got the ball with 1:49 on the clock and two timeouts in their pocket. They have maybe the quickest-striking offense in all of football, and the best clock manager in Peyton Manning.
But what do they do? Three straight runs, no first down. Granted, they had third and one, but still, it wasn’t like they were trying to score. They let New Orleans dictate the final minutes of the half, and ended up paying for it. The Saints got the ball back in good field position, and kicked a field goal as time expired to go into the locker room down 10-6. What could have been a 14 point lead for the Colts ended up being a 10 point swing in favor of the Saints.
Then came a great halftime show, in my opinion. I’m not a great, huge fan of The Who, but they did a damn fine job last night. I think the best part about it all was the stage. I couldn’t get over how cool that stage was.
Then came what I’m not sure anyone saw coming. Kicking off to start the second half, Sean Payton made the most ballsy call in any game in recent memory. He had his kicker run up like he would kick it deep, but instead he just dribbled the ball out and hoped his guy would jump on it. After they uncovered the pile, which seemed like it took forever, the Saints emerged with the football, and maybe more importantly, momentum.
Think about what kind of call that is. If it works, Payton gets all the credit in the world for making the call. If it doesn’t, it’s just a matter of time, and sooner rather than later, that Manning throws another touchdown pass.
They got into the end zone on that drive to go up 13-10 (Think about if the Colts had actually tried their two minute offense at the end of the first half, it would have been 17-10 now, in favor of Indy). The Colts scored a few minutes later (should now be 24-10) to make it 17-13. That was all the Colts would do. It was all Saints from that point forward.
It eventually got to 24-17 and the Colts were in position to tie. They had plenty of time to work with, but they didn’t get very far. Tracy Porter stepped in front of a Manning pass and took it all the way to the house.
In the end, the Saints played better football. They out-everythinged the Colts and reaped the benefits.
Congratulations to the Saints. I’m contemplating catching the next flight to New Orleans to join in the party.