This season seemed to be one of destiny or the Indianapolis Colts. Seven times before Sunday they appeared set to take a hard loss on the nose only to see victory snatched out of the claws of defeat with late game heroics by the future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning. Eighth time would not be the charm for the Colts as they fell to the Saints 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.
The stage appeared to be set for the picture perfect ending to the game. Jeremy Shockey had caught a two yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees and Lance Moore converted a 2-point attempt to give the Saints their largest lead of the game, 24-17. With just under six minutes left Manning was set to take his team 70 yards to pay dirt, sending the game into overtime for the first time in Super Bowl history.
However, the Manning Magic would not be good enough this time. The drive was clicking on all cylinders; a couple passes to Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne had the Colts in good shape on the New Orléans 31. After an incomplete pass to Austin Collie, Manning would try to go back to his stand by man, Reggie Wayne on the next play. The wrong guy would catch the ball, New Orléans Saints cornerback Tracy Porter, and return it 74 yards for the touchdown effectively sealing the game for the Saints.
Manning and crew looked like it was just another day at the office in the first quarter moving the ball up and down the field almost at will. For their efforts they were able to open up a 10 point lead. With the Colt defense holding the powerful Saints offense to only 15 yards the beating was on.
However, Gregg Williams would regroup in the second quarter forcing the Colts into two three and outs in the second quarter. Drew Brees got the offense moving, but was only able to come away with 6 points from two field goals before the end of the half.
Sean Payton showed why he is one of the best coaches in the NFL at the start of the second half by calling for an onside kick. Hank Baskett of the Colts was not expecting it and the ball bounced off the receiver to be recovered by Chris Reis of the Saints. After a 16 yard touchdown run by Pierre Thomas, the Saints would have their first lead of the game.
Peyton Manning would lead the Colts back the promise land on the next drive, but that would be the end of the scoring for Indianapolis. Matt Stover would miss a field goal in the fourth quarter. Jeremy Shockey and Lance Moore would finish the offensive scoring for the Saints with Shockey catching a two yard touchdown reception and Moore the two point conversion attempt that would give the Saints a lead they would not diminish.
Beer: Lucky Bucket Lager by the good people at the Lucky Bucket Brewing . The Colts could have used a little Luck from these guys, but will have to be satisfied with this tasty pre-Prohibition style brew instead. With a more distinctive flavor that is easy on the palate, Lucky Bucket Lager is twice brewed in order to effectively balance the floral hops quite nicely with the subtle delight of the malts used in the brewing process. Minus many of the additives common in today’s beer, Lucky Bucket is also minus a lot of alcohol as well coming in at 4.5% ABV.
Pictures from the game: