"Our offensive line, by our standards, did not have a good game," Polian said of Sunday’s performance. "They were outplayed by the Saints’ defensive line. Our special teams, in terms of handing the ball — both in the return game and on the onside kick — were outplayed by the Saints. Therein lies the result. It had nothing to do with strategy or preparedness or toughness or effort."
I'm sorry, but this is almost incoherent. The successful onside kick had nothing to do with strategy? Tracy Porter's interception had nothing to do with preparedness? The final score had nothing to do with effort, for God's sake?
I'd like to remind Bill that the Colts were given all the room they wanted to run the ball, if that's what they chose to do. They chose to do otherwise. They chose to make Super Bowl XLIV into the Peyton Manning Show, for good or bad, and it turned out bad for them. Therein lies the result. No matter how good Manning may be, he wasn't enough to cover for bad strategy, bad preparation, and bad effort. It wasn't the fault of the offensive line, or even the special teams. It was the fault of the guys on the sidelines who had no insight into the nature of their opponents, and thought that doing the same thing they'd done all year would be enough. That simply being the Indianapolis Colts would be enough.
"… There were certain situations throughout the game where we didn’t execute — most notably, the failure to get the first down and run the clock out at the end of the first half after a magnificent goal-line stand and then, of course, the failure to handle the onside kick," Polian said. "We had four things we could have done positively on that play. We didn’t do any of them. That absolutely changed the game. It went from our getting the ball on their 40-yard line to having them march down for a touchdown. Then, our inability to punch it in from first-and-goal on the 3. Those situations, we did not execute."
So...if the Saints fail to punch it in from the 3, it's a "magnificent goal-line stand" on the part of the Colts; but if the Colts fail, with the game on the line, it's simply the Colts' failure to execute? Did you even see those guys in white and gold, Bill? They were called the Saints. They weren't a delusion (although what you thought of them was certainly delusional)...they were actually there, and they stopped your team. They held your vaunted offense to 17 total points. In the second half, Peyton and your perfect blitzkrieg machine played our defense to a 7-7 tie. And it wasn't because your offensive line didn't give a good effort--it was because our team outplanned, outprepared, and outplayed yours. It was because the Saints are better than the Colts. If we played you again, we'd beat you even worse...because our greatest advantage is your delusion that your business-as-usual approach stands a chance against the most versatile, most adaptable, and ballsiest team in the NFL.