Just got around to watching this on my DVR some 65 days after the Blessed Event and thought I'd share with you some observations. If you haven't gone back and watched the game, do it. If you have, do it again. It is the ultimate booster shot for the offseason. The Who Dat version of "Chicken Soup For The Soul." I got goosebumps on the opening kick. (Nerdy I know)
1. Colts ahead 10-3 with 8 minutes left in the second quarter. 15-yard penalty on Colts on the first FG drive, for hitting Bush out of bounds as he streched for the 1st down marker, was huge. A really impressive drive by the Saints starting at the 11 that ended with a FG after a Freeney sack.
2. Brees already has 4-5 incompletions. I don't think he has but a couple more all night.
3. Surprised to see Jeff Charleston getting some quality snaps in the second quarter and applying some pressure. Always thought the guy looked like Michael Rappaport.
4. Courtney Roby. Does the NFL keep stats on how many tackles and/or downing punts a RETURN guy makes? He has to lead the league. Really, he does. I think he and Morstead choreograph the downing punts thing.
5. Pierre Thomas. Is there a better Super Bowl performance by an undrafted free agent? The playmaking started early, even those on first half drives that ulimately stalled. Surprised in retrospect that Bell got the ball and not Pierre on the 3rd down play at the goal line. Both Bush and Pierre on the sideline on 3rd and goal. Won't see that often again I hope.
6. Can we retire the end around play to Devery? Really? Is that the best we can do? Is that Devery's best use? I think not. Devery made a number of quality receptions in this one. Should not be overlooked. Hands have improved dramatically.
7. Hartley's 1st half FGs were money. If he misses one, what a swing in momentum to the Colts. Never a doubt on either one.
8. No 2nd quarter first-downs for Indy. Not one? Not even by penalty? How often has that happened in the Manning era? The best defense is a ball-control offense.
9. Its the second half kickoff. Yes, I know what is coming. Yes, I know who recovers. Yes, I am still nervous as hell. Longest football scrum I have ever seen. No lie. Love Payton getting in the middle of it. "WHITE BALL! WHITE BALL!"
10. Reggie Bush called "touchdown" even before the snap on the Pierre screen TD.
11. Since Colts went up 10-0, the Colts have run 6 plays. The Saints have 4 drives for 13 points, with only stop on the 4th down play at the one.
12. The 3rd down throw by Manning to Dallas Clark while rolling right about halfway through the 3rd is still an amazing throw and catch. That may have been the only point in the 3rd quarter I thought we may be in real trouble. Hard to top the chemistry those two have.
13. Malcolm Jenkins made a huge 2nd down play to snuff out the WR screen for a 4-yard loss and force the Colts ultimately to try a 51-yard FG, which was missed. Awesome play by Vilma also on the next play, a 3rd down pass attempt 25 yards down the field to knock the ball away from Austin Collie. Not many MLBs running stride for stride with a WR.
14. Yes, he dropped the one wide-open ball in the first-half, but Colston had a monster game. What hands.
15. Shockey just got his TD. Saints' offense only had the ball 3 meaningful times in the second half. Pierre TD. Hartley FG. Shockey TD. Then the Porter INT return. Talk about making the most of your opportunities.
16. 3 local guys - Manning, Wayne, Porter, in on the biggest play in Saints history. Kharma. Only drawback is we had to kick it back to Manning.
17. The image of Brees with his son is already an iconic Super Bowl photo. Years from now, it will be as recognizable as Joe Namath leaving the field after Super Bowl III holding up No. 1, Lynn Swann making the juggling catch in Super Bowl X, Ditka and Buddy Ryan getting carried off side by side in Super Bowl XX, or Leon Lett having the ball slapped away by Don Beebe. You name it, I'll bet as many people recognize the Drew-Baylen photo as any of them. It's gotta be the headphones.
Thanks for indulging me. Hindsight makes this one even more sweet. It will for you too.