For the third year in a row, the Super Bowl was a good one. Two years ago, the Giants upset the perfect Patriots, leading to the famous “18 and uh-oh” headline. Last year, the Cardinals battled the Steelers down to the wire in a game filled with ups, downs, and big plays. Today, the Saints fought off an early deficit to beat the favored Colts in a close game. Congratulations to the Saints and their fans.
As I see it, there were two key plays. Both reflect the Saints’ high-risk style. The first was going for it on 4th-and-goal. It was the right decision, even though they failed. Make it, and you get a touchdown. But if you don’t, your opponent is pinned at the one-yard line. That is the last place your opponent wants to start a drive. And it’s exactly where you want your opponent to start a drive. Yes, Peyton Manning led a 96-yard drive during the game. But he couldn’t pull of this 99-yarder.
The other key play was the onside kick to start the second half. Most onside kicks fail. But nobody saw this coming. I mean nobody. When I first saw it, I thought the kicker shanked the ball. But the element of surprise worked. it didn’t look like the kick went the required ten yards. But a startled Colt touched the ball, and the Saints recovered fair and square.
Conventional NFL wisdom is that about the only way to beat the Colts is to keep the ball away from Peyton Manning. The Saints decided to apply that conventional wisdom in an unconventional way. And it worked.
So, again, this was a fun game to watch, congratulations to the victors, and here’s hoping my Packers will be in Super Bowl XLV.
Onward to baseball season!