Saints Win Super Bowl XLIV

The grand stage for Super Bowl XLIV: Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida on February 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM ET.

Last night in front of 74,059 fans, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, to become Super Bowl XLIV Champions. This was the Saint’s first Super Bowl trip since the birth of their franchise 43 years ago.

The magnitude of the game for the New Orleans Saints, the state of Louisiana, and their “Who Dat Nation” following was represented by the overwhelming television ratings.  Last night’s game was the most watched program in television broadcast history. Super Bowl XLIV surpassed the 1983 M.A.S.H series finale for most viewers all time, with approximately 106 million people nationwide tuning in to watch the game.

Both teams were number one seeds coming into the playoffs and it was the first time since 1993 that two number one seeds faced one another on NFL’s biggest stage. The Saints led the NFC with a 13-3 record for the 2009 regular season and the Colts led the AFC with a 14-2 record on the year. Despite the close records, the New Orleans Saints came into the game as the underdogs. Many predicted that if the Colt’s star defensive end, Dwight Freeney, was going to play through his ankle injury than the Saint’s would have no chance to win.

The Saints did dig themselves into a hole  early on falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, and it looked as if it was going to be the Colts’ night to win. Saints’ head coach, Sean Payton, refused to back down though and called a few gutsy plays to keep his team in the game. The most noticeable was the onside kick call coming out of halftime to regain possession of the football. It was a key possession that led to a Drew Brees touchdown and gave the Saints their first lead in the game, 13-10. The Saints never looked back.

Drew Brees connected for 32 out 39 passes for a total of 288 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He had an overall 114.5 passer rating on the night. His counterpart, Peyton Manning completed 31 of 45 passes for a total of 333 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Manning’s overall passer rating was 88.5, which was just not good enough for his Colts.

Manning ran off the field without congratulating Brees.

Drew Brees and Company will have enough people congratulating them this off-season though. The Saints’ will head back to New Orleans to meet the “Who Dat Nation” to celebrate their 2010 Super Bowl victory and of course, Marti Gras.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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