Saints march to Super Bowl title

MIAMI, Fla-In the end, the old football maxim held true.

Defense wins championships.

Despite 48 total points in a game that featured two of the NFL’s top-seven scoring offenses during the 2009 regular season, Super Bowl XLIV will be remembered for a big play made on the defensive side of the football.

Leading 24-17 with 3:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, Saints cornerback Tracy Porter stepped in front of a Peyton Manning pass and took it 74 yards to the house to seal the deal for New Orleans in a thrilling 31-17 Super Bowl win.

“It was great film study,” Porter told reporters after the game. “We knew that on third-and-short they stack, and they like the outside release for the slant. It was great film study by me, a great jump and a great play.”

The victory gives the city of New Orleans its first Vince Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

The Saints, who were trailing 10-0 after the first quarter, never lost their composure. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ unit stepped up huge, holding the Colts to just seven points over the final 45 minutes of action.

But it wasn’t just the defense that rose up to deliver the Big Easy its first world championship. The always-overlooked special teams made a big play for a Saints team that entered Sunday evening’s showdown as 5.5 point underdogs.

Saints head coach Sean Payton shocked the capacity crowd at Sun Life Stadium in Miami by opening the second half with an onside kick-which New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Casillas recovered- sending a nation of Who Dats in attendance into a wild frenzy.

Six plays later, quarterback Drew Brees-who was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV-connected with running back Pierre Thomas for a 16-yard touchdown that put the Saints up 13-10 with just over three minutes gone in the third quarter.

On the night, Brees completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 114.5.

In addition to Brees, the rest of the Saints played a relatively mistake-free game as well. New Orleans committed just three penalties for 19 yards and had zero turnovers.

On the losing side, quarterback Peyton Manning completed 31 of 45 passes for 333 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Rest assured, the party is well underway in South Beach.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

Super Bowl accommodations in Miami have been provided to the National Football Post by the beautiful Catalina Hotel and Beach Club. Click on the link to learn more about this stunning boutique hotel in the heart of South Beach.

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