After playing host to nine Super Bowl games the city of New Orleans finally were winners in the big game as the New Orleans Saints upset the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, to earn the Super Bowl XLIV title, rewarding bettors as five-point underdogs.
The game was a rare clash between the NFL’s top two teams. The Saints dominated the NFC, winning their first 13 games, sparking talk of a possible perfect season.
But their winning streak was abruptly stopped in a 24-17 loss to Dallas, the first of three consecutive SU losses by the Saints, finishing the regular season at 13-3.
New Orleans returned to form in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, jumping out to a 35-14 halftime lead en route to a 45-14 beating of the Arizona Cardinals, easily covering as 7.5-point favorites.
The Saints punched their ticket to a Super Bowl appearance by eking out a 31-28 overtime victory against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.
The Colts also flirted with a perfect season, winning their first 14, before posting a pair of disappointing losses, finishing with an NFL-best 14-2 record.
Indy buried the Baltimore Ravens, 24-3, in the AFC Divisional Playoffs before scoring 24 unanswered points to knock off the New York Jets in a stunning 30-17 comeback victory in the AFC Championship Game.
It looked like the Colts and their quarterback, Peyton Manning, would cruise to their second Super Bowl title in four years after jumping out to an early 10-0 lead. But it was the Saints who would stage the stunning comeback on Super Sunday.
Down 10-6 at halftime, the Saints surprised the Colts with an onside kick on the second half opening kickoff, recovering the ball at their own 42-yard line. Six plays later, Saints QB Drew Brees connected with Pierre Thomas on a 16-yard TD pass to give New Orleans a 13-10 lead.
The Colts would score on their next possession to reclaim a 17-13 lead, but it would be all Saints the rest of the way, reclaiming the lead for good on Brees’ TD pass to Jeremy Shockey with under six minutes remaining.
The Saints would score another seven on a Manning pick-6 to round out the score and seal the win for the Big Easy.
Brees claimed Super Bowl MVP honors, while bettors taking the UNDER were rewarded, with the point total pegged at 57 by the nation’s sportsbooks.
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