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Tuesday February 9, 2010 1:23 pm

True Predictions: Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints

Posted by Frank Nevarez Categories: Editorial, NFL, Super Bowl,

Description Last week I wrote:  “The Saints, to win, must sustain long drives and keep Peyton Manning off the field.” Somewhere between a Colts’ ten-point lead in the first quarter of the Super Bowl to the end of the second quarter, the Colts lost their mojo. Peyton Manning only had six snaps in the second quarter! Then the Colts lost the second half kick-off. Drew Brees spent the second half spraying the ball around to everyone, and the Saints took Super Bowl XLIV, 31-17.

I predicted a Colts’ victory. And that looked good for a short while… So the season mark lands at 51–38 (about .573 winning record).

The keys to victory for New Orleans:

* Coming out on the winning end of the gutsy call for the on-side kick at start of second half. What happens if they don’t come up with that ball?

* Solid defense that got the stops in crucial times; can’t say that about the Indy defense.

* Drew Brees having the game of his life and the entire Saints offense having a better showing than in the NFC championship round; meanwhile, the Colts looked off-kilter after their impressive win in the AFC final.

* The New Orleans offensive line deserves high praise; Drew Brees had plenty of time to find his various targets in that amazing second half.

When Saints coach Sean Payton rocked that Lombardi trophy at the end, you had to give him credit. Over time he built a Super Bowl champion basically out of nothing. He stayed true to his vision, including staying ultra-aggressive in a game he found himself behind in, and he can rightly take whatever credit he wants in an amazing sports and coaching accomplishment.

After all the celebrating what’s next? How successful will the Saints be in sustaining a championship-caliber franchise? 



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