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Today in Sports History: 2/7 | New Orleans Saints Win Super Bowl XLIV

Today in sports history (2010), the New Orleans Saints capped off a storybook season by defeating the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, in Super Bowl XLIV. The win gave the Saints their first Super Bowl victory and helped lift a city that was still struggling with the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Road to Super Bowl XLIV

The New Orleans Saints posted a 13-3 record during the 2009-10 NFL season, which secured them the top seed in the NFC. The Saints offense was the focal point of the team, as they were first in the NFL, averaging just under 32 points per game. New Orleans started the season 13-0 but would go on to lose their last three games of the season, casting doubts on their legitimacy as true Super Bowl contenders. The Saints blasted the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round, 45-14, before beating Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in overtime, 31-28, to advance to Super Bowl XLIV.

For as good of an offense as the Saints had, the Colts had one that was just as loaded. Peyton Manning led the way for an Indianapolis team that would go 14-2. Manning would win his fourth MVP award. The Colts started the season 14-0 before new head coach Jim Caldwell decided to rest his starters in Week 16 after they took a slim lead instead of going for an undefeated season. The Colts would face little resistance in the playoffs, as they shut down the Baltimore Ravens, 20-3, in the divisional round before beating the New York Jets, 30-17, in the AFC Championship.

Super Bowl XLIV new orleans saints today in sports history
Credit: Tom Hauck Photography

Gutsy Plays Turn the Tide

The Colts got off to a hot start, taking a 10-0 lead into the second quarter. While they didn’t score for the rest of the first half, they did hold a 10-6 lead and would receive the second-half kickoff. In what would be widely viewed as the turning point of the game, Saints head coach Sean Payton elected to try an onside kick to open the half. The Saints would recover and march down the field to take a 13-10 lead. The Colts would find the end zone on their next possession as well, but the impact of the onside kick would be felt for the rest of the game.

Colts kicker Matt Stover would miss a 51-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. The Saints took advantage of the short field, found the end zone and converted a two-point conversion to take a seven-point lead. Manning would lead the Colts into Saints territory, but Saints cornerback Tracy Porter would intercept a pass at the Saints’ 26 and return it 74 yards to give New Orleans a 31-17 lead and effectively seal the game with 3:12 remaining. The Colts would make one more drive into the red zone before they turned it over on downs.

Drew Brees took a few knees to win Super Bowl XLIV, and the Saints gave the state of Louisiana their first major sports championship ever.

Washington Commies

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