Hell has frozen over. The Saints are world champions. World dominators. The best in the universe. Wow. For the past four years I've always believed it could and would happen, but to actually say it is still a little weird.
Its official: we are now America's team. With over 106.5 million people watching it now holds the record for as the biggest audience in television history. The biggest audience in the history of the universe watched the Saints play. They watched Brees dissect the Colts D. They watched Tracy Porter jump the route and take it to the house. They watched us celebrate. We captivated the world. That has to make you feel pretty good.
The game itself started off hot. Before you could refill your beer 10 points were on the board. I have to admit, going down by 10 in the first quarter put some bad thoughts into my head. I started to think that maybe all these people praising Manning and the Colts might know what they're talking about. After Drew Brees' first quarter 3 for 7 performance I had fears that he might not be on, again. I know, I'm a terrible person for even doubting it for a second, but a 43 year old history is hard to forget.
Luckily for us we have the best quarterback playing the game. From the second quarter on he went 29 of 32. That's 91 percent. A+. One of those "incompletions" was a dropped pass. Another was a spike to stop the clock. That's as near-perfect as it gets. Once Brees found his rhythm it was game over.
The first half of football couldn't have been more night and day. The first quarter: Indy steamrolls 154 yards and 10 points to our 36 yards and 0 points. Second quarter: Saints roll up 143 yards and 6 points to Indy's 15 yards and 0 points. The Colts had the ball for two and a half minutes in the second quarter. How do you prevent Brees and Manning from racking up the points? Keep them on the bench.
And speaking of two elite offenses, did the clock ever stop? That was the quickest game I have ever seen.
When it came down to it, Brees stayed on the field a minute longer and racked up some superhero numbers. 32 of 39. 288 yards. 2 TDs. O interceptions. 114.5 QB rating. Superbowl XLIV MVP.
In 3 postseason games he accumulated 732 yards on 72 completions and 102 attempts. That's 70.6% completion, or 7.2 yards per attempt. He threw 8 touchdowns to 0 interceptions with a 117 QB rating. And Payton Manning got the league's MVP? Child please...those numbers are the stuff that legends are made of.
And was there ever a better post game moment than when Drew lifted up his son? I still get choked up when I see it. It was the most real, genuine moment I've ever seen. If that doesn't warm you up you simply have no soul. Like I said before, prepare for Drew Brees to be everywhere.
But its the unselfishness of our offense that makes it so special. Everyone gets a touchdown. If your mother was on the field she'd get one. So, like Brees, I'll spread the lovin' around.
Jeremy Shockey. What a man. He's never afraid to sacrifice his body in the name of football. He would jump in front of a mack truck if it meant he could gain a yard. He's a bigger, badder Kyle Turley. He's the wild card. I'm so glad he got a TD.
I would argue that Lance Moore has the best hands on the team. He could catch a bullet. David Tyree who?
Devery Henderson had a breakout game. This is not the same Devery that would make the most breathtaking circus catch you've ever seen only to drop the next ball that hit him right in the hands.
And if Pierre Thomas isn't the most underrated running back in the game than I don't know who is. He has a sixth sense when it comes to avoiding pressure and finding the end zone. What a game.
Mr. Clutch goes to Tracy Porter. He and Brett Favre are single-handedly responsible for sending us to the Superbowl. Then he goes and does it again. He outsmarts Payton Manning, owner of the biggest head in the game, if not all of sports.
I hope all the work by Jonathan Vilma gets noticed. He's the QB of the defense. He calls and changes the plays at will. He's responsible for switching the coverage at the line that led to Tracy Porter's life saving interception against the Vikings. He is involved and hitting a snot bubble out of someone on every single play. He's a beast. We would not be celebrating without him.
Our defense has played outstanding all season. Brady, Warner, Favre, both Mannings...the best of the best, all beaten like red headed step children. Best turnover ratio in the league. What more can you say about this cast of old guys and undesirables? They held Peyton Manning to 7 points in the final three quarters. Enough said.
And lets not forget the unsung hero of almost every NFL game- the Offensive line. These guys get so overlooked its almost tragic. Every single stat on offense starts with them, but here's the most important one: Drew Brees was only taken down once in 40 dropbacks. That's some good blocking up front boys.
And Garrett Hartley...are you kidding me? Where did this kid come from? No big deal, just setting a Superbowl record as a 23 year old. And speaking of records, we shattered or tied 17 Superbowl records. We set the record for broken records.
Did we witness the second coming of Steve Gleason, fan favorite and special team sensation? Chris Reid just cemented himself in Saints history. "The Colts were punching at it and grabbing for it, trying to get it out. But I didn't care if they broke all my fingers. There was absolutely no way in the world I was going to let go of that ball. That was our ball.'' Thanks for holding on dude, I can't even imagine what ungodly things were being done underneath than pile.
And thank you Sean Payton and Greg Williams. You are both brilliant. You both have balls of steel. You have changed an entire culture. No longer are we the lovable losers. We are now respected and feared.
So after this kind of a season, what's next? What can possibly top this? A first born child? Maybe?
But seriously, this beats everything. Its the best story and best collection of underdogs in the history of sports. Its so "feel good" it would have made a bad movie script.
One thing's for sure. These guys just made it hard for themselves. The only way to top this would be a 19-0 Superbowl winning season. And with this team that's certainly possible.
Bless you boys....bless you. You've given us the greatest feeling in the world. You have changed New Orleans forever. Let's hope next season is half as special.