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Upset as Saints beat Colts in Super Bowl

February 08, 2010

Inspired by a city still rebuilding from the 2005 devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Saints captured their first Super Bowl crown on Sunday by rallying for a 31-17 triumph over Indianapolis.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed a Super Bowl record-tying 32 passes in 39 attempts for 288 yards and two touchdowns to claim Most Valuable Player honors in the National Football League's championship spectacle.

"We just believed in ourselves," Brees said. "We knew we had an entire city and maybe an entire country behind us. It was all meant to be. It was all destiny."

It was Tracy Porter's 74-yard interception return touchdown with 3:12 remaining that sealed the epic victory, one that had Saints fans in the stands chanting their cajun battle cry - "Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints?"Related Article: New Orleans explodes with joy

"We put this city on our back four years ago and now it's all worth it," Saints safety Roman Harper said.

Just 4 1/2 years after their domed stadium became a house of horrors for those trapped by floodwaters and waiting in vain for help or rescue, the Saints touched off the biggest celebration of all in a city known for its party scene.

"New Orleans is back and this showed the whole world," said Saints owner Tom Benson.

The Saints, once laughing-stocks that Benson was looking to relocate, had been losers for most of their 43-year history and fell behind 10-0 to the Colts before bouncing back to deny Indianapolis a second title in four seasons.

"You can't put it into words. The city and region have been through so much. They have been so supportive this whole time," said Saints receiver Marques Colston, who caught seven passes for 83 yards.

"We knew this as going to be a hard Super Bowl but we believed in each other and we got it done. It's incredible."

"Everyone knows what the city has gone through," Saints defender Darren Sharper said. "That's what makes it special. They've wanted it for a long time."

Porter stepped in front of Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, picked off a pass from Indianapolis star Peyton Manning and returned it to the end zone to put the Saints ahead by the final margin.Related Article: No more Manning miracles

Manning, who had engineered an NFL-best seven victory comebacks in the fourth quarter this season, drove the Colts to the New Orleans 3-yard line but a fourth-down incompletion with 44 seconds to play sealed the Saints' triumph.

Manning, whose father Archie was a former Saints star, completed 31-of-45 passes for 333 yards and a touchdown but one deadly interception.

Brees went 7-for-7 for 44 yards in marching the Saints 59 yards in 4:57 to give New Orleans the lead for good on a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Shockey with 5:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Saints went for a two-point conversion pass that was ruled incomplete. New Orleans called for a video review and had the call overturned, Lance Moore being credited with possession in the end zone.

That gave New Orleans a 24-17 lead, meaning the Colts would need a touchdown and conversion kick simply to equalize.

Manning entered and had moved Indianapolis to the New Orleans 31-yard line when Porter made the interception that sealed the victory.

New Orleans recovered an onside kick to begin the second half and Brees quickly took advantage, marching the Saints 58 yards in just six plays as they took their first lead at 13-10 on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Thomas only 3:19 into the third quarter.

The Colts with a four-yard touchdown run by Joseph Addai for a 17-13 lead 8:45 into the third quarter, but Garrett Hartley followed with his third field goal of the game, a 47-yard effort, to pull New Orleans within 17-16 and set up the dramatic finish.

Hartley hit field goals of 44 and 46 yards in the second quarter, pulling the Saints within 10-6 at half-time after the Colts took the lead on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Pierre Garcon and a 38-yard field goal by Matt Stover, the oldest player in Super Bowl history at age 42.

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