This Day in Super Bowl History: Drew Brees and the Saints Win Super Bowl XLIV

The Colts were heavily favored in Super Bowl XLIV against the underdog Saints. Peyton Manning was in his prime and looking for a second Super Bowl title. The Saints were the “Aints” for their 43-year existence in the NFL.

Manning and the Colts took an early lead over New Orleans on February 7, 2010, in Miami. Matt Stover hit a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter. Then Peyton Manning connected with Pierre Garcon for a 19-yard touchdown in the final minute of the opening quarter. It was 10-0 Colts after one.

A pair of second-quarter field goals for the Saints made it 10-6 heading into the half. That’s where Sean Payton made a call that turned the game around and will go down as one of the better ones in Super Bowl history.

Payton decided to come out of the half with an onside kick, hoping to ambush the Colts and steal the momentum.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1486348428846280707?s=20&t=kjpFLt4llbfnAypUkEXKOQ

Drew Brees hit Pierre Thomas for a touchdown on the ensuing drive to give the Colts a 13-10 lead. A Joseph Addai touchdown and a Saints field goal made it 17-16 Colts at the end of the third quarter.

With 5:45 to play, Drew Brees hit Jeremy Shockey for a two-yard touchdown pass. The Saints would convert the two-point conversion to take a 24-17 lead.

With the Colts driving and looking to tie the game, Tracy Porter sealed the deal with a 74-yard pick-six for a New Orleans touchdown:

Porter’s touchdown made it 31-17 Saints with 3:12 to play, and that’s where it would end. New Orleans knocked off Manning and the Colts to win their first Super Bowl.

However, with Super Bowl XLIV coming just five years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, the Saints felt like they were playing for more than just a Lombardi that day.

After the game, Drew Bress talked about playing for the city of New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast region:

“We play for so much more than ourselves,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees with his brown hair matted to his forehead. “We played for our city. We played for the entire Gulf Coast region. We played for the entire Who Dat nation that has been behind us every step of the way.”

Brees completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.

“Just to think of the road we’ve all traveled, the adversity we’ve all faced,” Brees said. “It’s unbelievable. I mean, are you kidding me? Four years ago, whoever thought this would be happening? Eighty-five percent of the city was underwater. Most people left, not knowing if New Orleans would ever come back or if the organization would ever come back.

“We just all looked at one another and said, ‘We’re going to rebuild together. We are going to lean on each other.’ That’s what we’ve done the last four years, and this is the culmination in all that belief.”

You can watch the entire game here.

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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