New Orleans defeats Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV

MIAMI (AP) — Who Dat won the Super Bowl? The New Orleans Saints, that’s who.

Ain’t kidding.

Put away those paper bags forever: Drew Brees and the Saints are NFL champions, rallying to beat Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 Sunday night in one of pro football’s most thrilling title games.

Brees tied a Super Bowl record with 32 completions, the last a 2-yard slant to Jeremy Shockey for the winning points with 5:42 remaining. The Pro Bowl quarterback was chosen Super Bowl MVP.

New Orleans’ lowly ranked defense made several key stops, an onside kick sparked their second-half comeback, and Tracy Porter’s 74-yard interception return on a pass from Manning, of all people, clinched it.

Manning gave chase, but fell awkwardly as the cornerback zipped by. The four-time NFL MVP forlornly walked to the sideline as the Big Easy celebrations began. Who would have thought the biggest mistake of the game would have come from Manning?

An NFL embarrassment for much of their 43 years, the Saints’ football renaissance, led by Brees and coach Sean Payton, climaxed with Shockey’s touchdown and Lance Moore’s 2-point conversion catch — which Payton challenged and won after Moore was ruled down at the 1.

Porter’s pick, just as dramatic as his interception of Brett Favre’s pass at the end of the NFC title game that forced overtime, was the game’s only turnover. It’s one Manning will forever regret.

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