Sunday, January 24, 2010
NFL DREAM MATCHUP- SAINTS VS. COLTS IN SUPER BOWL
The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints will face each other in the Super Bowl in Miami in two weeks.
Peyton Manning vs. Drew Brees.
The Colts stopped the upstart New York Jets, 30-17 with a second half domination as Manning threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns against the vaunted Jets' defense. In addition, the Colts out rushed the Jets, 101-86 in yardage. The running game is supposed to be the bread and butter for the Jets while the Colts are considered a weak running team.
New York controlled the game for most of the first half, leading 17-6 after a Jay Feely field goal. Earlier, rookie QB Mark Sanchez (257 yards passing with two TDs and one INT) threw a nine-yard scoring pass to tight end Dustin Keller to make it 14-6.
The Colts had a 3-0 lead after a Matt Stover field goal, but then the Jets struck quickly with a 80-yard scoring pass from Sanchez to wide receiver Braylon Edwards to take a 7-3 lead.
The Colts cut New York's lead to 17-13 at halftime when Manning threw the first of his three TD passes to Austin Collie.
The Jets simply could not solve Manning in the second half as he picked their defense apart by continually going to Pierre Garcon (11 catches for 151 yards and TD) and Collie (7 grabs for 123 yards and TD).
Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark were under wraps early, but they also contributed in the win as Manning made "Revis Island" (the nickname for Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Derrel Revis) look more like "Gilligan's Island" with his pin-point passing that sent the Colts to their second Super Bowl in the last four years.
Meanwhile, the Saints won a thriller over the Minnesota Vikings, 31-28 in overtime to gain their first ever Super Bowl appearance.
Saints QB Drew Brees threw for 197 yards and three TDs in the win, which came on a 40-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley in the extra session.
The OT had some controversy as a questionable pass interference call against Minnesota gave the Saints the ball inside Minnesota's 25-yard line to help set up the game winning kick by Hartley.
Vikings legendary quarterback Brett Favre passed for 310 yards and a TD, but threw two interceptions; the second being very costly as Minnesota had the ball at the Saints' 38 with 20 seconds left in regulation.
Saints defensive back Tracy Porter stepped in front of Vikings' wideout Sidney Rice and made the big interception.
Adrian Peterson had a big day for the Vikings, scoring three touchdowns while rushing for 122 yards on 25 carries, but he also had the fumble bug again in this game.
Minnesota fumbled six times, losing three of them, including a HUGE turnover just before halftime inside the Saints 10-yard line when Favre and Peterson botched the handoff exchange.
The game remained tied 14-14 at halftime as a result of the Minnesota miscue.
The Saints took the opening kick in the second half and marched to another score to take a 21-14 lead on Pierre Thomas' nine yard scoring run. The Vikings came back to tie the game at 21-21 on Peterson's second rushing TD of the game from two yards.
New Orleans responded with a five yard scoring pass from Brees to Reggie Bush to make it 28-21. Peterson answered that one with his third rushing TD of the contest from one yard out to knot the game at 28-28.
But Minnesota turned it over yet again in the final seconds and the game went into overtime.
So it will indeed be those two teams that once were both 13-0 in mid-December and then fell off prior to the playoffs.
But the Colts and Saints appear to have found their magic winning formulas once again and should provide for an exciting Super Bowl on February 7th in Miami.
In a bit of irony, the father of Peyton Manning, Archie Manning, played most of his NFL career with... the New Orleans Saints.