Saints 31 - Colts 17
I guess if I had to choose a very short statement as to why the score reads this way, two words would come to mind: Outcoached and outplayed. New Orleans was a better team on both sides of the ball this night.
It was important for Indy to get off to a fast start because of New Orleans early game jitters, having not been there before. And they did. But once the Saints were able to settle into a routine, the momentum shifted their way.
The 4th and one goal line stand by the Colts at the end of the first half was a great momentum stopper, after the Saints had dominated the time of possession in the 2nd quarter. But New Orleans got it back with their defense making a key stop and ended up kicking a FG.
Then, the onside kick to start the 2nd half was a gutsy call that caught the Colts off guard, one that led to the first lead of the night for the Saints. I thought that really let the air out of Indy's sail.
Still being ahead at the end of the 3rd, one might be tempted to think that Manning could be in position to take it home in the 4th, like he has done so many times this years. He didn't help himself much though. By throwing that interception at a critical juncture late in the 4th, that sealed it.
But after all is said and done, we all can see one thing that is very clear to us. There is a new sheriff in town, his name is Drew Brees. He was clearly the man in this game and may be the QB to stop in the next few years.
Now is the time that I must get ready to go to work and prepare to see all of the long faces, all day. I will hear about the refs and the non calls on holding Freeney. I won't mention that the Colts got the benefit on the other side of the ball as well. (I thought the refs did a pretty good job last night, overall.)
I will hear anger at Manning for the interception on what could have been the game-tying drive. I won't mention that the Colts defense didn't make the key stops when they needed to, like they did all year long. I won't say that the defense failed to create turnovers like they are accustomed to doing late in the game in key situations.
No sir. I am going to just keep my mouth shut. And when the time is right, I will tell them all to look forward to next year when most of the Colts will be back.....and ready to make another run at the title.
Despite being the avid Colts that I am, I realize one thing that many of my fellow avid fans may not. When all is said and done, this is just a ball game. It's just entertainment. The disappointment is understandable in some ways, but there are more important things in life--with the main thing being getting the bulk of the crooks out of our government.
So onward we go, my fellow NFL fans. Mon AM QB will be back next year, ready for another exciting football season.