A sweet season finished on a sour note Sunday, as the Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV, 31-17.
After taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Saints clawed their way back to make it a 13-10 game early in the third quarter. The Colts would score a touchdown to re-take the lead, but two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Saints sealed the victory.
In the losing effort, running back Joseph Addai rushed 13 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. Manning finished 31-of-44 for 333 yards, one touchdown and one interception.**
FOURTH QUARTER (3:12 remaining)
On 3rd-and-5 from New Orleans' 31, Manning's short pass was intercepted by Saints cornerback Tracy Porter and returned 74 yards for a touchdown. **COLTS 17, SAINTS 31
FOURTH QUARTER (5:42 remaining)
The Saints drove 59 yards for the go-ahead score, a quick, two-yard touchdown pass from Brees to tight end Jeremy Shockey. Brees has now completed 32-of-39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns.
New Orleans attempted a two-point conversion, and Brees' pass to wide receiver Lance Moore appeared to fall incomplete. But after further review, the officals concluded that Moore kept possession and converted the score.
Manning and the offense, which led seven fourth-quarter comebacks in the regular season, now takes over. COLTS 17, SAINTS 24
FOURTH QUARTER (10:39 remaining)
A lengthy 51-yard field goal attempt by kicker Matt Stover missed left, giving the Saints the ball back at their own 41.**
END OF THIRD QUARTER - COLTS 17, SAINTS 16
THIRD QUARTER (2:01 remaining)
The Saints scored their third field goal on the night, this time from 47 yards, to make it a one-point game.
Colts safety Melvin Bullitt tackled Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey short of the first-down marker on 3rd-and-7 from Indy's 33, forcing the kick. **COLTS 17, SAINTS 16
THIRD QUARTER (6:15 remaining)
Running back Joseph Addai continues his brilliant performance in Super Bowl XLIV, capping off a 76-yard drive with a four-yard rush for a touchdown.
Manning completed 5-of-6 passes on the drive, including a 27-yard pass to Clark on 3rd-and-4 to move the Colts into the red zone.
Addai now has 10 carries for 79 yards and a score. Manning has completed 15-of-22 passes for 149 yards and a TD**. COLTS 17, SAINTS 13
THIRD QUARTER (11:41 remaining)
Following an onsides kick, the Saints put together their first touchdown of the game, capped off by a 16-yard TD pass from Brees to running back Pierre Thomas. The score gives New Orleans their first lead of the game. **COLTS 10, SAINTS 13
THIRD QUARTER (14:59 remaining)
A Saints onsides kick to open the second half gives New Orleans possession of the ball. The ball bounced off a Colts blocker and recovered by New Orleans' Chris Reis.**
HALFTIME - COLTS 10, SAINTS 6
Saints kicker Garrett Hartley converted his second field goal of the game as the first half expired, splitting the uprights with a 44-yard attempt.**
New Orleans (179) out gained Indianapolis (169) in the first half, but the Colts possess the lead going into the locker room. The Colts scored on a 38-yard field goal from kicker Matt Stover and an 18-yard touchdown from Manning to Garcon.**
SECOND QUARTER (0:46 remaining)
Backed up inside their own 1, the Colts could not pick up a first down on three consecutive rushes. McAfee's punt, from his own end zone, sailed 44 yards, and Saints running back Reggie Bush was only able to return it four yards to their own 48. **
SECOND QUARTER (1:43 remaining)
Time after time this season, teams have gone for it on fourth down against the Colts. And time after time, the Colts defense has come up with a huge, clutch stop.
After being stopped short of the goal line on first, second and third down, New Orleans elected to go for it on 4th-and-goal from inside the 1. But running back Pierre Thomas was quickly tackled by linebackers Gary Brackett and Clint Session, forcing a turnover on downs and giving the ball back to the Colts.
Indy takes over on offense from their own 1.**
SECOND QUARTER (8:14 remaining)
The Colts were forced three-and-out on offense for the first time this game. Punter Pat McAfee's kicked sailed 44 yards and was fair caught by Saints running back Reggie Bush at his own 28.
SECOND QUARTER (9:34 remaining)
It looks like Dwight Freeney's ankle is all right, after all.
The team's pass-rush specialist, who was questionable going into Sunday night's game, took down Saints quarterback Drew Brees on third down from Indy's 22, registering a sack and forcing the Saints to settle for a field goal.
New Orleans kicker Garrett Hartley converted a 46-yard attempt to give the Saints their first points of the game. **COLTS 10, SAINTS 3
END OF FIRST QUARTER - COLTS 10, SAINTS 0
As the first quarter comes to a close, the Colts lead early, but the Saints have the ball. When the second quarter begins, New Orleans will face 2nd-and-6 from their own 15.**
FIRST QUARTER (0:36 remaining)
The Colts capped off a 96-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Garcon.
The score was helped set up by some incredible rushing from running back Joseph Addai, some of his best of the season. On the third play of the drive, Addai rushed up the middle 16 yards. Two plays later, he bounced to the outside for 11.
On 3rd-and-1 from New Orleans' 49, Addai registered his longest rush of the season, a 26-yard sprint down the hash-marks. Three plays later, Manning found Garcon in the end zone.
Addai now has five rushes on the night for 58 yards. Manning has completed 9-of-14 passes for 88 yards and a TD. **COLTS 10, SAINTS 0
FIRST QUARTER (5:12 remaining)
Thanks to another staunch effort by the defense, the Colts forced the Saints to punt for the second time this quarter. Safety Melvin Bullitt broke up a third-down attempt from Brees and New Orleans was forced to kick to Indianapolis once again.
New Orleans punter Thomas Morstead's kick bounced short of the end zone and was downed at Indy's 4.**
FIRST QUARTER (7:29 remaining)
The Colts scored the first points of Super Bowl XLIV after kicker Matt Stover split the uprights with his 38-yard attempt.
Indianapolis started its first drive with an 18-yard completion from quarterback Peyton Manning to tight end Dallas Clark. From there, the Colts picked up two critical third downs to advance the ball into New Orleans territory.
But facing 3rd-and-5 from the Saints' 20, Manning's pass to wide receiver Pierre Garcon fell incomplete, forcing the Colts to kick a field goal. **COLTS 3, SAINTS 0
FIRST QUARTER (13:22 remaining)
Super Bowl XLIV is under way...
After winning the toss and electing to receive, the Saints returned the ball to their own 23. After a two-yard run on first down, and a short completion on second, quarterback Drew Brees' deep third-down pass sailed long, forcing New Orleans three-and-out on their first series.
Colts punt returner T.J. Rushing fair caught the punt at Indy's 27 for no gain**.
In less than an hour, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints will square off in Super Bowl XLIV. The Colts are playing for their second Super Bowl championship in four years, while the Saints are making their debut in the NFL's biggest game. Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney and cornerback Jerraud Powers are both active and on the field for pre-game warmups.
The following Colts are inactive today… K-Adam Viantieri, WR-Sam Giguere, TE-Colin Cloherty, DT-John Gill, OT-Michael Toudouze, OG-Mike Pollak, DE-Ervin Baldwin and DT-Fili Moala.
The following Saints are inactive today... QB-Chase Daniel, DB-Lynell Hamilton, LB-Anthony Waters, G-Jamar Nesbit, TE-Darnell Dinkins, TE-Tory Humphrey, WR-Adrian Arrington and DE-Paul Spicer.
• 38-yard field goal by K-Matt Stover (Drive summary: 11 plays, 53 yards, 5:48 seconds) COLTS 3, SAINTS 0
- 19-yard touchdown pass from QB-Peyton Manning to WR-Pierre Garcon (Drive summary: 11 plays, 96 yards, 4:36 seconds) COLTS 10, SAINTS 0
- 46-yard field goal by K-Garrett Hartley (Drive summary: 11 plays, 60 yards, 6:02 seconds) COLTS 10, SAINTS 3
- 44-yard field goal by K-Garrett Hartley (Drive summary: 5 plays, 26 yards, 0:35 seconds) COLTS 10, SAINTS 6
- 16-yard touchdown pass from QB-Drew Brees to RB-Pierre Thomas (Drive summary: 6 plays, 58 yards, 3:19 seconds) COLTS 10, SAINTS 13
- 4-yard rushing touchdown by RB-Joseph Addai (Drive summary: 10 plays, 76 yards, 5:26 seconds) COLTS 17, SAINTS 13
- 47-yard field goal by K-Garrett Hartley (Drive summary: 8 plays, 37 yards, 4:14 seconds) COLTS 17, SAINTS 16
- 2-yard touchdown pass from QB-Drew Brees to TE-Jeremy Shockey (Drive summary: 9 plays, 59 yards, 4:57 seconds) COLTS 17, SAINTS 24
- 74-yard interception return for a TD by CB-Tracy Porter COLTS 17, SAINTS 31