1W) The Manning InterceptionI really feel like the interception by Tracy Porter sealed the deal for the Saints, the game was tight, Manning was pressing, and then Porter stepped right up in a would be curl route and took it to the house.. this deflated the possible come back by the Colts and pushed the MO towards the Saints
2M) Onside Kick by the Saint
I really loved this move by Sean Payton. Instead of acting like most rookie head coaches in the biggest spotlight and "turtling" after the 4th down horrific play call and play, he came back strong and showed his players and the Colts that his boys were going to be there to win it...not just play in the big game. I think the recovery was important, but the decision itself just to go for it energized the Saints, the fans, and really turned the momentum of the game in the Saints favor.
3W) Final FG by the Saints, putting him over the record for the SuperBowl
Kicking is important, and often overlooked. But it is very hard to discount the importance of Garrett Hartley in this Superbowl. He was successful 3 times over 40 yards, which is a record, and unblemished in extra points.
4M) Lance Moore’s 2-pt conversion
While it's true that it wasn't a one or two point game, it continued to send the message of an aggressive club that was in it to win it. Instead of giving Manning and Co. a chance to WIN it with a TD drive, they now knew that at best, they could TIE New Orleans and then be forced to play D while still giving Brees and the Saints a chance to answer. Just a big change in mindset going from "okay, we make this drive, we're Superbowl champs!" to "we need this just to tie it and hope they don't score again". Sure, it was the smart play by the books, but it was a terrific play call and was executed correctly.
5W) Pierre Thomas Second attempt TD runIt was easy to just go down and take it in on the next play, but Thomas fought hard for the touchdown run.. I honestly think he got pinballed 4 or more times, before making it into the endzone..
6M) Chris Reis’ fumble recoveries
Who, exactly, is Chris Reis? Turns out Chris Reis was the guy probably most responsible for the Saints win outside of Drew Brees. He's the one who came up with the early fumble recovery after Roby's kick return in the first quarter, and then at the start of the third quarter was the player who wound up with the ball at the bottom of the pile giving New Orleans possession twice in it's own half of the field. Either one of those balls go the other way, it's quite possible we're talking about Peyton's second ring, not Payton's first.
7W) The Who not dying on stage at Halftime
Are The Who legends? Yes. Are The Who one of the great bands? More than likely yes. Are they Superbowl halftime show worthy? In my opinion no. I truly feel ever since the " wardrobe malfunction" a few years ago the Superbowl halftime show has been safe, to a fault. Although I did find the light show aspect of it cool, The Who surviving the halftime show was the real win.
8M) Brees w/ no interceptions
My biggest concern for the Saints heading into the game was that Brees might get a little caught up in the spectacle that is the big game, and force the action if the Colts played back and made him complete a lot of short passes (I referred to it as the BC defense). Brees took what the Colts gave him and made many extremely accurate throws. If memory serves, there was really only one ball that the Colts had a chance to get their hands on. The insanely high completion percentage and the Superbowl-breaking record for most completions was certainly a driving reason behind the Saints first ring.
9W) The Saints fans showing up in full force
10M) Shockey Playing Smart
One of the knocks on Jeremy Shockey, which I think is a fair one, is that he doesn't often play very smart. He's an average blocker at best, but he's an underrated route-runner and has terrific hands for a TE. Despite all of this, he often puts himself in a position where he's taking a personal foul penalty as he often talks the talk regardless of whether or not he's walking the walk. However in the Superbowl, he kept it quiet, head down, and was a good outlet for Brees on a small handful of passes including a TD grab.
Wesley:manning pick, FG, Pierre Thomas TD, Who living, Saints fans
BCMike:onside kick , 2 pt conversion, Reis Recoveries, Brees 0 picks, Shockey