MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Saints did pretty much everything you could possibly ask for in the second quarter to reverse the course of this Super Bowl. After one quarter, it appeared the Colts were one decent series from thoroughly taking over this game. Now, at halftime, we have a heck of a ballgame.
The Saints went from barely seeing the ball in the first quarter to holding it over 12 minutes in the second quarter. They established the run game, and Drew Brees has started to find the holes in Indy’s Cover-2 scheme.
Even what could have been a crushing sequence — being stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line line — turned out not so bad. First of all, I’m with Saints coach Sean Payton trying to go for the TD there. I’m standing next to Bucky Brooks in the NFL.com box up here on the roof, and on third down, we both thought the same thing — run it twice if need be and try to tie the score.
With 2 minutes left and the ball that deep, I’m going for six. You know the Colts get the ball to start the second half, and if you kick the field goal, they could have good position on the return, score a quick touchdown, come back with another TD on the first drive of the half, and it’s lights out. This way, even if you don’t score, you keep the Colts pretty conservative and make them go the length of the field. Had Mike Bell not slipped on third down, it’s a touchdown. And the Saints got a good push on fourth down, but Colts LB Gary Brackett shot the gap and slowed down Pierre Thomas enough for teammates to turn him back a second time.
Still, for the Saints’ defense to force a three-and-out and Brees to get the Saints a field goal on the other end, that’s a huge swing. Being down 10-6 at halftime after the way the first 15 minutes went is a massive change in momentum. If the Saints get a stop to start the second half, things could become really interesting. If Payton sticks with the run, it might force Colts defensive coordinator Larry Coyer to put more people in the box, and with the way Brees is carving the defense right now, that would be a huge gamble.
I’m looking forward to the second half.