Last night the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 31-17 to win Super Bowl XLIV. To clinch the annual NFL Championship the Saints had to undo the largest lead that has ever been rallied from. To capture the win and secure their first Championship the Saints had to employ “risk” into their strategy. Going for it 4th an goal towards the end of the first half may not have produced a touchdown, but it did lead to a field goal cutting the Colts lead to four. The on-side kick to start the second half signaled the type of game plan the Saint had: A winning game plan. However, the Colts played valiantly down the stretch, making this game competitive. The Saints set the tone by taking risks early, and not thinking twice about it. Because of their faith in their own team last night, they woke up today as Super Bowl Champions.
So 10 down, has it been done before? Yes. What team did it? Kate Beirness tell us it was the 1987 Washington Redskins. It the highlight of a controversy filled season, both on the field and off the field. Off the field, disagreements between the Player’s Union and the Owners caused a strike. Unlike the 1982 season, there was no work stoppage, minus the cancellation of ALL week three games, but there were replacement players. These “temp” football players played from weeks four through six. The Redskins’ players were 3-0 in this period and even beat a Dallas team at Dallas that had starters jump the fence.
On the field the Redskins were going through a quarterback controversy between Doug Williams and Jay Schreoder. One week it was Doug the other it was Jay. This was just not a competitive battle, but this was also personal. In the NFC Championship, versus the Giants one year earlier it was never more made clear the awkwardness of this situation. Schreoder was hurt and Williams was called up to spell for him. Schreoder yelled at Williams telling him to get off the field, refusing to give up his spot. This embarrassed Williams and caused a rift between the two signal callers.
The Redskins won their division in 1987 and entered the Playoffs. Prior to the Playoffs the Skins paid a visit to the Minnesota Vikings in the regular season finale. Both Quarterbacks got a chance to show what they had in this game. Schreoder started off the game, but played sub par. Williams came in relief and rallied the team to an overtime win. Williams was then named starter for the duration of the playoffs, by Head Coach Joe Gibbs.
They [Redskins] went to Solider Field in Chicago to take on the Bears. Aided by a remarkable punt return by Darrell Green, the Redskins were able to leave the subzero temperatures of the Windy City for a Home Field Date with the Minnesota Vikings. Once again, it was Darrell Green maing a goal line pass defense that vaulted the Redskins back into the Super Bowl.
The end of the First Quarter of Super Bowl XXII was coming to an end and the Redskins had a problem. First of all, they were down 10-0 to the favored Denver Broncos, and then fireworks happened. Bombs to Sanders(2TD) and Clark, a long touchdown run by Timmy Smith, and a pass to Clint Didier capped a 35 point second quarter. The finest quarter perhaps ever played by any Quarterback, Doug Williams’ feat may never be duplicated, but the effort is displayed on a yearly basis.
The New Orleans Saints last night may be closer to the 1991 Redskins, but the team effort displayed was truly one deserving of the NFL’s most coveted prize.