Super Bowl XLIV, Feb. 7, 2010. New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17.
Line: Colts by 4.5. Halftime show: The Who
Sure, it’s the players that win games, but you should never underestimate the brains on the sidelines. Sean Payton, coach of the New Orleans Saints, knew that he would need the odd trick up his sleeve if he was to mastermind an unlikely victory against the favored Indianapolis Colts. His first gamble didn’t work: going for it on fourth and goal at the end of the first half rather than just kicking the easy field goal cost the Saints three points. But Payton wouldn’t be deterred — his decision to start the second half with an onside kick was so brazen and audacious that it caught the Colts completely cold. The Saints recovered and proceeded to score a touchdown, giving them their first lead of the night. They never looked back.