Key discussion, bold decision and patient defense propel Saints
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. --
So how did Williams react at halftime when head coach
"Go for it," Williams said. "This is how you win championships."
The risky move, which worked, could have been seen as a sign of disrespect for Williams' defense, which to that point had limited the Colts offense to 10 points on four possessions. But Payton knew his offense needed a jolt, so he directed placekicker
"We've seen the onside kick all week and guys executed it well," Payton said. "When you do something like that, you just put it on the players and they were able to execute. It turned out to be a big change of possession."
The offense capitalized on the good field position, marching 58 yards in six plays. Quarterback
"I can't say we foresaw that coming because we didn't," center
The Colts, indeed, responded with a statement drive of their own. Manning methodically picked apart the Saints defense, driving 76 yards in 10 plays, capped by
For Williams, it was a difficult game to manage because of his penchant for being more aggressive with his defensive play-calling. But Williams knew what he was getting himself into. After the NFC Championship Game, he and Payton talked to each other about the importance of the offense and defense being on the same page for the Super Bowl.
"We knew the best way to beat them was to use the clock," Williams said. "We didn't want to change our approach, but that was what it took to get it done."
Williams got a reminder about the importance of being patient against the Colts in a surprise phone call from an old friend hours before the game.
"I want to take a moment to thank
The patience, obviously, paid off when cornerback
"We had eye contact before that play, and we both could tell what was coming because they had run it before," Williams said. "Actually, I
The Colts, who won it all here in Super Bowl XLI, knew they were beaten by the better team and accepted defeat.
"Bottom line, those guys made the plays -- the onside kick, the interception, the return -- and we didn't," Saturday said. "They flat out outplayed us."