FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – To commemorate Super Bowl XLIV, we bring you 44 facts and tidbits pertaining to the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, the Giants and the Super Bowl.
I – The Saints are the ninth different NFC team to advance to the Super Bowl in the 2000-2009 decade. Only one NFC team reached two Super Bowls in those 10 seasons: The Giants, who lost Super Bowl XXXV but won Super Bowl XLII.
II – Since the Giants played in Super Bowl XXXV, a different team has represented the NFC in each Super Bowl. In order, they were St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago, the Giants, Arizona and now New Orleans.
III - The Buccaneers, Panthers, Seahawks, Cardinals and Saints all made their Super Bowl debuts this decade. Teams playing in their first Super Bowl are 8-19. The last team to win its debut Super Bowl was Tampa Bay seven years ago.
IV – The AFC, meanwhile, has a smaller group of Super Bowl entries. New England, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis have combined to represent the conference in seven consecutive Super Bowls and eight of the last nine. Baltimore in 2000 and Oakland in 2002 were the only teams to break the stranglehold by the big three.
V- The AFC is 7-2 in Super Bowls this decade. Tampa Bay (XXXVII) and the Giants were the only NFC winners. Overall, the NFC leads, 23-20.
VI – The is only the third time since the NFL began seeing playoff teams in 1990 that the top two seeds in each conference advanced to the Super Bowl. It last happened in the 1993 season, when Dallas defeated Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVIII. The only other time it occurred was in 1991, when Washington beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.
VII – The Colts (14) and Saints (13) combined for 27 victories this season, tying for the third-highest total for teams meeting in the Super Bowl. The record of 29 was set in Super Bowl XIX by San Francisco (15) and Miami (14). Denver and Atlanta had 14 wins apiece when they met in Super Bowl XXXIII. Washington (14) and Buffalo (13) also totaled 27 victories in Super Bowl XXVI.
VIII - Peyton Manning, who won his record fourth Most Valuable Player award this season, hopes to become the 11th MVP to play on a Super Bowl-winning team. The others are Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Mark Moseley (Washington's kicker in the strike-shortened 1982 season), Lawrence Taylor, Joe Montana, Emmitt Smith, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Terrell Davis and Kurt Warner.
IX – Indianapolis' Jim Caldwell is the fifth rookie head coach to lead his to the Super Bowl. The others were the Don McCafferty, also of the Colts (then in Baltimore) in Super Bowl V, Denver's Red Miller in Super Bowl XII, San Francisco's George Seifert in Super Bowl XXIV and Oakland's Bill Callahan in Super Bowl XXXVII. McCafferty (16-13 over Dallas) and Seifert (55-10 over Denver) won. Miller (27-10 to Dallas) and Callahan (48-21 to Tampa Bay) lost. The Buccaneers' Jon Gruden, who previously coached Oakland, is the only other coach to go to the Super Bowl in his first season with a team.
X – The Giants played one of the Super Bowl teams this season, losing on Oct. 18 in New Orleans, 48-27. In the 39 previous Super Bowls in which they were not one of the competing teams, the Giants played the eventual champion 28 times in the regular season. They are 2-26 in those games, including a 2008 triumph over last year's Super Bowl winner, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many of the defeats occurred in the bleak 1970s. Just three of them were in the last 10 seasons. Their only other victory against a Super Bowl champion was in 1998 against the Denver Broncos, who were 13-0 when they lost in Giants Stadium, 20-16, on Dec. 13. The Giants are 4-23 against Super Bowl losers.
XI - Saints head coach Sean Payton, the Giants' quarterbacks coach in 1999 who added offensive coordinator to his resume the next three seasons, is the eighth former Giants assistant to lead a team to the Super Bowl:
Name Giants Assistant Team, Super Bowl(s)
Bill Belichick 1979-90 New England: XXXI, XXXVIII,
Tom Coughlin 1988-90 Giants: XLII
Jim Fassel 1991-92 Giants: XXXV
John Fox 1997-2001 Carolina: XXXVIII
Tom Landry 1954-59 Dallas: V, VI, X, XII, XIII
Vince Lombardi 1954-58 Green Bay: I, II
Bill Parcells 1979, 1981-82 Giants: XXI, XXV
Sean Payton 1999-2002 New Orleans: XLIV
In addition, Former Giants head coach Dan Reeves led both Denver (XXI, XXII and XXIV) and Atlanta XXXIII) to Super Bowls.
XII - Either the Colts or Saints will become the third team to play its home games in a dome to win a Super Bowl. The others were the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV and the Colts three years ago.
XIII - This is the 10th Super Bowl to be played in South Florida, breaking a tie with New Orleans for the most frequent site of the game. Super Bowl XLVII will be played in the NFL Watches Superdome in three years.
XIV – New Orleans' offense finished first in the NFL in 2009 with an average of 403.8 yards a game. Top-ranked offensive teams are 7-6 in the Super Bowl. The last No. 1 offense to reach the Super Bowl was the New England team that lost to the Giants two years ago.
XV - The Colts and Saints have played each other 10 times, with each team winning five. The Colts won the first three (1967-73), New Orleans won the next five (1986-2001) and Indianapolis has prevailed in the last two, including a 41-10 triumph in the 2007 Thursday night season opener after the Colts won Super Bowl XLI.
XVI - Both the Colts and Saints won in Sun Life Stadium this season. Indianapolis defeated the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 21, 27-23 (despite owning the ball for only 14:53) and New Orleans overcame a 24-3 deficit to beat Miami, 46-34, on Oct. 25. Overall, the Colts are 10-9 in the stadium, including a postseason loss in 2000 and a victory in Super Bowl XLI. The Saints are 1-1.
XVII - This is the Colts' fourth Super Bowl appearance and all have been in South Florida. They lost Super Bowl III to the Jets and defeated Dallas in Super Bowl V and Chicago in Super Bowl XLI.
XVIII - With a victory, the Colts will become the ninth franchise with at least three Super Bowl victories, joining Pittsburgh (6), San Francisco (5), Dallas (5), the Giants (3), Green Bay (3), the Raiders (3), Washington (3) and New England (3).
XIX - Payton or Caldwell will become the 28th different head coach to win a Super Bowl.
XX - With the Saints advancing this far for the first time, only four NFL teams have never advanced to the Super Bowl: Cleveland, Houston and Jacksonville in the AFC and Detroit in the NFC.
XXI – Peyton and Eli Manning are two of the 23 quarterbacks drafted in the first round to start in a Super Bowl.
XXII - Peyton Manning can become the 10th quarterback to start and win multiple Super Bowls, joining Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana (four each), Troy Aikman and Tom Brady (three each) and John Elway, NFL Watches Bob Griese, Jim Plunkett, Bart Starr and Ben Roethlisberger (two each).
XXIII - Teams that have scored on an interception return are 9-0 in the Super Bowl, including Pittsburgh last year.
XXIV - Super Bowl oddity: The NFC team has won the coin toss in each of the last 12 Super Bowls. The last AFC team to win the coin toss was New England in Super Bowl XXI. It didn't help. The Patriots lost, 35-21. Arizona last year became the first team to win the toss and defer its choice to the second half.
XXV - New Orleans led the NFL in scoring this season with a franchise-record 510 points, but the last team to lead the league in that department and win the Super Bowl was the 1999 Rams. Since then, no Super Bowl winner even led their conference in points scored, let alone the league. The only scoring leaders to advance to the Super Bowl this decade were the 2001 Rams (503 points) and the 2007 Patriots (589).
XXVI – Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, the starting quarterbacks in Sunday's game, have reach thrown an NFL-best 122 regular season touchdown passes since the start of the 2006 season.
XXVII - Brees has a passer rating of 152.8 in three games against former Super Bowl MVPs this season: Eli Manning (156.8), Tom Brady (a perfect 158.3) and Kurt Warner (125.4).
XXVIII – There are three players in the Super Bowl with Giants connections. New Orleans tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Darnell Dinkins played for the Giants and Indianapolis kicker Matt Stover was their 12th-round draft choice in 1990. New Orleans kicking consultant John Carney was a Pro Bowler with the Giants last season and led the Saints in scoring this year with 89 points. He has since been replaced by Garrett Hartley.
XXIX - The Super Bowl will be televised live to more than 180 countries and territories. It will be broadcast live in more than 30 languages, including 13 different languages from Sun Life Stadium.
XXX - The Saints are one of 15 current NFL teams that have yet to win a Super Bowl.
XXXI - New Orleans only has four playoff victories in its history. Before the Saints won two games this postseason, there were eight NFL teams that had more Super Bowl titles than the Saints had playoff victories.
XXXII - Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi is the grandson of legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi, whose name is on the Super Bowl trophy. Vince died of cancer nine months before Joe was born.
XXXIII – The Colts finished last in the NFL in rushing, averaging 80.9 yards a game. They are the second team to have the league's fewest rushing yards and still reach the Super Bowl. The first was last year's Cardinals. Of the last 30 Super Bowl champions, 24 ranked in the top 10 in rushing, including the last two Lombardi Trophy winners in the Giants and Steelers. Eight of the league's top 10 passing teams made the playoffs this year, while only five of the top 10 running teams did.
XXXIV – Indianapolis was the top seed in the AFC playoffs and defeated the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens and the fifth-seeded Jets to reach the Super Bowl. Both opponents were 9-7 wild-card teams. That makes the Colts the first team to reach the Super Bowl without knocking off at least one division champion since the 2005 Seahawks. Seattle was the top seed, and beat the No. 6 Redskins and No. 5 Panthers at home in the playoffs. Since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format and started seeding both conferences 1 through 6 in 1990, no team in either conference had made it to the Super Bowl without beating at least one team that won 10 or more games in the regular season, and no AFC champion had reached the Super Bowl without beating at least one division champion.
XXXV – The Colts this week stayed in the same hotel they used prior to their victory over Chicago in Super Bowl XLI three years ago. The players still on the team played in the same rooms.
XXXVI – Forty three players have won Super Bowls with more than one team, including seven who won at least one with the Giants.
XXXVII – Seventeen head coaches have perfect Super Bowl records, led by former Pittsburgh coach Chuck Noll's 4-0 mark. Tom Coughlin is one of 10 coaches with a 1-0 Super Bowl record.
XXXVIII – Nineteen starting quarterbacks have perfect Super Bowl records. Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana were both 4-0. Phil Simms and Eli and Peyton Manning are among the 13 quarterbacks who are 1-0.
XXXIX – The Giants trailed by nine points (12-3) before rallying to beat Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV. It is still the second-largest comeback in Super Bowl history. In Super Bowl XXII, Washington fell behind Denver, 10-0, before storming to a 42-10 victory. The Colts' eight-point deficit vs. the Bears three years ago was the third-largest overcome on the way to a Super Bowl victory.
XL – Only four of the previous 43 Super Bowls have had two or more fourth-quarter lead changes and the Giants played in two of them. Their victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII included a record three lead changes in the final quarter. And the lead changed twice in the fourth quarter in the victory over Buffalo. Three of those four games have occurred in the last six Super Bowls, including Patriots-Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII and Steelers-Cardinals last year.
XLI – The most expensive tickets for Super Bowl I cost $12. The most expensive ticket to Sunday's game cost $1,000.
XLII – Tom Coughlin would love this: Super Bowl teams with fewer turnovers than their opponents are 31-3.
XLIII – Phil Simms completed 22 of 25 passes in Super Bowl XXI, a completion percentage of 88.0 that is still a Super Bowl record.
XLIV – Quarterbacks have won the Super Bowl MVP award 22 times, more than any other position. The last quarterback to win it was Eli Manning two years ago.
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