At first glance you are like, "What the hell? Another dumb post about this friggin' interception!" Then, after a closer look, you see that the story is not yet another misguided hate post from a writer dancing with manic glee at the fact that Peyton Manning lost a Super Bowl. Instead, we get a story that provides us with what many other stories from supposedly better writers have not: Insight.
Enter Dawgs By Nature writer rufio, who does a magnificent job breaking down how Tracy Porter was able to step in front of Reggie Wayne, pick off Peyton Manning's three-step throw, and return it for a touchdown in Super Bowl 44. From his post titled Rufio's Playbook: Breaking down Tracy Porter's Pick Six of Peyton Manning:
Wayne either slips or runs the wrong route or (in a less likely scenario) Peyton got the route wrong and threw it anyway. My money is on Wayne being at fault, that he simply ran a poor route. Instead of getting inside position on Porter (which should have been automatic for a guy as good as Wayne), Porter is able to jump the route and pick the ball off.
The story offers tremendous insight into how plays are called and executed, with diagrams and screen captures to show how this one play developed. The story also does not paint a very happy picture of Reggie Wayne, who (for all intents and purposes) screwed up the route and allowed Porter to make his pick. Credit Porter for reading the route and making his move. Yes, the Saints were able to score a TD off it due in part to an illegal block in the back on Manning, but whatcha gonna do? I know I don't point to that as a reason why the Colts lost.
Also, this notion that Porter and the Saints "out-prepared" the Colts is a bit silly. The Colts offense is not some chaotic mess of motion designed to confuse the opponent. Everyone knows what the Colts like to run and when they like to run it. That is certainly no secret, which is why Pat Kirwan's silly article from a few weeks ago is all the more laughable.
The Colts beat you with execution, and on this one play Reggie Wayne did not seem to execute the play very well.
Was Reggie hurt? Did he run the wrong route? Who knows. I give Reggie a pass on this because we have seen him play through pain and injuries before. We've also seen him deliver big time in the post-season and in big games (unlike, say, Randy Moss, who apparently now wants out of New England). So please, don't go hating on Reggie Wayne for this. The guy is a genuine football great, and a real student of the game. He never quits. He plays hard. He plays hurt. On this one play, he messed up. Forgive him for being human.
Many thanks to rubio for writing up this great breakdown and to Chris at DBN for posting a FanShot about it here. These are the kind of articles that are sorely lacking in the blog world and in the big media world. Articles like these are why we exist as a media entity in the first place. Fine job, gents.