In the 2009 Super Bowl, the Colts trailed the Saints 24-17 with just a few minutes left to go, but the league's reigning back-to-back MVP was methodically marching his team down the field toward the tying score. Then, on a routine slant route, Peyton Manning's pass was jumped by Tracy Porter and taken back the other way for a pick-six, essentially sealing the victory for New Orleans.
The intended receiver on that route was Reggie Wayne, the ever-reliable wideout who had made the catch hundreds of time before. The Colts' passing offense was built very heavily on rhythm and timing rather than complex play designs or schemes, and this play was no different. Wayne stumbled slightly while coming off of his break, however, and many viewed that as the reason that Manning's timing was thrown off and picked off. Reggie Wayne, it turns out, is tired of hearing about how he's to blame for that play. Appearing this morning on NFL Network, Reggie Wayne talked about that play and made it clear that it wasn't his fault.
"Let me tell you something about that," Wayne said, according to NFL.com. "We ran that play about four times that game. He was waiting on it. He sat on it and he waited. He broke before I did. I didn't help, I slipped a little bit. But he got there before I did. If I would have run the perfect route, I think he still would have got there before me."
Wayne made it clear that the play wasn't his fault, and it's clear that Porter deserves a lot of credit for the play - he read the play, knew the route, and jumped it. Sometimes, the other guy just makes a great play, and that's what happened. But though Wayne didn't come out and say it, it does sound like he thinks Manning is to blame. He talked about how Porter knew what the play was because the Colts had already run it four times, and so Porter knew exactly what was coming. It wasn't his fault, then, that the pass was picked, because when Manning threw it Porter already knew it was coming and picked it off. It seems that Wayne is suggesting that the ball shouldn't have been thrown. Either way, he wants to make one thing clear: it wasn't his fault.