New Orleans Saints photos of Drew Brees in Super Bowl XLIV. Photos by Michael C. Hebert.
The numbers weren't blow-the-doors-off astronomical or buckle-a-defense's-knees overwhelming.
But they were precise, surgeon-like, victory-by-a-thousand-cuts efficient.
Not once during the New Orleans Saints' playoff run in 2009 did quarterback Drew Brees pass for 300 yards, not even in New Orleans' 31-17 victory over Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV. But, also, not once did Brees throw an interception that postseason, versus the eight touchdown passes he tossed.
And when the Saints most needed Brees to be, well, "Brees-like" in the Super Bowl, the captain delivered an MVP performance on the big stage. He completed 18 of his last 19 passes, including his final 10, en route to completing 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns.
Only once during the regular season, and just 11 times in his 202-game NFL career, has Brees had a better single-game completion percentage than the 82.1 percent that he completed against the Colts.
Brees is one of just five quarterbacks to have 200 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and a 70 percent completion rate in a Super Bowl victory.
So while the yardage totals didn't stack to the clouds as Saints fans had become accustomed to seeing from Brees, the more patient, short-yardage approach worked just fine for New Orleans.
Turns out the numbers didn't need to blow off the doors. They only needed to open the doors wide enough for the Saints to gain access to the room where the Lombardi Trophy was kept.