In the 2009 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints made it to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. This Super Bowl matchup gave us one of the best quarterback matchups of all time, as it was Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning.
Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports ranked every Super Bowl quarterback matchup and Brees vs. Manning in Super Bowl XLIV was No. 6 on the list.
"Brees won MVP honors. Manning, who three years earlier led the Colts to a victory in Super Bowl XLI, won his second Super Bowl ring nine years later as a member of the Broncos. Manning is third all-time in career passing yards and touchdown passes. He is also a member of the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Brees missed the cut despite being the NFL’s all-time career passing leader. He is also second all-time with 571 career touchdown passes. Both players will be in the Hall of Fame as soon as they are eligible."
As we all know, the Saints won that Super Bowl by a score of 31 to 17. The turning point in the game was the famous onside kick call to begin the second half. New Orleans never looked back from then on.
Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV was one for the ages
In the 2009 season, Brees threw for 4,388 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions through 15 regular-season games (he sat out the final week due to NOLA having the top seed locked up). Manning tossed for 4,500 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions, edging out Brees in the yardage and interception totals.
In the postseason, Brees and the Saints steamrolled over the Cardinals where Brees put up 247 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-14 route. In the narrow NFC Championship victory over the Vikings, Brees threw for just shy of 200 yards but had three touchdown passes, helping get his squad to the biggest game in sports.
Manning and the Colts took down the Ravens in a 20-3 demolition where he threw for 246 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick, then threw for 377 yards and three scores against the Jets in the AFC title game.
In the Super Bowl, Brees won MVP honors for his efforts. He completed 32 of his 39 pass attempts for 288 yards and two touchdowns.
Manning, meanwhile, threw for more yards with 333 but had just one touchdown and also threw a costly pick to Tracy Porter that led to a pick-six. It’s a moment that will forever be replayed in New Orleans.
For Brees, this was it for him in the Super Bowl. He never made it back despite the Saints getting close a few times — COUGH 2018 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP SHENANIGANS COUGH — and it was a shame that he only ended up with just the one ring and the one appearance.
For Manning, this was his second appearance in the Super Bowl. He won it with the Colts a few years prior, as Indy took down the Bears in Super Bowl XLI and Manning won MVP honors in that game. Manning went to two more Super Bowls as a member of the Broncos and went 1-1 in those games.
Both of these gentlemen are now retired and living their best lives with Manning and his brother Eli hosting their own Monday Night Football special. Brees also does TV as a member of NBC’s “Football Night in America” while occasionally calling games as well.
It’s not surprising to see this matchup ranked so high, as these are two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.