The 10 biggest what-ifs in New Orleans Saints history

• Nick Saban might not have gone to Alabama if he had Drew Brees

• Sean Payton was nearly replaced by a legend

• What if Marcus Williams stopped the Minneapolis Miracle?

New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints / Hannah Foslien/GettyImages
7 of 10

4. What if the Colts recovered the onside kick?

Super Bowl XLIV featured the Saints and Indianapolis Colts as Drew Brees and Payton Manning squared off in Miami. The Colts were the favorites and went into the half with a 10-6 lead. They were also set to receive the second-half kickoff, with hopes of extending their lead.

But that's when Sean Payton called arguably the most famous onside kick of all time. It was the first time any team attempted an onside kick in the Super Bowl before the fourth quarter and it completely caught Indianapolis off guard.

Hank Baskett had a shot at the ball, but it bounced off his face mask. From there, a pile-up took place and New Orleans safety Chris Reis came up with the ball — although Jonathan Casillas was credited with the recovery.

Brees then completed five passes in a row as the offense moved 58 yards without ever facing a third down. Pierre Thomas capped off the drive with a 16-yard touchdown catch which gave them a 13-10 lead. The Colts easily answered and made it 17-13, but New Orleans had all the confidence in the world after the risky play and went on to win 31-17.

But what if the play didn't work? What if New Orleans gave Manning a short field and found themselves trailing 17-6? That could have really swung the momentum in a completely different direction. It would also completely change the perception of Brees and Payton since it could have meant neither would have ever won a title despite all their success.

This one kick could have been the difference between being seen as a sure-fire Hall of Famer and a disappointment that could never pull off the big win.