New Orleans Saints to meet Indianapolis in Super Bowl
Brees leads New Orleans to first Super Bowl
By Martin Gough
The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts will meet in the Super Bowl after two thrilling conference title games.
The Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 in overtime to advance to the NFL finale for the first time.
And quarterback Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes as Indianapolis rallied from 17-6 down for a 30-17 win over the New York Jets.
The Colts return to Miami, where they won the title three years ago, for Super Bowl XLIV on 7 February.
It's a moment I've been waiting for for a long time and obviously we're not done yet
Saints quarterback Drew Brees
But much of the attention will focus on New Orleans, who were cheered on to victory in the Louisiana Superdome, restored after it was at the centre of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina four years ago.
"This is for everybody in this city," said coach Sean Payton. "This stadium used to have holes in it and used to be wet. It's not wet anymore. This is for the city of New Orleans."
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Quarterback Drew Brees added: "It's a moment I've been waiting for for a long time and obviously we're not done yet."
In a see-saw National Football Conference Championship Game, the Saints looked down and out as Minnesota drove for what looked set to be a game-winning field goal in the dying seconds.
But veteran quarterback Brett Favre fired an interception to reignite the game and take it into an extra period.
And young kicker Garrett Hartley slotted home from 40-yards out for the home side five minutes later.
Favre was battered by the Saints and committed three of the five turnovers given up by his side. Adrian Peterson - who scored three touchdowns - and Percy Harvin both also fumbled the ball at key times.
Earlier on Sunday, the Colts won by a healthy margin for the American Football Conference title.
But they relied on Manning to help them overcome an early deficit after rookie Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for two scores.
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