â†µMIAMI — If any one thing about the first half of Super Bowl 44 came
â†µas a surprise, it had to be the running of Joseph Addai.
â†µThe Colts, in the regular season, were the NFL's worst running team. â†µAfter all, who needs to run the ball when four-time league MVP Peyton â†µManning can manufacture short and long gains through the air?
â†µBut there they were at halftime with the Colts leading a low-scoring â†µaffair, and Addai had managed 60 yards rushing on just seven carries. â†µAddai even carried that first-half momentum into the Colts' first drive â†µof the second half, getting four touches and finishing the drive with a â†µ4-yard TD run to put the Colts ahead, 17-13.
â†µAnd then Addai essentially vanished. His remaining rushes: three â†µcarries, minus-2 yards. Why was perhaps the most successful cog of the â†µfirst two-plus quarters cast aside?
â†µ"I feel like we had the right game plan going in; we just didn't finish â†µthe game," Addai said. "Coach (Jim) Caldwell called on me, and I was â†µable to answer. I think that's what we've been doing pretty much all â†µyear.
â†µ"Whenever it's my turn to do whatever coach wants me to do, I do it."
â†µAddai did catch three passes for 33 yards on the Colts' final drive, but â†µthose touches amounted to semantics at that point. Still, Addai â†µwouldn't take the bait to criticize his first-year coach. â†µ
â†µ"If we would've won and I had run the same, the questions would be
â†µdifferent," Addai said. "You don't know how to look at it yet. We've got
â†µto go back and look at the film and see what we have to clean up."
â†µThe salt in Addai's wound is the fact he lives in New Orleans during the â†µoffseason, so he's sure to hear "Who Dat?" ad nauseam for months on â†µend.
â†µ"I feel good for the fans in New Orleans because of everything that has â†µbeen going on down there," Addai said. "They have something else to turn â†µto now, and the Saints did a great job winning a championship for â†µthem." â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.