For Joseph Addai, a Super Outing, but No Ring This Time
MIAMI -- There's something about a Super Bowl stage that brings out the best in Indianapolis Colts running back Joseph Addai. He easily could have been the MVP of Super Bowl XLI three seasons ago at this same South Florida stadium, when the then-rookie gained 143 total yards in a victory over the Chicago Bears.
In that game, Addai lost his MVP trophy to quarterback Peyton Manning. In Super Bowl XLIV, his MVP bid -- which seemed very legitimate at halftime with his 80 yards from scrimmage and the Colts leading the Saints 10-6 -- was destroyed Sunday by a New Orleans offense that dominated in the second half and was outscored 15-0 in the fourth quarter.
Addai, meanwhile, was one of the few highlights for Indianapolis in what would be a 31-17 loss to the sentimental favorite Saints. The fourth-year back had 135 yards from scrimmage -- 77 rushing, and 58 yards receiving on seven receptions.
He rushed for three first downs in the Colts' opening scoring drive, and gained 53 yards on three carries in Indianapolis' 96-yard touchdown drive, including a season-best 26-yard run.
"Coach (Jim) Caldwell called on me and I was able to answer," Addai said simply.
How's that for a switch: Addai, the face of a rushing offense ranked last in the NFL, was one of the most effective players Sunday on the Colts' explosive, high-scoring offense. One that could only score seven points in the second half, and was limited to only 2 minutes, 34 seconds in a Saints-dominated second quarter.
"It was definitely disappointing not to have more points. The second quarter was kind of a drag," Colts tackle Ryan Diem said. "But Joe (Addai) ran like crazy."
Said Caldwell, "Joseph ran the ball well. I'm not certain what his numbers were, but I know we ran it for about 6.5 (yards per carry) at the half and he had some pretty good runs in the second half as well.
"We just didn't have enough possessions to make a difference in those situations."
Addai, who attended Louisiana State University and won a national title under former Tigers coach Nick Saban, admitted he was torn afterward, feeling disappointment for his team's crushing loss, yet finding himself elated for the city of New Orleans, where he makes his home in the offseason.
"Obviously I feel good for the fans of New Orleans, with everything that's going on," Addai said. "They have something else to turn to. I understand the problems, and the Saints deserved to win."