Peyton Manning plans to speak to Drew Brees

Peyton Manning left the field so quickly Sunday after the Super Bowl that he didn’t get a chance to congratulate Drew Brees. The Indianapolis Colts quarterback said he plans to speak with his New Orleans Saints counterpart soon.

“I certainly know how it was three years ago when we won . . . " Manning said. “There’s the stage being set up, and the celebration, and it’s time for the Saints to celebrate. It’s their field. They deserve the moment.

“But I certainly congratulate all their players and the Saints organization. I will speak to Drew Brees, speak to Sean Payton, and they deserve all the credit.”

No. 18

With their victory, the Saints became the 18th franchise to win a Super Bowl. They join the Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as teams that won in their only appearance.

Comeback kids

It doesn’t seem like too deep a hole, but the Saints are only the second Super Bowl team to rally from a 10-point deficit to win. Washington trailed Denver, 10-0, at the end of the first quarter in Super Bowl XXII.

Whereas the Redskins scored the remaining points in that game for a 42-10 victory, the Saints outscored the Colts, 31-7, in the last three quarters.

Peyton’s place

Manning threw for 333 yards, joining Brett Favre (5,855) and Joe Montana (5,772) as the only quarterbacks to have passed for more than 5,000 yards in their postseason careers. Manning has 5,164 yards.

That said, Saints safety Roman Harper was quite happy with the way his team played against Manning.

Harper was asked whether the Colts star is the best quarterback in NFL history.

“We understand that he’s done so much and won so many accolades and he deserves a lot of that talk, so I’m not going to say he’s not the best of all time,” Harper said. " . . . We made some plays, we stepped up, we disrupted this guy.

“He made a lot of throws off his back foot, and we just had to continue to pressure this guy and get after him. He was going to make plays, but we just had to make more plays than them at the end.”

Old footnote

Colts kicker Matt Stover became the oldest player (42 years 11 days) to participate in a Super Bowl. Until he missed a 51-yard try in the fourth quarter, he had made 16 consecutive postseason field goals. His last miss had been in a wild-card game in Miami, when Baltimore played the Dolphins in 2002.

With his 47-yard kick in the third quarter, the Saints’ Garrett Hartley became the first kicker in Super Bowl history to make three field goals of 40-plus yards in one game.

Freeney ankle

Much of the talk leading up to the game was about the health of Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, who suffered a sprained ankle in the AFC championship game against the Jets. It wasn’t clear whether Freeney would be able to play in the Super Bowl, considering he didn’t practice all week.

He did play and had a sack, using one hand to pull down Brees from behind. Freeney said he knew by Friday that he would be able to play, but said his ankle started to stiffen at halftime and that limited his productivity.

“I had it re-taped and tried to keep it warm, keep it going,” he said. “The problem is, once it gets stiff it’s tough to bring it back.”