I'm writing a column on this topic that will be posted soon (UPDATE: here's the full column posted on our website), but here's a preview of the first couple of paragraphs:
The New Orleans Saints provided a blueprint Sunday for the way you win a Super Bowl as an underdog against one of the best quarterbacks in history – something the Carolina Panthers couldn’t quite do six years before.
Namely, you take risks. When one fails, you take some more. If you go down, you go down utterly spent.
Before we go any further, answer me this: Can you imagine Panther coach John Fox calling for an onside kick to open the second half in a big game with his team down, 10-6?
If you can, your imagination is better than mine. Fox just doesn’t do things like that.
But he should. Every now and then, he should.
This part isn't in the column, but is interesting to me: Six years ago, Carolina also faced a favored team from the AFC with a great QB (New England and Tom Brady). Much like in the Saints-Colts game, Carolina got a late field goal just before halftime and went into the locker room down four (14-10 -- it was 10-6, Indy, in Sunday night's game).
New Orleans coach Sean Payton came out and called for an onside kick on the first play of the second half.
John Fox, of course, didn't do that in the same situation. And I'm not saying he should have -- Carolina then quickly held New England to a 3-and-out on the first series of the third quarter and almost won that Super Bowl (losing 32-29). I'm just saying he never would have thought about such a thing, such a risk, such a wild, bold play. And that, to me, is one of his failings as a coach. There's a lot to like there, too, but he's not going to think outside the box for you like that.
1 year ago