INDIANAPOLIS -- My favorite moment from the New Orleans Saints' postgame locker room on Saturday night came when I asked cornerback Keenan Lewis if he thought he had an interception during a diving attempt in the second quarter.
Lewis' response: He pulled out his cell phone to show a replay that a fan had posted on YouTube.
Unfortunately it was one of those inconclusive deals that probably wouldn't have been overturned on replay either way -- which is why Saints coach Sean Payton didn't throw the red challenge flag.
Regardless, it was a spectacular effort by Lewis from start to finish. He ran step for step down the field with dynamic Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton deep down the field, then he tipped the pass away into the air and then dove to either catch it or trap it against the ground (as the officials ruled it on the field).
Lewis, who actually had two near-interceptions on Saturday, has had an excellent offseason, following up a terrific 2013 season that flew too far under the radar on a national level. The Saints certainly appreciated his efforts, though, naming him as their 2013 defensive MVP.
Despite Lewis' near-misses, the Saints still wound up forcing three turnovers against the Colts. Safety Kenny Vaccaro made a nice diving pick against Andrew Luck in the first quarter. Undrafted rookie cornerback Brian Dixon picked off backup QB Matt Hasselbeck in the third quarter. And undrafted rookie linebacker Todd Davis recovered a muffed punt return in the fourth quarter.
“We watched a lot of tape during the week and kind of knew the route before he even ran it,” Vaccaro said of the pass intended for tight end Coby Fleener. “I kind of undercut it and made a play.”
The Saints' starting secondary had only one real miscue against Luck and the Colts' starters -- when they allowed Fleener to break wide open for a 21-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. There was clearly a missed assignment by someone in an apparent zone coverage, since no one picked up Fleener after linebacker Curtis Lofton appeared to pass Fleener off to another zone. Vaccaro was among those in the area, and a group of players discussed the play afterward on the sideline.
“It was just miscommunication between every level of the defense,” Vaccaro said. “But it was a simple thing. It'll be easily corrected.”