Saints redeemed and headed to Super Bowl XLIV - - Jackson, MS

Saints redeemed and headed to Super Bowl XLIV

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Unheralded Garrett Hartley lifted the New Orleans Saints into their first Super Bowl with a 40-yard field goal in overtime for a 31-28 victory over the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC championship Sunday.

After a battered Brett Favre threw away the game with an interception deep in Saints territory at the end of regulation, Drew Brees guided New Orleans to the Minnesota 22. Hartley, suspended at the start of the season for using a banned stimulant, split the uprights.

Forget the Aints and the paper bag masks. The Saints will meet Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl in two weeks in Miami.

It's the first time the top seeds in each conference made the big game since the 1993 season.

 (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 AP-NY-01-24-10 2224EST

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