Polian: O-line, special teams to blame
The offensive line and special teams are to blame for the loss, Polian told the Colts' Web site on Wednesday.
"Our offensive line, by our standards, did not have a good game," Polian told NFL.com. "They were outplayed by the Saints' defensive line. Our special teams, in terms of handing the ball -- both in the return game and on the onside kick -- were outplayed by the Saints. Therein lies the result. It had nothing to do with strategy or preparedness or toughness or effort."
The Colts' offensive line has been criticized after a playoff loss in the past. Quarterback Peyton Manning said there were "problems in protection" after a loss to the Steelers in the 2005 AFC divisional round.
Polian said the Super Bowl simply came down to execution.
"There were certain situations throughout the game where we didn't execute -- most notably, the failure to get the first down and run the clock out at the end of the first half after a magnificent goal-line stand and then, of course, the failure to handle the onside kick," Polian told NFL.com. "We had four things we could have done positively on that play. We didn't do any of them. That absolutely changed the game. It went from our getting the ball on their 40-yard line to having them march down for a touchdown. Then, our inability to punch it in from first-and-goal on the 3. Those situations, we did not execute."