By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
I’m not gonna lie – this game completely shocked me! This year’s NFL Wild Card Weekend had some major upsets as well as THREE road teams being victorious!
I’ve been a huge fan of the New Orleans Saints all season long and wondered why they weren’t getting any love in the media when it came to talking about the playoffs and Super Bowl contenders. After their 26-20 loss in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings, I guess I can see why no one believed in them.
Just to set the mood, here is my favorite tweet about the game… Gotta love the Titanic music, even if you are a Saints fan.
— Avery T ↙️ (@Avery__T) January 5, 2020
Amidst lots of complaining about the referees, the reality is that the Vikings just manhandled the Saints linemen, both on offense and defense. It took a field goal from Will Lutz with 00:02 left on the clock to tie this up and send them to overtime. I was expecting some of that Drew Brees – Michael Thomas magic to get a touchdown there for the win, but the Vikings defense held tough to keep them alive and send this to overtime.
From a stats perspective, things were pretty close but Minnesota maintained the edge in the important categories: Turnovers were 1 for Vikings but 2 for Saints. First downs earned were 22 for Vikings and 19 for Saints. Even when it came to total yardage, Vikings had the edge 362 to 324.
Getting running back Dalvin Cook and wide receiver Adam Thielen back was HUGE for Minnesota. Cook posted up 94 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns while Thielen topped all receivers with 129 yards on only seven receptions. Ultimately, it was the excellent game management by quarterback Kirk Cousins – 242 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions – that was the biggest factor in this game. Apparently Kirk CAN win the big game!
While fans may complain about the referees or even the rules for overtime, they can’t deny that this season was pretty good, all things considered. Early in the season when Brees was out due to injury and Teddy Bridgewater had to step in, no one gave this team a chance to win their division, let alone make the playoffs. But they stayed in their lane and Brees returned to not only lead them to a 13-3 season but to set the NFL TD pass record – or at least battle back and forth with Tom Brady to get it!
If you’re complaining about the refs you didn’t watch the game#Saints shot themselves in the foot too many times with bad mistakes and the Vikings won the line of scrimmage in both sides
It sucks but the Vikings just straight up beat em
— T-Bob Hebert (@TBob53) January 5, 2020
You know what was ridiculous? When this happened in the NFC championship 10 years ago and the Saints beat the Vikings with just a field goal on the first possession. I didn’t hear much from Saints fans then, so I’m not here for it now https://t.co/DPCGoqsQJ5
— Ed McKinley (@ByEdMcKinley) January 5, 2020
Congrats to the NOLA Saints and Drew Brees on the 540 TD Pass!!! pic.twitter.com/z2PklqFU9V
— Brian Fallon (@thebrianfallon) December 17, 2019
So many great memories of this season and I’m sure Saints fans will eventually let this game go and remember those moments.
Talk NFL with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8