Vikings top Saints in NFL Wild Card upset!

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

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.

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!

 

 

 

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 

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