FanPost

The Theme of the Game

Already there's an "official history" of the Saints' victory in the NFC Championship, and it was written by Adrian Peterson and endorsed by almost everyone outside of WhoDat Nation:

"I feel they didn't win the game but we lost it."

In other words, Peterson and the other Vikings apologists believe their five turnovers were unforced mental mistakes at best...and at worst, manna from heaven raining down undeserved upon the anointed Saints. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As I've pointed out already on several other threads: those turnovers were, in fact, takeaways, part of a deliberate strategy on the part of Gregg Williams. Fans have no trouble distinguishing between different types of offensive strategies and tendencies, but they seem unable to distinguish between defensive strategies. Minnesota limited the Saints in yardage, and it worked pretty well for awhile. The Saints, on the other hand, gave up yardage in huge chunks...but also took away the ball five times.

If this game demonstrated anything, it is that both yardage totals and time of possession are entirely irrelevant if your team is prevented from finishing drives by scoring. The Vikings dominated in almost every statistical category, but couldn't close the deal because despite all the yardage they piled up, the Saints stopped them short of scoring. Minnesota prevented the Saints from scoring by holding them to 3 out of 12 conversions on third downs. The Saints, on the other hand, prevented the Vikings from scoring not by choking off drives before they could get started, but by taking back the ball. Both strategies worked equally well in regulation, as measured by the only stat that matters: points.

This game was a heavyweight brawl from start to finish, and the Saints got in the last punch. That's all that happened, Adrian. You want to blame someone? Blame us.

This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.

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