NFC Championship Vikings 28 @ Saints 31: The View from Section 140

I think most of the major points and emotions have all been discussed already so I'm just going to jump straight into my bullets. Not too many, just some things to think about and foster discussion. I will have the picture portion of "The View from Section 140" up a little bit later. I think you'll rather enjoy those. 

  • The Saintsations came out and danced to "Tonight's Gonna be a Good Night." It was. 
  • Irvin Mayfield performed "America the Beautiful" before Kris Allen sang the National Anthem. 
  • The Saints ran onto the field via another lame, anti-climactic introduction. In fact, I don't even remember hearing an introduction. They just ran out of the tunnel and onto the field. I guess it's a team unity thing but I like the individual player introductions. 
  • The crowd was definitely the loudest I think it's ever been. 
  • It feels almost blasphemous to say but Drew Brees looked about as off as I can ever remember seeing him. I counted five total overthrows including throws to Colston, Shockey, Meachem and the one to David Thomas that was flagged for pass interference. Maybe the nerves are getting to Drew. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad performance. It just wasn't amazing. We're so used to amazing. The good news is that he probably knows it and he'll definitely want to make up for it next game. 
  • How can a team be +4 in the turnover department and not be dominating the game, especially with a finely tuned offense like the Saints? That's an important question and my answer is simple: Piss poor third down conversion percentage on both sides of the ball. The offense just couldn't get it done on third down, converting only 25%. The defense allowed the VIkings to get over 58%. For those fans of the all-important T.O.P. stat, keep in mind that third down conversions are crucial in how long a team can hold onto the ball.
  • That being said, thank heaven that we've got Thomas Morstead. Seriously, he was a huge help in this game with regards to field position. I don't know if the low kickoffs are intentional however. 
  • Penalties were a factor for both teams and there were just too many of them. I think the ref's were calling a very tight game.
  • I still don't think the defense played that great but what's important is that they came up huge when they needed it. Every time it seemed like the Saints might have blown it, the defense was there to bail them out. That was a result of sticking to their obvious game plan of attacking Favre and causing turnovers. Isn't that exactly what we wanted and expected from Williams since day one?   
  • Give it up for the offensive line again. Drew was only sacked once but more importantly, Jared Allen was a non-factor. Schmohawk with a mullet? Never heard of him. Also give credit to Sean Payton and the game plan for doing everything necessary to help the line. 
  • After Bush fumbled on the punt return, Sean Payton deliberately gave the ball to Reggie on the first two hand-offs of their next offensive series. 
  • The Southern University marching band was the halftime entertainment. They performed the same Michael Jackson tribute they did during the Saints first home game of the season against the Lions. This time they also put together a tribute to Drew Brees by spelling his name out on the field with their formation. 
  •  The woman behind me during the halftime show: "Go Southern! That's how you do it, Saintsations! Take notes!"
  • During one of the video reviews in overtime, chants of "Finish Strong" began to spread throughout the stadium. It was kind of a "Rudy" moment. 
  • Any other year and the Saints probably would have lost this game.
  • Devery Henderson is quietly leading this team in receiving yards, catches and touchdownsduring the playoffs. Just wanted to point that out. 
  • I don't know why but I will always have an affinity for Pierre Thomas. My love affair is no secret. His consistency is underrated and his talent is still under-utilized. Fortunately the Saints have had the advantage of a running back rotation but I firmly believe if the Saints or any other team used PT as their main back, he would accomplish great things. I love his running style, almost skating across the field, and he's got a great nose for finding space. 
  • What can I say about the kick. Probably would have been good from 62 yards.
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