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Saints vs. Vikings: The Weekly Saints Seven

Seven cool facts from the Saints 20-9 win against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

The Weekly Saints Seven (TWSS) is a new feature that takes a quick look at seven interesting facts related to the last Saints game. It could be a key takeaway from the game, or a stat you may not have known about. It's a quirky game recap tailor-made for both the football nerds and those who don't care so much about crazy numbers.


1 - Opening with a Touchdown.

For the first time in 2014, the New Orleans Saints scored a touchdown on their first possession. The Saints took the opening kickoff from their 20-yard line after a touchback and marched 80 yards for the score in 11 plays that ate 5:24 minutes on the clock.

In case you were wondering, New Orleans took their opening possession of the first game against Atlanta and scored a field goal after driving 67 yards to the Falcons' 13-yard line. Against Cleveland, the Saints punted on their first four possessions.


2 - Cam's First.

Saints defensive end Cam Jordan came into the game against Minnesota without having recorded a single sack. Jordan changed that when he dropped Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for a seven yards loss in the fourth quarter. Jordan finished last year with 12.5 sacks to lead New Orleans and is widely considered one of the best young pass rushers in the National Football League. Let's hope that this sack is the first of many for Cam Jordan this season.


3 - Did You Say Decline?

On Sunday against Minnesota, Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 27 of 35 passes for 293 yards. In doing so, Brees saw his NFL record of 10 consecutive home games with at least 300 passing yards snapped. Brees was magnificent on Sunday, completing 77.1% of his passes for a QB rating of 120.3.


4 - Tightening Up.

In their first game, the Saints defense was shredded by the Atlanta Falcons for 568 total yards. They followed that pitiful effort by giving up 324 yards to Brian Hoyer and the Browns. Against Minnesota, New Orleans gave up only 247 yards, a grand total of nine points and no touchdowns. Yes, it was the Adrian Peterson-less Vikings and from the second quarter on, they were led by rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. But playing defense in the NFL is not just physical, it is also mental. This performance should make the defense feel much better ahead of facing Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense next Sunday night.


5 - Red Miss.

Saints place kicker Shayne Graham missed his first extra point of the season when it was blocked by Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen. Graham had been nine for nine on extra points until the miss. Before you start panicking however, it seems there was a slight issue with the hold of backup quarterback Luke McCown who didn't turn the laces out, leading to the wobbly and eventually blocked kick. If that's any reassurance, Graham has yet to miss a field goal this year (three for three).


6 - Insult and Injury.

You certainly remember the last time the Saints defense battered a Vikings quarterback in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. It was on January 24 2010, when New Orleans bruised Brett Favre on their way to defeating Minnesota 31-28 and earning the team's first trip to the Super Bowl. On Sunday, Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel was tackled by Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton early in the second quarter, leading to Cassel's exit from the game with a broken ankle. Vikings fans are sure to cry foul, since they were so despondent after New Orleans' win in the 2009 NFC Championship game in which they thought the Saints deliberately tried to injure Brett Favre.


7 - Master of the Dome.

With their 20-9 win against Minnesota on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints have now won 18 straight home games with Saints Payton at the helm (this is not counting Payton's absence for all of 2012). New Orleans last home loss with Payton on the sidelines was on January 2, 2011, a 13-23 defeat to the Tampa Buccaneers in the 2010 season finale. Since 2010 (not counting 2012) the Saints are 22-3 at home. In other words, New Orleans needs at least one home playoff game if it has serious designs on going deep in the postseason this year. I can hear you from here: one game at a time.