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Fleur-de-Links: Saturday, January 13

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The playoffs are live, y’all.

NEW ORLEANS, LA:  New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates after scoring a touchdown pass during the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
NEW ORLEANS, LA: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates after scoring a touchdown pass during the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

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Word on the Street

In 1st meeting with Vikings, Saints had no problem finding the red zone, just finishing | theadvocate.com
You could tell reviewing the season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings this week left Sean Payton irritated.

Saints' Michael Thomas looks to 'handle business' with another big playoff performance | NOLA.com
Thomas had eight catches for 131 yards vs. the Carolina Panthers.

Saints Fans: You Doin’ Anything This Weekend? | By Cameron Jordan
After our first game against the Panthers this year, I had mentioned how Cam was a really fashion-forward dresser — that he’s almost NBA player–esque in the way he dresses. And he shot back that maybe he could teach me a thing or two, that he could “send me some sauce,” if I wanted.

Think the Vikings' Home Defense is Tough? Don't Forget About '98 | Zone Coverage - Cold Omaha
The Minnesota Vikings allowed a stingy 100 points at home this year. Just 100. That equates to a paltry 12.5 points per game. No team scored more than 19

Game Theory & Money Podcast: Divisional preview with Casey Hayward - NFL.com
Cynthia Frelund and Matt "Money" Smith recap a fun NFL Wild Card Weekend, preview the four games in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs this weekend, and chat with Los Angeles Chargers DB Casey Hayward.

Defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton might make Saints debut in playoffs against Minnesota | Saints | theadvocate.com
"If they put me in for 10 plays, I want to have those 10 plays good," Hamilton said. "If they put me in for 20 plays, I want to match that. ... I'm just here to fill a role, to show that I'm good."

Vikings scouting report: New Orleans Saints - StarTribune.com
After losing back-to-back games to start the season, including a 29-19 loss in Minnesota, the Saints rallied with eight consecutive victories and won the NFC South.

Saints evolve from Week 1 death stares to NFC Divisional dance moves | NOLA.com
The New Orleans Saints enter Sunday's NFC Divisional playoffs at Minnesota as a far different team than what we witnessed in Week 1

Top New Orleans Saints jerseys: NOLA.com readers name their favorites | NOLA.com
Some are obvious choices. Some are going to surprise you.


Lagniappe

Bruce Arians: On His Life in Football | SI.com
The long-ball-loving coach says farewell to the NFL. He talks to Peter King about what he’ll miss, and why the game should survive.

Seahawks fire Darrell Bevell: what it means and what it doesn’t - Field Gulls
He leaves behind a mixed legacy. How about four things his dismissal means, and four things it doesn’t — all at once?

Report: Rams expected to franchise tag Sammy Watkins – ProFootballTalk
Sammy Watkins said this week he'd be happy to stay in Los Angeles. Which is convenient, since it seems they can make him. According to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.

Why Does Bill Belichick Use Left-Footed Punters? | SI.com
Bill Belichick has used left-footed punters almost exclusively during his Patriots tenure. He would have you believe ‘nothing to see here,’ but the number of lefty punters in the NFL keeps growing. Is it the troublesome spin, or is something else at work?

Is Tom Brady Finally Getting Old? | FiveThirtyEight
The numbers suggest a decline similar to Peyton Manning’s — but Brady has defied time before.

Mr. Ohio State: Senior Billy Price Is the Embodiment of Buckeye State Mentality | Bleacher Report
COLUMBUS, Ohio — "I'm not dealing with any B.S. this season," Buckeyes center Billy Price recalls saying. "I've got 12 opportunities to go put [together] the best draft resume possible and tell a team I need to be your first pick."

Raiders To Kick Off NFL London Schedule At New Tottenham Stadium | Raiders.com
The NFL announced the schedule of London Games for 2018, including a matchup between the Raiders and Seahawks in what will be the first-ever NFL game at Tottenham Stadium.

Tua Tagovailoa fires back at those knocking Jalen Hurts | AL.com
Alabama QBs show support for each other on Twitter.