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Fleur-de-Links: Monday, January 15

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Well, that was fun.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) watches the Minnesota Vikings offense drive against defensive coordinator Dennis Allen’s (left) unit from the sideline during the NFC Divisional Round playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) watches the Minnesota Vikings offense drive against defensive coordinator Dennis Allen’s (left) unit from the sideline during the NFC Divisional Round playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Turns out, expecting a loss doesn’t make it hurt less. Go get a king cake and check out your Saints links from around the web:

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Word on the Street

Inside somber Saints locker room, tears, despair and hope after loss to Vikings | Saints | theadvocate.com
MINNEAPOLIS — Sean Payton pauses and looks up at a television screen hanging in the interview room as he begins to make his opening remarks.

Walker: Saints fans shouldn't let that one play define Marcus Williams' season | theadvocate.com
One of the things Marcus Williams didn't do on the final play Sunday is the one thing he needs to do now...

Inside the play that saved the Minnesota Vikings' season - and crushed the New Orleans Saints
Minnesota had less than a 3 percent chance to win before Stefon Diggs caught the 61-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum. Here's how the tide turned in the final moments -- from both teams' perspectives.

Saints players 'shell-shocked' after loss to Vikings | NOLA.com
The Saints took the lead with 25 seconds left before losing

Saints QB Drew Brees: 'I do' plan on returning to New Orleans next season | Saints | theadvocate.com
This is the last time this New Orleans Saints team will play together. Some key players will leave this offseason, and some new ones will be brought it. If his words are taken seriously, Drew Brees should be back next season.

Saints' challenge decisions made in part due to faulty monitor in booth | Saints | theadvocate.com
MINNEAPOLIS — Sean Payton decided to challenge two plays on the same series in the fourth quarter, in part because the Saints did not have a working monitor.

Drew Brees’s Classic Performance Against the Vikings Is Still Worth Celebrating - The Ringer
Though it was ultimately all for naught, the future Hall of Famer had a second half for the ages in Minnesota.


Lagniappe

‘The Good Place’ producer Joe Mande on how Jacksonville Jaguars fandom became part of the show - SBNation.com
One of the show’s characters, Florida man Jason Mendoza, is obsessed with Blake Bortles and the Jags. Joe Mande explains the thought process behind this beautiful storyline.

Mike Mularkey OUT as Titans head coach - Music City Miracles
YES!!!!1

MathBomb Consensus 2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 - Pride Of Detroit
Tis the season, we’re going to take our first look at how the draft might play out without trades.

East-West Shrine Game 2018 - All Star Circuit - Rotoworld.com
The All Star Circuit is here. Josh Norris gives you a position by position breakdown, plus the top 20 prospects attending.

The elite traits of Southern Miss RB Ito Smith could make him steal of 2018 NFL Draft - CBSSports.com
The versatile Smith might have the most impressive jump cut in a loaded running back draft class

NMSU report: Aggies bowl game run worth $24 million in earned ad revenue
According to a marketing report from main campus, NMSU football related stories had an earned media value of $24.4 million from December 1, 2017 through January 2, the majority of which was Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl coverage.

The Winners and Losers From the NFL’s Divisional Round - The Ringer
The Saints fell victim to an instant-classic play, Calais Campbell predicted the Jags’ win, and two former St. Louis Rams are facing off in the NFC championship