The New Orleans Saints were finally able to overcome their demons and secure a victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day. After two heartbreaking playoff losses at the hands of the Vikings over the course of the last three seasons, there was just something special about finally taking down their new found rivals on Christmas. And while Saints fans were hoping for a nice victory as their present for the holidays, the team decided to tack on an extra bow to the gift as they scored over 50-points and running back Alvin Kamara tied an NFL record by scoring six rushing touchdowns.
However, when the Vikings, NFL records and a few key injuries are involved there are sure to be some overreactions. Here are out biggest overreactions we saw on Christmas Day:
The Saints offense has regained its lethal form after scoring 52 points
How could saying the offense is back on track be an overreaction if they could muster over 50 points? No matter how you dice it up or phrase it, the offense had to be efficient enough to be able to score that many points. However, the reality is that the Minnesota defense was incredibly depleted, especially when it came to their run defense.
The offense is back . Alvin Kamara just went straight into— ⚜ ♒ MELLOSMOOTHE1♒ 11- 4 NFC South Division cham ⚜ (@MELLOSMOOTHE1) December 26, 2020
warp drive into the speed force. Jared Cook aka Thanos is running through the defense. And the defense is being there usual disrespectful self. #Southisnotenough #NFCSouthChamps #Saints
Kamara was able to rush for 155 yards and Latavius Murray gashed the Vikings for another 72 yards on the ground. To add insult to injury, Kamara also tied a league record with six rushing touchdowns. For New Orleans fans who wanted the team to run the ball all season this was a great game to watch because it felt vindicating. However, practice squad players were turned to by Minnesota in order to try and stop one of the best running backs in the league. Spoiler alert, it didn’t work.
Perhaps the most worrisome aspect of the offense was quarterback Drew Brees himself. While he threw for over 300 yards on the day, he did throw two head-scratching interceptions and never tacked on a touchdown. Admittedly, he never needed to throw a touchdown, and had the opportunity to do so. However, Brees would look great on one drive and then underthrow or turnover the ball the next. Essentially, there was just not the level of consistency we expect to see out of Brees, but that is to be expected as he continues to heal from 11 rib fractures.
On a positive note, while the team was able to find success on the ground, one aspect of the offense was particularly encouraging. For the last few games tight end Jared Cook and Brees just never seemed to be on the same page. This was going to be a big game for Cook in terms of proving he can be “the guy” for Brees heading into the playoffs. After 3 receptions for 82 yards Cook helped solidify himself as a playmaker for the offense. This unit is close to regaining its lethal form, and for it to do so Cook will need to become the playmaker the team paid him to be.
At the end of the day it is always encouraging to see the team score 50-points, but this offense is not operating in its intended and highly efficient form. Which is incredibly scary when you stop and think about it. That being said, it is well on its way and it’s happening at just the right time, now they just need Michael Thomas back in the mix.
The former top-ranked defense is starting to crumble
Heading into the Week 14 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles the Saints defense was ranked number one in the league. But, after a loss to the Eagles, then allowing 32 points to the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs and now 33 points to the Kirk Cousins-led Vikings, the defense has to be crumbling, right?
For starters, the defense had some key injuries heading into the evening. Team sack-leader Trey Hendrickson was ruled out for the game after being listed as questionable all week in practice. In the secondary, safety Marcus Williams, who has become an elite free safety was also ruled out, hampering the secondary and what the team likes to do there.
To make matters worse, linebacker Kwon Alexander, who has been instrumental in helping reshape the look of the defense, tore his Achilles tendon during the game. The New Orleans defense is not crumbling, but they are fighting through injuries to some essential playmakers. Despite this, they played superbly against the Chiefs and did a really nice job of stopping Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and receiver Justin Jefferson.
Hendrickson and Williams were likely kept off the field as a precaution and will likely be good to go for the playoffs. This defense will be fine and has proven over the season that they are one of the elite units in the NFL.
Allowing Kamara to score six rushing touchdowns was bush league
I don’t know if you can call this an “overreaction” but it was by far the stupidest reaction I saw all day. I heard claims that by allowing Kamara to make history and help put the game out of reach of the Vikings was “bush league.” Yet, when Tom Brady and company run up the score against a horrendous Detroit Lions team it’s “Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the league.”
Bush league by Saints to put Kamara back in the game to get sixth TD at that point. Surprised.— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) December 26, 2020
A team should never stop scoring against the other team, especially against a team like the Vikings who have the talent to make a comeback. In fact, the Saints are fully aware of what a Minnesota comeback looks like, painfully so. Therefore, New Orleans was never going to stop scoring, and at that point you have to give Kamara the opportunity to put his name in the record book. Truthfully, Kamara could have had seven or eight touchdowns. The fact that head coach Sean Payton had some mercy should be enough.
Put this down as the dumbest thing I saw on Twitter all Christmas Day.
What are your overreactions? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @KadeKistner.