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Divisional Playoff Postgame Notes: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

Posted Jan 15, 2018

Postgame notes from the Saints-Vikings divisional playoff game on January 14, 2018

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS

NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF

SUNDAY, JAN. 14, 2018 ● U.S. BANK STADIUM

SAINTS POSTGAME NOTES

 

• With the loss New Orleans finishes its 2017 campaign which saw the team capture the sixth division title in club history and its 11th playoff berth. The four NFC South titles (1991 and 2000 were NFC West titles) are under Coach Sean Payton, with six of the 11 playoff berths under Payton’s supervision as well. Following the end of the 2017 campaign, Payton has a 105-71 (.597) regular season record and a 7-5 (.583) postseason mark.

• Vikings outgained New Orleans in total net yardage 403-358.

• QB Drew Brees started his 13th career postseason game and his 12th as a Saint. He completed 25-of-40 passes (62.5 percent) for 294 yards, three touchdown passes and two interceptions. In the second half, in helping rally the Saints from a 17-0 halftime deficit to taking a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds remaining, he completed 17-of-22 passes for 177 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 139.6 passer rating. Brees’ 4,209 career passing yards in the postseason now ranks ninth all-time, as he surpassed Kurt Warner. Brees also has 354 career completions in the postseason, moving up to ninth in that category as well, surpassing Donovan McNabb. Brees’ 29 career postseason touchdown passes, moved him up to 10th on the NFL’s all-time list, surpassing John Elway.

• Rookie RB Alvin Kamara received the start and had 11 carries for 43 yards, four receptions for 62 yards with one touchdown and he also brought back two kickoffs for 50 yards for a game-high 155 all-purpose yards.

• WR Michael Thomas started and led the Saints in receiving yardage with seven catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Including the regular season, it was the third time in his career Thomas has two touchdown receptions in a game, the first time in the 2017 campaign. The performance by Thomas also marked the third game of at least two touchdown receptions by a Saint in the postseason.

• WR Ted Ginn Jr. started the contest and had a game-high eight receptions for 72 yards and one 11-yard rush.

• TE Josh Hill had three receptions for a postseason career-high 54 yards, including second half first down conversions of 14 and 18 yards.

• LB Manti Te’o finished with a postseason career-high 10 tackles (six solo) and added one sack of Minnesota QB Case Keenum, his first career takedown in the postseason and his first as a Saint.

• S Vonn Bell finished with eight tackles (five solo), leading the Saints with 17 tackles in two postseason contests.

• DT Sheldon Rankins sacked Keenum for a 10-yard loss, his first career takedown in the postseason.

• Rookie S Marcus Williams, recorded his first career postseason interception, picking off Keenum late in the third quarter for an eight-yard return, the first pick by a Saints rookie in team playoff history.

• DE George Johnson deflected (statistically not a blocked punt because the ball travelled beyond the line of scrimmage) a punt by Vikings punter Ryan Quigley with 5:21 remaining in the fourth quarter that was grabbed by linebacker Gerald Hodges at the Minnesota 41-yard line and returned one yard, setting up a four-play, 40-yard touchdown drive for New Orleans.

• P Thomas Morstead punted four times for 192 yards (48.0 avg.) with one punt landing inside-the-20-yard line and a 38.3 net, also potentially saving a touchdown when he tackled Minnesota PR Marcus Sherels at the Vikings 45-yard line in the first quarter.