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Saints-Vikings Notes

Posted Sep 9, 2010

Saints' third-straight season opening victory is franchise first.

* The Saints won their season opener for the third consecutive year, a franchise first. The Saints had won two straight openers in 1998-99, 2001-02 and 2005-06.
•    The Saints are 4-1 in season openers under head coach Sean Payton.
•    The 14 points scored are the fewest by the Saints in a winning effort since Payton became head coach in 2006, and the fewest in a win since defeating Dallas 13-7 on Dec. 28, 2003 in the Superdome.
•    Since the defending Super Bowl champion began playing host to the NFL Kickoff game on the Thursday after Labor Day in 2004, the hosts/defending champions are 7-0.
•    QB Drew Brees completed 27 of 36 passes for 237 yards and one touchdown. He finished with a passer rating of 101.3, the 30th time in 64 regular-season games as a Saint he has had a passer rating of 100 .
•    For the second consecutive season, the Saints needed just five plays on its opening drive of the first game to score a touchdown. This year’s opening drive covered 77 yards and took 2:04, ending with a 29-yard pass from Brees to WR Devery Henderson. Last year’s opening drive against the Detroit Lions covered 54 yards and took 2:49, ending in a 9-yard pass from Brees to WR Marques Colston.
•    Including the playoffs, the Saints scored on their first offensive possession 10 times (seven TD, three FG) in 19 games. That success started with a run of early scores in each of the first five games of the regular season (TD vs. Detroit, TD at Philadelphia, TD at Buffalo, FG vs. N.Y. Jets, TD vs. N.Y. Giants).
•    Henderson had just two receptions for 38 yards, but the bookend catches were two of the biggest plays of the night – the TD catch on the opening drive and a 9-yard reception on third-and-7 to give the Saints a first down with a little more than two minutes left.
•    RB Pierre Thomas had just two carries for 1 yard in the first half, but rushed 17 times for 70 yards in the second half, including the go-ahead 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
•    The Saints controlled the ball for 21:07 of the second half.
•    DT Remi Ayodele blocked an extra point in the second quarter. It’s the first extra point blocked by the Saints since Grady Jackson at Cincinnati on Dec. 22, 2002, and the team’s first blocked kick (FG, XP or punt) since Josh Bullocks blocked a Seattle field goal on Oct. 14, 2007.
•    The last Saints blocked kick in the Superdome was Steve Gleason’s memorable blocked punt on Sept. 25, 2006 vs. Atlanta (the team’s first game back in the Dome after Hurricane Katrina) that led to a Curtis Deloatch touchdown.
•    LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar tied his career high with seven tackles.
•    LB Jonathan Vilma recorded his 11th career interception, and his fifth as a Saint. Vilma has had at least one interception in each of his seven seasons in the NFL.
•    The Saints trailed 9-7 at halftime. Last season, the Saints trailed five times at the half and rallied to win three of those games (at Miami, vs. Carolina, vs. Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV).