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NFC Championship Game Notes

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    <span>              <span style="">SAINTS POSTGAME NOTES</span>                   
            <span style="">[Minnesota Vikings](http://www.vikings.com/) vs. New Orleans Saints ● Sunday, January 24, 2010</span>                  
    </span>         
  • With the victory, the Saints advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in the 43-year history of the franchise. The Saints will face the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7 in South Florida.
  • The Saints-Colts matchup will be the first matchup of conference No. 1 seeds since Super Bowl XXVIII, when Dallas met Buffalo. In the 20-year history of the 12-team playoff format, this is only the third time in which two No. 1 seeds will meet in the Super Bowl.
  • Tonight's game was the first postseason overtime game in franchise history, the third OT game in NFC Championship Game history (fourth, if you include the 1958 NFL Championship between the Colts and Giants) and the 27th postseason OT game in NFL history.
  • Both of K Garrett Hartley's field goals this postseason – the game-winning 40-yarder tonight and last week's 43-yarder vs. Arizona – were longer than his regular-season long of 38 yards.
  • QB Drew Brees completed 17 of 31 passes for 197 yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 106.5.
  • RB Pierre Thomas' 38-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter was the longest reception of his career, regular season or postseason. Thomas had a 36-yard catch on 10/4/09 vs. the New York Jets.
  • Thomas, who finished with a team-leading 61 yards on 14 rushes, added a 9-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, his first career postseason rushing TD.
  • RB Reggie Bush scored his fifth career postseason touchdown (two rushing, two receiving, one punt return) on a fourth-quarter reception from Brees. He has at least one touchdown in all four of his career postseason games.
  • WR Devery Henderson's 9-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was his second of the postseason. That matched his total for the entire 2009 regular season.
  • KR Courtney Roby's 61-yard kickoff return to open the second half is the longest in Saints postseason history. The previous long was 39 yards by current Saints director of player programs Fred McAfee in 1991 vs. Atlanta.
  • LB Jonathan Vilma's third-quarter interception was his first postseason INT. Though the interception was his fifth in a Saints uniform, it was his first in the Superdome. All three of his picks in the 2009 regular season were on the road, and his only INT of 2008 was in London against San Diego.
  • Vilma also recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter, his first this year (regular season or postseason) and the first of his postseason career.
  • DT Remi Ayodele's fourth-quarter fumble recovery and subsequent 5-yard return set up the go-ahead touchdown on a pass from Brees to Reggie Bush. Ayodele's only other career fumble recovery, regular season or postseason, was a recovery in the end zone for a touchdown on 10/4/09 vs. the New York Jets.
  • P Thomas Morstead averaged 51.3 yards on seven punts, falling just short of the NFC Championship Game record of 52.5 by Sammy Baugh of Washington against the Chicago Bears in 1942.
  • Tonight's paid attendance was 71,276, the largest crowd ever to see a Saints game in the Superdome. The previous record was 70,940 for a Saints-Falcons game on Sept. 2, 1979.
  • The crowd was also the largest to witness a Saints postseason game, home or away. The latter topped the eight-day-old record of 70,149 who witnessed the Saints' NFC Divisional Playoff victory over Arizona.
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