Overshadowed by the final 10 seconds of the game were 29 minutes and 50 seconds of the second half where the Saints gave the Vikings everything they could handle. The argument that good defense will always beat a good offense was shattered by another vintage performance from quarterback Drew Brees.
“Drew's one of the greatest of all time,” says right guard Larry Warford. “And as a lineman, all you have to think is, ‘Hey, just give him time and he'll make something happen.’ And he did.”
Brees didn't waste any time and went five of six for 60 yards and a touchdown on the first drive of the third quarter. It was also the start of a second half where Michael Thomas dominated one of the league’s best corners, Xavier Rhodes.
“He is fun to be around,” says Brees. “Certainly a guy that especially in big games like this and big situations that we've encountered a bunch this year, I've got a ton of confidence in him.”
Even when Thomas didn't have the ball, he was huge, like his monster block on Rhodes to spring an Alvin Kamara reception inside the five yard line. On the ensuing touchdown reception, Thomas took advantage of Rhodes being out of the game.
Following a Vikings field goal to extend their lead, the onslaught from Brees continued when he found Alvin Kamara for another score. They quickly racked up 21 points against one of the best defenses in recent memory in one half to give the Saints the lead. To put the icing on the cake, Brees converted a 4th and 10 to the reliable Willie Snead to put Wil Lutz in position to kick what would have and should have been the game-winner.
“He led us down within range, just so automatic with everything he does,” says Warford.
So if you want to look at the glass half-full, look at the second half fight from the black and gold and try to embrace the consolation prize. The Saints, for the better part of 30 minutes, beat one of the best teams and defenses at their own game in their own stadium. But we wouldn't blame you if it's still too soon to get over that ending.
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