For the third straight year, the New Orleans Saints season ended in a heart-breaking playoff loss. The Saints rallied from a 10 point fourth quarter deficit, but Minnesota Vikings won the toss in overtime and scored a touchdown to win it.
“Credit to them. They're a good football team; they're a well-coached football team,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees told Zach Strief. “I felt like we missed on some big play opportunities for whatever reason early on. So we were just getting off the field sooner than we wanted and didn't even have a chance to get a drive going.”
New Orleans scored a field goal on a short field after a Minnesota turnover on their opening drive, but the Saints failed to get points on four of their next five possessions and went into halftime down 13-10.
The third quarter was not much better for the Saints as the offense stalled on three straight drives and the Vikings scored another touchdown. In the fourth quarter, however, the defense made some plays and forced three straight punts; and the offense got some momentum.
“I definitely felt the momentum shift as a result of some of those defensive stops,” Brees said. “Special teams, Deonte Harris had a couple nice returns. Of course, Taysom Hill doing everything that Taysom Hill does on offense that felt like a spark. I think in our minds there's no doubt [when the] fourth quarter comes around, man, we started rolling and let's go win this thing.”
In the end, though, it unfortunately was not enough. Saints fans are asking many questions after another abrupt exit from the playoffs; but there is one that is bigger than all the rest: when will Brees decide on if he's playing again next season?
“I don't know,” Brees admitted. “I don't know. I feel like each year is like uncharted territory a little bit. I've been in a such a focused mode, football mode, for the last 5, 6 months; so now it's just like let's take a deep breath. Let's embrace the family and just kind of see where it takes us. I guess that's my plan.
“You're only going to be satisfied if you're holding up the trophy,” Brees continued. “Unfortunately, when you make it this far, there's only one team that's going to be holding up the trophy and everybody else goes home with a loss. I think I look at it with a much broader picture and that is in the season and the locker room and the guys and the moments and just treasure those things.”