A couple of comments about the Vikings – Saints NFC Championship game today:
Even though I’ve been a critic of Brett Favre, and this morning I wrote, “I still think he’ll throw a few interceptions either against the Saints later today or in the Super Bowl,” I feel badly for him. He played pretty well today despite being hit a lot. He did throw two interceptions including one that prevented the Vikings from going for a game-winning field goal. It’s tough for the season to end like that for him. Twice now in three seasons Favre threw an INT at the end of the NFC championship game.
The Saints were the beneficiaries of a bad call in overtime. When Drew Brees threw incomplete to David Thomas and pass interference was called on Minnesota, that advanced the ball from the 41 to the 29, putting the Saints in field goal position. Looking at the replay, it looked like Thomas tripped over his own feet and Ben Leber of the Vikings barely touched Thomas. Even if you argue that the call was technically correct, they shouldn’t have made a call like that at the end of the game (unless there was more contact before the cameras were isolated on them). But there were a couple of bad calls earlier against the Saints.
Still, without the call, the game was a tossup.
I was expecting the Vikings to win so I was writing that the Saints didn’t use Reggie Bush enough. You have one of the best weapons in the NFL and he only gets seven rushes and two receptions, especially after a monster performance last week? He should have had at least five receptions.
It’s true that Minnesota dominated time of possession and you have to credit their defense. Bush had a fumbled punt return and a dropped pass, and had a couple of other bad plays. But you have to use Bush. Throw him some screen passes.
It was a bad call though for the Saints to pitch it to Bush on the 29 in overtime because that almost took them out of field goal range. Bush results in high risk/high reward plays and he lost five yards on that one.
As for Favre, and who made out better — Green Bay who kept Aaron Rodgers instead of Favre or Favre and Minnesota — even though the Vikings had more wins than the Packers, beat them twice, had a playoff win whereas the Pack lost their first playoff game, I think both teams — the Vikings and Packers — made out equally well. The Vikings almost made the Super Bowl and Green Bay, led by Rodgers, had a very good season and will be a contender next year and for years to come.
Anyway, it’s great to see the Saints make the Super Bowl. It should be a great, high scoring game.