New Orleans Saints: A Look Back At How They Beat The Minnesota Vikings In The NFC Championship Game

Now that the euphoria of the Saints win over the Vikings and first ever Super Bowl berth has subsided a bit it’s a good time to look at the NFC Championship game more closely.

Allot has also been made about the battering that Brett Favre took at the hands of the Saints, football is a contact sport and you cant fault the Saints for going after Favre in an attempt to thwart the Vikings passing attack.

Let’s try and pull it together football fans and call it what it was, good defense, and move on.

So what were the keys to the Saints victory over the Vikings, ironically enough it was the aforementioned defense that stole show.

Minnesota was able to drop 475 yards of offense on the Saints throughout the course of the game, 310 by Favre through the air and another 165 on the ground with 122 of those yards coming courtesy of Adrian Peterson.

Compared to the Saints offensive output of 257 yards, 189 passing and 68 rushing, Minnesota played more like the number one offense in the NFL than New Orleans did.

But statistics can be deceiving.

Although they gave up a ton of yardage to the Vikings they were able to cause a bonanza of turnovers, which has been there MO throughout the regular season.

In fact the Saints were best in the league at forcing turnovers (39) which was a huge contributor to their 13 win season, on the flip side they lost the last three games of the season after forcing no turnovers.

To put it in perspective for you the Saints relentlessness forced six Viking fumbles (three recovered by the Saints) and two interceptions, a 5 to 1 turnover ratio for the game.

Simply put Williams aggressive scheme and relentless pass rush paid dividends and helped propel the Saints to their first ever Super Bowl berth

More importantly two of the Vikings fumbles came in the red zone preventing possible scores and keeping the game close for New Orleans who’s offense was unable to put up scores.

Perhaps even more important than the red zone turnovers was Saints corner back Tracy Porter’s interception of Favre in the waining moments of the fourth quarter.

Favre was attempting to get the Vikings into field goal range and with 19 seconds remaining a time out was called by Minnesota on the 33 yard line, setting up a penalty that will live in infamy.

During the timeout the Vikings had some confusion with their personnel package and sent twelve men into the huddle, unfortunately the ref took notice and called too many men in the huddle which then pushed them back to the 38 yard line.

That five yards forced Favre to have to pass it, rather then run it, to get in field goal range and what happened from there we all know to well at this point.

Porters interception forces overtime, the Saints win the coin toss, Pierre Thomas opens up overtime with a 39 yard return, a pass interference call on Minnesota’s A.Allen that gives the Saints a first down, Pierre Thomas’ fourth and one plunge for another first down, pass interference on Ben Leber for 12 yards followed by kicker Garrett Hartley’s forty yard field goal right down the middle.

You couldn’t have written it any better.

New Orleans was expected to use it’s high octane offense to jet past the Vikings, instead it was an opportunistic defense lead by coordinator Gregg Williams that was the key to the game ,oh and a little Saints faith as well.

Super Bowl XLIV get ready for the Black and Gold.

Follow the New Orleans Saints through at

Subscribe to who dat dish via RSS feed to get all your Saints news here

Next Saints Game View full schedule »
Thursday, Aug 2828 Aug7:00Baltimore RavensBuy Tickets

Tags: 2009 NFC Championship Game Drew Brees Gregg Williams New Orlean Saints Vz Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints Pierre Thomas Sean Payton Tracy Porter

  • Paul Harris

    As a life-long 49ers fan I must say that this game was one of the best I have ever seen. After being a Calif. tourist stuck in the Superdome during Katrina my loyalties changed to being a huge Saints fan. Your recap above was great. Makes me feel like I’m reliving it right now. Geaux Saints!

    Paul Harris
    Author, “Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina”

  • Pingback: New Orleans Saints NFC Champions and XLIV Superbowl, Music Tribute | New Orleans Saints NFL Announcer

  • Pingback: The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts – Superbowl Showdown |

  • jenkins

    A man had two 50 yard line tickets for the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS/ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS SUPERBOWL game in Miami. As he sits down, another guy comes down the row and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him.

    “No,” he says, “This seat is empty.”

    “This is incredible,” said the guy. “Who in their right mind would have a seat like this to see the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS play the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS in the SUPERBOWL, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it!!?”

    Man says, “Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first SAINTS game we haven’t been to together since we got married in 1987…”

    “Oh … I’m sorry to hear that.. That’s terrible. But couldn’t you at least find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to come with you to Miami and take the seat?”.

    The man shakes his head. “No – they’re all at the funeral in New Orleans…”

  • jeff

    A real look back at the Vikings loss to the Saints, doesn’t include dirty play, cheap shots, including dirty play by the Refs with Roger Goodell’s influence.
    There will forever be an asterisk behind that win!!!

    • Keith Null

      Slow down there killer, you cant fault the Saints for being aggressive and rushing the passer. Secondly the pass interference call in overtime was a questionable call but questionable calls happen all the time in the NFL. In fact the Saints were victim of a few questionable calls themselves, but you dont see me complaining. Most importantly there will be no “asterisk” behind this win just a record in the NFL annals that says the Saints BEAT the Vikigns in over time for the NFC Championship…PERIOD. As far as the refs and Rodger Goodell’s influence over the outcome of the game you seriously can’t think anyone is ever going to beleive that buddy. The best team that day made it to the Super Bowl, the Saints.

  • Pingback: Monday Reading | The Rat Trick | A Florida Panthers Blog