But this is New Orleans. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is built on an old cemetery. Voodoo is in our roots. We believe in things we can’t see or understand sometimes. That play was the one that told me that we were a team of destiny, that something special was happening. You have your good plays and your good work and then you have the ball bouncing your way. You need things like that to happen when you are trying to have a special season.
When the Saints blew coverage on that last drive and gave up the TD to Baltimore on Sunday, it was difficult to see anything but SOS, same old Saints. Grinding out a solid game against a great defense, only to watch them stick it to us in the end. Yes, it was only to get within one point and then, ostensibly, to tie the game up and go into overtime. But overtime in Baltimore had to favor Baltimore, at least slightly. And going into overtime on such a down note would work against us.
For one of the most accurate kickers currently in the NFL, a kicker who had never missed an extra point, to walk up a hit THAT kick was different. That was voodoo doll stuff. The ball started in the center of the uprights and in the 33 ensuing yards on its way to the goal posts, somehow it side-winded at least 10 feet off line to the right, outside the reach of the right post.
Many looked at that moment as the law of averages. The guy had never missed, at some point that would have to happen. Some will speak of the stadium, with the new scoreboard creating different wind patterns inside and they have yet to learn them.
Whatever. I’m calling it what it is. This is that magic that helps teams get deep in the playoffs. This is stealing victory. Yes, the Saints played hard and deserved that win. But when fate seemed destined to take it from us, another power stepped in.
When the Saints get ready to revisit Atlanta in February, you may look back at the season and put a mark on this game as a turning point. Not only was it a statement game for the Who Dats, it could be that something that makes magical seasons.