NFC Championship: Observations from the cheap seats

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Sean Payton
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 20: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints prepares for their the NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

This game had all the trimmings that a championship game should. In Champions Square, Cheap Trick treated the fans to a pre-game concert. We had the full NFL on Fox crew, including the studio hosts live on the field. For the coin toss we sent out two of our Hall of Famers, Rickey Jackson and Morten Andersen for the coin toss. The Rams sent out two of their Hall of Famers, Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson.

The NFL on Fox crew was seen at ACME Oyster House in the Quarter. Bono, from the legendary band U2 was in town for the game. The Ying Yang Twins came in to help the crowd “Stand Up and Get Crunk” for halftime, along with the what’s-old-is-new Saints party song, “Choppa Style” by local artist Choppa. Jimmy Buffet sang the National Anthem and concluded by dropping the mic. Classic. As has been the case over the last few weeks, there were many former Saints in the house, including several from the 2009 Super Bowl champions Saints. And for good measure, team owner Gayle Benson led the Who Dat chant, accompanied by Marques Colston and Jonathan Vilma.

Legend has it that the sound meter used last week broke after the crowd noise went above 128 db. I’m here to tell you as a fan in the stands, that must not be true. This crowd was insanely loud all game and I don’t think we crossed the 120 db threshold on the meter on the big dome screens. This week was without a question louder than last week, and so completely consistent. The crowd did their part.

In fact, the crowd forced at least two time outs, at least one false start, and a lot of late snaps with players not knowing where they were supposed to be or supposed to go. The noise was absolutely a factor, contrary to what Rams WR Robert Woods may have said prior to the game. The dome screens have recently been showing quotes from the players about how the noise in the dome helps them get excited to play. Today they added a few shots of Woods talking about the dome noise not being a factor and of Goff trying desperately to hear plays in his helmet earpiece.

As noted earlier, the red zone turnover was a tremendous get, but to only come up with a field goal was an early turning point in the game.

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Cam Jordan showed a lot of versatility in this game. Not only was he rushing the passer, but they several times dropped him into coverage, one time in particular to great effect. His drop forced Goff to throw a pass high to get it over Jordan. The pass ended up incomplete. Jordan is the complete player.