Playoff Matchups

 
Wild Card · Divisional Playoffs · Conference Championships
 
NYJ-IND · MIN-NO
 
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Scoreboard
Detroit (7-9-0)007613
Minnesota (5-10-1) «700714
Game Leaders
 Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
Pass: Brett Favre (28-46, 310) Drew Brees (17-31, 197)
Rush: Adrian Peterson (25-122) Pierre Thomas (14-61)
Rec: Bernard Berrian (9-102) Devery Henderson (4-39)
Grades
Minnesota Vikings
B-
Complete Report Card New Orleans Saints
B

The Saints offense wasn't as good as usual, but Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes. They should feel fortunate to have won this game. Brett Favre had a good day with over 310 yards, but the two picks really hurt.
 
Judgements
And the weekend winner is ... the city of New Orleans. And it's about time. Not only does it have the Saints in their first Super Bowl, it has native son Peyton Manning in his second. The way I see it, New Orleans can't lose.
Top Performers
Vikings
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson Adrian Peterson came through for the Vikings offense with 122 yards and three touchdowns, and recorded his first 100-yard performance in nine games.

Vikings QB Brett Favre Brett Favre had problems with turnovers, but he still finished the game with a respectable 310 yards passing and a touchdown.
Saints
Saints RB Pierre Thomas Pierre Thomas was an all-purpose threat for the Saints, scoring touchdowns both rushing and receiving and finishing with 99 combined yards on the day.

Saints K Garrett Hartley Garrett Hartley only attempted one field goal in the game, but he made it count. His 40-yarder in OT put the Saints in the Super Bowl.
 
 
Photo Gallery
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees kisses the George Halas trophy after winning the NFC Championship. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Expert Picks (against the spread)
ExpertPickReason
Harmon: The Saints will have to find a way to stifle the Brett Favre-Sidney Rice combo, but Drew Brees and Reggie Bush should build on last week's momentum at home.
Prisco: I just don't see the Vikings slowing down that New Orleans offense, but the big factor will be three Vikings turnovers. The noise in that place will get to them. Drew Brees lights them up.
Judge: When Vikings lose it's always on the road.
Madden: The Vikings should keep this competitive, but Saints should ride Dome momentum to victory.
Richard: The depleted Vikings defensive line sways my pick. With no pressure hitting Drew Brees and the Saints offense healthier, they will win.
Urbano: Reggie Bush looks like the USC version again, but Adrian Peterson could have a huge game.
Complete Expert Picks
Recap
Video Recap (AP) Unheralded Garrett Hartley lifted the New Orleans Saints into their first Super Bowl with a 40-yard field goal in overtime for a 31-28 victory over the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC championship.
 
After a battered Brett Favre threw away the game with an interception deep in Saints territory at the end of regulation, Drew Brees guided New Orleans to the Minnesota 22. Hartley, suspended at the start of the season for using a banned stimulant, split the uprights.
Community Take
Bigdeal701: How come, every time the Vikings lose, they blame the refs? There were a few bad calls that went against both teams~E not just Minnesota. If the Vikings would have held on to the ball they would have won the game, and there wouldn~Rt have even been an overtime. Adrian Peterson was horrible, and should have been benched for Chester Taylor . In the end, Favre had a chance to win it. But, once again, he blew it with a dumb throw. He should have just run the ball.
whitehawk119: I will gladly eat my crow and congratulate the Saints on being the better, or less-crappy, team today. That game was too intense for words, and as a Vikings fan, I obviously wish that they'd have won. But, the Saints did everything they needed to do to win. New Orleans is a great story, and I will gladly root for the Saints in the Super Bowl. Better them than the Packers or someone out of the NFC East. Colts vs. Saints: nobody saw that one coming three months ago. As for the Vikings, it was one hell of a ride. However, to any so-called fans who gave up hope before Hartley's field goal hit the netting~E please, go jump in a septic tank.
 
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