- SAINTS QB DREW BREES: As expected, Brees came up big in the biggest game of the season for the Saints. He completed 17 of 21 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns in the first half en route to posting his fourth season with more than 5,000 yards passing. Hopefully the Saints will find a running game so he won’t need to have his fifth, 5,000-yard season next year. Still, Sunday was the best Brees has looked in a couple of weeks. He moved around well in the pocket and was accurate on his passes.
- THE SUPERDOME CROWD: When a fan in the upper deck yelled loudly in the first quarter for the Saints to get going it was exhibit one million just how much the team’s fans care about what is going on. There is a reason why the Saints are so tough to beat at home, and that’s because most times the fans won’t let them lose because of their passion and energy, which is contagious. These passionate Saints fans deserved for the team to have rewarded them with a home playoff game.
- SAINTS WR KENNY STILLS: With his old Oklahoma teammates in town for the Sugar Bowl, Stills gave the crowd a thrill with a 76-yard touchdown pass to make the score 28-14 with 2:40 left in the first half. At this rate he is going to have a tremendous future in the NFL. His emergence could make one of the team’s higher prices receivers very expendable in the offseason. It’s been fun watching him learn the NFL.
- THE SAINTS: New Orleans has a record of 0-5 in road playoff games in franchise history, and now the team will have to play on the road in the postseason. (Excuse us if we don’t find our travel agent and try to make Super Bowl reservations.) The killer losses for the team were against the Jets and Rams. If Sean Payton is smart, he will never let the team forget what can happen when it fails to handle its business against lesser teams.
- THE SAINTS DEFENSE: Before Sunday, Tampa Bay had not scored more than 14 points in a game since a 27-6 victory against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 8. Yet, Tampa Bay scored 14 points in the first half against the Saints. It’s proof that unless the offense plays great and gets a big lead early, this defense is VERY vulnerable, especially against a team with a good running back.
- THE SAINTS SAFETIES: How can a Saints team facing a Buccaneers team with nothing to lose get beat on a flea flicker resulting in a 48-yard touchdown pass? It’s Football 101: teams with nothing to lose ALWAYS try trick plays when they are on the road against better teams. That touchdown was terrible.
Pierce W. Huff