The New Orleans Saints and NFL playoff thrillers go together like fried chicken and waffles. They can easily stand alone, but they are best paired. Unfortunately for the NFL franchise, it somehow always ends poorly.
Two years ago, it was the “Minneapolis Miracle” that ended the Saints’ season. Last year, it was a controversial no-call pass interference against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game. This year, it was another overtime loss and perhaps even more controversy.
Facing third-and-goal in overtime, and after throwing a dime to wide receiver Adam Thielen a few plays before, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins found tight end Kyle Rudolph in the back of the end zone for a game-winning touchdown in the NFC Wild Card game.
Sounds impressive, right? Well, it was.
Kirk Cousins Finds Kyle Rudolph for Game-Winning TD
Saints fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana were stunned, and understandably so. It happened again. Nobody, especially head coach Sean Payton, wanted to believe another wild-card loss to the Vikings as reality. Yet, it was as cruel as it might have been.
For a few minutes, there was a little glimmer of hope. The touchdown pass went under review to see if there was any potential for offensive pass interference on Rudolph against Saints cornerback P.J. Williams. But much like last season, the call went against them and the result was another painful playoff loss.
Needless to say, being stunned turned into anger real quick.
Saints Fans Throw Trash at Officiating Crew
As the NFL referees left the field and went to their locker room after the playoff game, they were met with a chorus of boos and even some trash thrown at them.
That’s right, Saints fans tried to pelt the refs with water bottles and trash because of the non-call and loss.
It was an insane weekend across the NFL. The Houston Texans somehow came back against the Buffalo Bills. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were eliminated by the Tennessee Titans. The Seattle Seahawks went on the road to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.
Perhaps none were as exciting as this game, though.
Instead of Drew Brees and the Saints facing the Green Bay Packers next weekend and trying to reach another Super Bowl, they will stay at home and watch the Minnesota Vikings play the San Francisco 49ers.
Life in the playoffs can be rough, and the Saints continue to find that out.