For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Newton's Third Law can be seen in the aftermath of Sunday's Vikings' last-play victory over the Saints.
For each bit of excitement that there was in Minnesota, there was anger and angst in New Orleans. Here's a look at some of what was being said and written, beginning with the New Orleans Times-Picayune's headlines:.
Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune wrote: "For the Saints, the stunning loss was a punch to the gut. Only moments earlier, Wil Lutz had given them a seemingly safe 24-23 lead on a 43-yard field goal with 29 seconds left. And as the Vikings mustered just 19 yards on their first three plays, the Saints found themselves just one defensive stop away from advancing to just their third NFC Championship Game ever. One moment they were on the verge of an all-time great comeback win. The next they were trying to absorb one of the most demoralizing, painful and shocking defeats any team anywhere has ever experienced."
Read his full story here.
In giving out grades after the game, Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune went after coach Sean Payton for his two failed challenges that resulted in lost time outs in the second half. Sean Payton will certainly regret the unsuccessful challenges in the fourth quarter. That’s all on Payton and the guy in his ear. I’ve never quite seen anything like the quick failed challenges in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.If you’re the coaches, you have to teach the secondary not to give that type of play at the end of the game. Inexcusable..
The full report card is here.
Nick Underhill of the Baton Rouge Advocate described the scene in the Saints locker room: "Cam Jordan, typically the life of the locker room win or lose, dresses slowly at his locker before addressing reporters. For many others, the wound is too raw to speak. Snead, Kamara and offensive tackle Terron Armstead all quietly decline interview requests, each saying they don't have anything to say. Rookie safety Marcus Williams might be in the most pain. He, too, was almost a hero. He made the interception that brought the Saints back to life. He then played a major role in the defeat. He was the man in coverage on Diggs’ touchdown. He gave up the sideline. He dove and took out cornerback Ken Crawley. He surrendered the touchdown. His eyes carry tears."
His entire column is here.
Rod Walker of the Advocate also wrote from the locker room: "A locker room that was jubilant a week before, producing a dancing Sean Payton video that went viral, all of a sudden was quiet. Terron Armstead didn't want to talk. Neither did Alvin Kamara. Nor Michael Thomas. Ted Ginn Jr., a longtime NFL veteran, had a few words. "It's real tough," Ginn said. "But you win some and you lose some, but you live to see another day." The season ended in the same spot it began, in noisy U.S. Bank Stadium. And the results, too, were the same: a loss to the nemesis Vikings, who have beaten the Saints three of the four times they have met in the postseason."
Read more here.
Former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, now a member of the Saints broadcasting crew, had no sympathy for rookie cornerback Marcus Williams on the game-losing play. Seth Dunlap of WWL radio wrote: "Saints fans everywhere are still reeling from the stunning last second 29-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional Playoffs. Count WWL's Bobby Hebert among those still coming to terms with the defeat. The Cajun Cannon couldn't believe what he saw when Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught a last second prayer while watching Saints safety Marcus Williams completely miss his tackle attempt at Diggs. 'I said what what is Marcus Williams doing? How can you duck your head right there,' an exasperated Hebert asked. "Why are you ducking your head!' "
There's more, including audio, here
And this report wouldn't be complete without a look at Saints fans in a bar, right?