NFL: Body slam on Brees fires up New Orleans
METAIRIE, La. -- After two late losses and nearly three sluggish quarters of a third game, the New Orleans Saints needed a spark in the worst way during Sunday's matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
METAIRIE, La. - After two late losses and nearly three sluggish quarters of a third game, the New Orleans Saints needed a spark in the worst way during Sunday’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn unintentionally awakened the Saints, and if they go on to have a successful season after an 0-2 start, they will owe him a sincere thank-you.
Leading only 13-9 as the final seconds of the third quarter clicked down, Munnerlyn got to Drew Brees for a sack on third-and-13, and, in the process, flipped the quarterback upside down onto the Mercedes-Benz Superdome turf.
Brees was incensed when he quickly scrambled to his feet and gave a shove to the back of the first purple-shirted Vikings player he saw - safety Robert Blanton, who assisted Munnerlyn on the takedown.
A 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the Vikings kept the drive going, and the Saints went on to score a touchdown on Brees’ 18-yard pass to wide receiver Marques Colston. An inspired New Orleans defense made the lead stand up, and the Saints posted a much-needed 20-9 victory after dropping the first two games on the road.
“That was a straight Hulk Hogan, 1985 WrestleMania suplex,” said Brees, who was able to crack a smile about it after the game.
The play helped inject some life into the Superdome crowd and a New Orleans offense that produced touchdown drives of 80 and 82 yards for a quick 13-0 lead (the second extra-point attempt was blocked) before struggling for two full quarters.
“If you want to fire this team up,” right tackle Zach Strief said, “that’s the guy to go after.”
Brees, who was familiar with Munnerlyn from when the latter was with the Carolina Panthers, said there was no bad blood between the two.
“No, I actually like him,” Brees said. “He came up to me about 30 seconds later and said, ‘That wasn’t a penalty.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it was ... and thanks for the 15 yards.’”
Not everything ended up going New Orleans’ way Sunday, however. The Saints may be without starting center Jonathan Goodwin for an extended period of time after the 13-year veteran went down with a lower leg injury in the third quarter.
The NFL Network reported Monday that Goodwin, who was seen in the locker room after the game on crutches and wearing a walking boot on his left foot, sustained a high ankle sprain. He was scheduled to have an MRI on Monday, but coach Sean Payton had no update Monday afternoon.
NOTES: RCB Corey White started against Minnesota in place of Patrick Robinson, who struggled in the first two games. ... RB Mark Ingram did not play against the Vikings because of a fractured hand from Sept. 14. He could miss three more games.