After falling behind 17-0, the Saints pushed hard in the second half to make a comeback. While it appeared they had the game won after a late field goal, the Vikings and Stefon Diggs had other plans.
The Saints needed a big play against the Vikings, and they got the one they needed late in the fourth quarter that would eventually lead them to an NFC Championship berth.
It’s impossible to predict what’s next, but a look inside their locker room, during an unusual and ultimately bittersweet week, gives some clues as to how they handle challenges—small, big or unexpected. Eight days with the Eagles …
The loudest noise in the visitors’ locker room is the running water splashing against the floor of the showers. Walking into this stadium hours earlier, the Eagles hadn’t lost a game in 77 days. But the nine-game win streak, which had the city of Philadelphia letting down the guard built up over 57 championship-less Eagles seasons, ended against a familiar slayer in the NFC.
“We haven’t lost a game in so long,” says defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, “you forget what it feels like to lose. That kind of puts knots in your stomach.”
The league’s total revenue has risen from about $6 billion when Goodell took over the job in 2006 to between $14 billion and $15 billion this year. The source said Goodell thinks he’s done the job the owners hired him to do: markedly increase revenues and be a discipline-minded steward of the game.
Jones is angry at Goodell for suspending the Cowboys’ star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, for six games, which Elliott has fought and won so far; but if he loses another appeal this week, Elliott could miss Dallas’s next six games. Further, it is believed that Jones feels Goodell is too iron-fisted with player suspensions. Until recently, Jones was a steadfast backer of Goodell. But the suspensions have made him increasingly angry. He also cannot fathom how Goodell won’t put his foot down and force players to stand for the anthem. If players don’t stand, Jones is said to think, then so be it—they shouldn’t play.
“Jerry [Jones] is on a mission,” said this ownership source. “I’ve been in the league a long time, and this is as passionate and vocal as I’ve seen him on anything. He wants players to stand, and he obviously wants to do something on Roger’s contract.”