New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson was recently admitted to the hospital to be treated for flu-like symptoms, the team announced in a statement Wednesday.
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Benson, 90, is resting comfortably after being admitted to the intensive care unit at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, the team said. Benson’s wife, Gayle, thanked well-wishers sincerely for their thoughts and prayers.
On Sunday, the Saints provided another update on Benson’s status: “Mr. Benson remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Ochsner Medical Center and continues to get exemplary care for the flu. He is stable and Mrs. Benson thanks everyone for their kind support, prayers and well-wishes.”
The Saints still employed Adrian Peterson at the time of the first meeting, as Sean Payton tried to balance his new backfield. After trading the former MVP to Arizona, New Orleans took off with the best one-two backfield punch in the NFL, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram jersey. The Saints finished with 60 total rushing yards in Week 1 on 21 attempts. For the season, they averaged 129.4 yards per game on the ground, with Ingram and Kamara proving deadly out of the backfield.
The Saints’ passing game was also a work in progress in the opening matchup. Ted Ginn Jr. was still figuring out his role before morphing into a big-play target. Willie Snead was suspended for the first tilt, and Kamara had yet to become a cardiac-arrest-inducing force in the passing game.
“We didn’t know what we had in store when we came out of this deal at the beginning of the year,” Ginn said. “We messed around with a lot of options and a lot of different players and different things like that. As the season went on, we kind of found our NFL jersey cheap and mojo and who we are.”
The Saints’ defense also hadn’t found itself the last time it played in Minnesota. Rookie Marshon Lattimore wasn’t yet a Defensive Rookie of the authentic NFL game jersey Year candidate, Ken Crawley was a backup, rookie safety Marcus Williams hadn’t been upgraded to heat-seeking missile, and New Orleans had yet to suffer a bundle of injuries.
The Vikings have also changed a lot from Week 1. Sam Bradford played splendidly in the opening game. It was his last full tilt of the season. But Case Keenum took over and Minnesota’s offense continued to flourish. Rookie running back Dalvin Cook set a Vikings record for rushing yards in a debut versus the Saints, 127 yards on 22 totes. He tore his ACL weeks later. In stepped Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon to power a balanced Viking offense to a playoff bye.
So, while the Saints will look over the Week 1 film to see what they can glean as far as the Vikings’ scheme, they know not to weight it too heavily.
Williams was apologetic in the locker room after the game, telling reporters, “That’s on me. I gotta be that guy and go up and get the ball. As a safety back there, you gotta be the eraser. That was my job. I’ve played the game, you gotta go do it. And you gotta save the game.”
The safety continued, “I mean, I’m going to take it upon myself to do all I can to never let that happen again. And if it happens again, I should not be playing. But I’m going to take it upon myself to do all I can to make sure nothing like this happens again to me.” The rookie had a stellar first season and a tide-turning interception earlier in the half, but will be remembered in this game for letting Diggs slip through his cheap stitched NFL jerseys and grasp.
Lost in the bedlam that followed is that New Orleans had to attempt an all-time comeback to even set up Diggs’ magical moment — and nearly completed it. Brees led the Saints on four second-half scoring drives in five attempts, and if not for Keenum’s heave, Diggs’ grab and Williams’ gaffe, would have been the hero.
While the 39-year-old Brees intimated that he wants to return and attempt another great postseason run, the veteran QB was well aware that his team, and his defense, let a golden opportunity to reach the Super Bowl slip away.
“We scored on every drive. It’s hard to do that on the road, playoffs, against this team, that defense, the No. 1 defense in football right there,” Brees said. “So I can’t say enough about our guys and the resolve of our team, just to battle back after being down 17-0.
“It really felt like we should’ve won that cheap NFL jerseys game.”