New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton employed a largely CFL-style approach on Christmas Day against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Saints play-caller had the offence gaining first downs by using only two downs 30 out of 36 times, moving the chains in a 52-33 victory in Week 16. Payton is familiar with the three-down league from his stint as a quarterback with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1987.
“It was one of those CFL games where we were converting, basically getting first downs on first and second down,” Payton said in his post-game videoconference.
“We really didn’t have a lot of third downs. Generally, when you’re doing that, you can have a really good game.”
Payton’s offence had 11 total drives in the game and didn’t punt while producing 583 total offensive yards. The Saints scored seven touchdowns and one field goal, while Drew Brees was intercepted twice. The last possession ended with the home team in victory formation.
Dynamic running back Alvin Kamara tied an NFL single-game record with six rushing touchdowns on 22 carries for 155 yards, averaging seven yards per carry. Kamara totaled 172 offensive yards on 25 touches wearing his red and green Christmas cleats.