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The Saints gained 36 first downs in their Christmas Day beatdown of the Vikings, and what was most remarkable was how easy it was for them to convert: The Saints rarely even got to third down, converting 30 of their 36 first downs on first or second down.
Saints coach Sean Payton said after the game that it reminded him of playing in the Canadian Football League, where teams only get three downs to gain 10 yards, meaning if you don’t get convert on first or second down you usually kick on third down.
“It was one of those CFL games where we were converting, getting first downs on first and second down,” Payton said, via the Associated Press. “They’re one of the better-coached defenses and they got a lot of guys out and that can be difficult.”
As a player, Payton had a very brief stint with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL, so he knows a little about football north of the border. And he knows it’s not often that NFL teams pick up first downs as easily as the Saints did against the Vikings.
Saints’ offensive efficiency reminded Sean Payton of a CFL game originally appeared on Pro Football Talk