Saints should give Cutler/ Bears a gift basket

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A fruit basket just doesn’t seem enough.

I don’t know what a colloquial way to say thank you is, but the New Orleans Saints should bust out that term and send popular chef Emeril to Halas Hall to cook the Bears’ next meal.

The Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints were, in many ways, outplayed by the Vikings, who had 475 net yards and possessed the ball for nearly 37 minutes.

So how big do you think home-field advantage was in Sunday’s NFC Championship game?

By losing their final three games of the season, after a 13-0 start, the Saints needed help to hold onto the No. 1 seed, and the Bears obliged with a 36-30 victory Dec. 28 at Soldier Field.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had a very good performance, completing 20 of 35 passes for 273 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

Who knows if the Saints would have still lost the season-finale to the Carolina Panthers, or the Vikings would have won the finale against the New York Giants. But, the Vikings had a small window to claim the No. 1 seed — and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs — was slammed shut by their NFC North opponent.

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