In the early weeks of football season last year, player protests prompted lots of fans to complain that there was more drama on the sidelines than on the field.

But that certainly wasn’t the case with Sunday’s heart-pounding and ultimately heart-breaking playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.

The game was a reminder of why Americans watch football in the first place— for the prospect of seeing two highly skilled teams face each other in a contest that contains plenty of suspense.

Suspense was surely the order of the day on Sunday, as the Saints, down 17-0 at halftime, rallied to a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds on the clock. Those seconds left just enough time for the Vikings’ Stefon Diggs to score a touchdown. The final score, 29-24, ended the Saints’ hopes for a return to the Super Bowl this year.

The Saints’ loss will be debated a long time, and many fans have already lamented it as a disaster. But a state touched by hurricanes and floods knows what a real disaster looks like, and Sunday’s stunner at U.S. Bank Stadium is, by comparison, something Who Dat Nation can handle.

We congratulate the Saints on an exciting season. Now it’s time to seek the comforts of Carnival.

Rabalais: For the Saints, the agony of this defeat will hurt for a long, long time