Defensive Play #1 - Patrick's Pass Breakup
3-15-MIN 30 - (:42) (Shotgun) 7-C.Ponder pass incomplete short left to 12-P.Harvin (21-P.Robinson)
Early in the game on a key third down play, Robinson made a sweet sidestep to get out of the way of his blocker then went straight at Harvin and hit him right as he was about to catch the ball. The agility Robinson showed was impressive.
Defensive Play #2 - Brees Saves a Touchdown
2-7-NO 45(14:27) (Shotgun) 9-D.Brees FUMBLES (Aborted) at NO 45, RECOVERED by MIN-97-E.Griffen at NO 30. 97-E.Griffen to NO 21 for 9 yards (9-D.Brees)
This one wasn't technically made by a defensive player but it was a defensive play. After the ball flew past him unexpectedly following a premature Brian de la Puente snap, Drew Brees reacted quickly and turned around to take down Griffen, who had recovered the fumble, and save an inevitable touchdown. The bad news: Brees is better at wrapping up ball carriers than half of the Saints defense.
Defensive Play #3 - Johnson Pounds Ponder
1-10-MIN 20 - (12:50) 7-C.Ponder sacked at MIN 14 for -6 yards (96-T.Johnson)
With very little hope left in the early 4th quarter, the Vikings offense would take over following a Pierre Thomas touchdown. But all remaining hope would fade immediately with a drive killing Tom Johnson sack on the first play of the drive. Minnesota gave the ball right back to the Saints via punt two plays later, effectively ending the game. Chase Daniel checked in for the Saints on the subsequent drive.
Defensive Play #4 - Patrick's Pickoff
4-3-NO 35 - (:05) (Shotgun) 7-C.Ponder pass deep left intended for 19-D.Aromashodu INTERCEPTED by 21-P.Robinson at NO -2. Touchback.
This final play of the game wasn't important to the outcome whatsoever but it was the defenses only turnover of the day and it gives me another opportunity to highlight the play of Patrick Robinson, the team leader in interceptions.
Defensive Play #5 - Saints Stand Strong
2-10-NO 21(14:17) 28-A.Peterson left end to NO 27 for -6 yards (41-R.Harper)
3-16-NO 27 - (13:44) (Shotgun) 7-C.Ponder sacked at NO 31 for -4 yards (97-J.Charleston)
After a Saints botched snap gave Minnesota the ball in their own territory for the second time, the Saints defense was again forced to make a stand. Adrian Peterson had nowhere to go on a second down run, losing six yards. Jeff Charleston followed that up with his first sack of the season. The Vikings were forced to settle for another field goal and the Saints had successfully minimized the damage.