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Saints Methodical in 30-20 Road-Victory Over the Vikings

Saints have won six in a row. They’re beating teams the way good teams do: boringly. They are 6-1. Life’s Good!

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

This evening’s game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings had all the makings of a grudge match. We all know what happened in the Divisional Playoff game last season. For the Saints however, the more important thing tonight was to try and keep their one game lead in the NFC South over the 5-2 Panthers, in the very competitive NFC conference.

Here’s how the game unfolded:

1st HALF

Winning the toss, the Vikings deferred and the Saints started with the ball. New Orleans came out firing on all cylinders, with Sean Payton drawing from his trick-play box early and often, using Taysom Hill and even Teddy Bridgewater on one play. The Saints would find the end zone easily on an Alvin Kamara run to take a 7-0 lead. The Vikings would get in the act as well, Kirk Cousins finding Stefon Diggs for a touchdown to tie the game at seven.

After the Saints went three-and-out on their next drive, the Vikings would once again drive 81 yards into the end zone with a rushing touchdown by running back Latavius Murray. A missed extra point by Dan Bailey would give the Vikings a 13-7 lead with 11:57 left in the half.

The Saints would once again put a dent on the scoreboard, with a Wil Lutz 52-yard field goal reducing the Vikings’ lead to 13-10. The drive was marked by a big drop on third down from a wide open Alvin Kamara.

On their next drive, the Saints would start marching into Vikings territory, when a pressured Drew Brees would unfortunately throw his first interception of the year, a ball intended for Michael Thomas that was picked off by linebacker Harrison Smith.

The Vikings would then move the ball with ease into Saints territory, looking as though they were ready to take a 20-10 lead, when P.J. Williams would somewhat atone for his coverage sins, forcing a fumble by Adam Thielen, which was returned deep into Vikings territory by cornerback Marshon Lattimore. A Vikings unsportsmanlike penalty and two-plays later, Alvin Kamara would leap into the end zone, giving New Orleans a 17-13. A sudden and unexpected change in momentum had the Saints leading by four at halftime, rather than trailing by 10.

2nd HALF

The Vikings would start the half with the ball, but a 4th and 1 gamble at their own 45-yard line would result in a pass break-up by Marshon Lattimore, on a pass intended for wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. New Orleans, having the ball at Minnesota’s 45-yard line, would only be able to muster a field goal, however increasing their lead to 20-13.

On the Vikings’ next drive, P.J. Williams would continue his atonement party, picking off Cousins and returning the interception for a touchdown, giving the Saints a two touchdowns lead at 27-13.

Minnesota’s next drive would end in a punt after a beautiful sack of Kirk Cousins by Sheldon Rankins on a three-man rush. The Saints would then take the ball and methodically drive it down the field, using some clock in the process and eventually settling for another field goal by Wil Lutz, a 42-yard this time, to take a 30-13 lead.

The Vikings would not simply roll over for the Saints and would use a long drive that resulted on a 4th and goal touchdown pass from Cousins to Adam Thielen, to trim their deficit to 10 at 30-20, with less than five minutes left in the game.

With Minnesota trailing by 10, the Vikings elected to go for an onside kick, which sailed over the heads of the Saints’ Hands Team and went out of bounds. The Saints would milk the clock, forcing the Vikings to use all their timeouts. New Orleans would go into the two-minute warning with a 30-20 lead.

Minnesota would get one last possession, but without timeouts, the VIkings would run out of time The Saints are 6-1, still alone atop the NFC South and they are winning in a rarely seen methodical fashion. This team is now winning in multiple ways. That’s a great sign.

Saints Win, Saints Win!


Here’s a quarter by quarter timeline of the game:

1st Quarter

  • Vikings win the toss and defer
  • Saints start from their 20-yard line after a Taysom Hill return
  • Taysom Hill finds Michael Thomas for a deep 44-yard pass in the red zone
  • Alvin Kamara rushes into the end zone for a touchdown
  • NO: 7 - MIN: 0
  • Vikings start from their 9-yard line
  • Vikings run the ball successfully and get into Saints territory
  • P.J. Williams gets roasted by Stefon Diggs and Vikings get into the red zone
  • Vikings go for it on 4th and goal and Stefon Diggs for a touchdown
  • NO: 7 - MIN: 7
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line after a touchback
  • Saints go three-and-out and punt
  • Vikings take over at their 19-yard line
  • Minnesota is moving the ball as the quarter ends

2nd Quarter

  • Vikings easily get into Saints territory
  • Vikings get into the red zone on a flea flicker from Cousins to Adam Thielen
  • P.J. Williams commits a pass interference in the end zone
  • Latavius Murray leaps into the end zone for a touchdown
  • Dan Bailey misses the extra point
  • NO: 7 - MIN: 13
  • Saints take over at their 31-yard line
  • Saints get into Vikings territory
  • Alvin Kamara drops a wide open pass on third down
  • Wil Lutz kicks an makes a 52-yard field goal
  • NO: 10 - MIN: 13
  • Vikings start from their 25-yard line
  • Vikings stall at their 40-yard line and are forced to punt
  • Saints take over at their 33-yard line
  • Saints get into Vikings territory on two runs by Kamara
  • Drew Brees throws his first interception of the season to Harrison Smith
  • Vikings are marching as the two-minute warning hits
  • Vikings get into Saints territory on the strength of Kirk Cousins’ arm
  • Vikings get into the red zone
  • Adam Thielen fumbles and Marshon Lattimore returns it into Vikings’ territory
  • Brees finds Kamara for a pass down to the one-yard line
  • Alvin Kamara rushes into the end zone for a touchdown
  • NO: 17 - MIN: 13

3rd Quarter

  • Vikings start at their 25-yard line
  • Vikings go for it on 4th and 1 near midfield and Marshon Lattimore breaks up the pass
  • Saints start at the Vikings’ 45-yard line
  • Saints get into the red zone on a screen play to Mark Ingram
  • Saints stall in the red zone
  • Wil Lutz makes a 42-yard field goal
  • NO: 20 - MIN: 13
  • Vikings take over at their 25-yard line
  • Vikings get two first downs and get near midfield
  • P.J. Williams picks off Cousins and returns it for a 45-yard touchdown
  • NO: 27 - MIN: 13
  • Vikings take over at their 20-yard line
  • Vikings get into Saints territory
  • Sheldon Rankins sacks Kirk Cousins, forcing the Vikings to punt
  • Saints take over at their 16-yard line
  • Saints are moving the ball as the quarter comes to a close

4th Quarter

  • Saints get into Vikings’ territory on a pass to Tre’Quan Smith
  • Saints methodically drive the ball down the field
  • Saints stall at the Vikings’ 25-yard line
  • Wil Lutz makes a 42-yard field goal
  • NO: 30 - MIN: 13
  • Vikings take over at their 25-yard line
  • Vikings get into Saints territory
  • Marcus Davenport reports his second sack of the game
  • Vikings convert a 3rd and 17 and get into the red zone
  • On 4th and goal, Cousins finds Adam Thielen for a touchdown
  • NO: 30 - MIN: 20
  • Vikings try an onside kick that goes out of bounds
  • The Saints at their 43-yard line
  • Saints get into Vikings’ territory, forcing Minnesota to start using their timeouts
  • Saints face a 3rd and 10 in Vikings territory at the 2-minute warning
  • Saints stall and are forced to punt with 1:15 left in the game
  • Vikings take over at their 9-yard line with 1:09 left in the game
  • Minnesota runs out of time, as the clock expires
  • Final Score: NO: 30 - MIN: 20
  • Saints Win Saints Win!


Who Was Your Saints Player of the Game Tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    P.J. Williams, for doing both horrible and awesome things on the field
    (119 votes)
  • 13%
    Alvin Kamara, steady and reliable with two TDs
    (51 votes)
  • 27%
    Marcus Davenport, notching two sacks in the game
    (103 votes)
  • 22%
    Sheldon Rankins, also recording two sacks!
    (84 votes)
  • 3%
    Burgers man, how many times should I tell you this!
    (13 votes)
370 votes total Vote Now