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Saints fall to Vikings 25-28 as penalties prove too much to overcome

The Saints were valiant, but made too many mistakes.

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Following a disappointing road-loss to the Carolina Panthers in week 3, the New Orleans Saints (1-2) were back London, England. Facing a 2-1 Minnesota Vikings squad that has had the better of the contest between the two teams as of late, the Saints were hoping to get back to .500 with a win and avoid falling further back in the NFC. From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, God Save Our Saints!


In the first half, the Saints, who were led by The Red Rifle Andy Dalton with quarterback Jameis Winston out with a back injury, started on defense. The Vikings, on their first offensive possession, marched down the field with ease, scoring a touchdown on a pass from Kirk Cousins to running back Alexander Mattison for a 7-0 lead.

The Saints’ offense would do its usual sputtering, punting twice before Tyrann Mathieu would wake the team up by intercepting a greedy pass by Kirk Cousins and giving New Orleans a good starting field position. Andy Dalton would engineer a 60-yard drive, culminating with a touchdown pass to Chris Olave, the rookie’s first NFL touchdown, tying the game at 7.

The Vikings would eventually add a field goal to take a 10-7 lead late in the first half, then a fumble by Andy Dalton with a minute left gifted Minnesota another field goal for a 13-7 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Saints received the ball and proceeded to, shocker, punt after three plays. Coming into Sunday, New Orleans had the most three-and-outs in the NFL. After forcing the Vikings into their first punt of the half, Deonte Harty would fumble at the Saints’ 44-yard line, trying to do too much. The Vikings recover and add another field goal to take a 16-7 lead. At this point of the season, the Saints are a bad team not simply because of a lack of talent, but because they make the typical mistakes that bad teams make to lose games.

On the ensuing drive, the Saints would engineer their best offensive possession at that point of the game, going 75 yards and scoring a touchdown via a Latavius Murray hard 2-yard run. This was Murray’s first touchdown of the season in his return to the Saints after a stint with the Baltimore Ravens. The Saint trailed 16-14, with just under four minutes left in the third quarter.

After the Vikings added another field goal on the heels of a fake punt for a 19-14 lead, the Saints would engineer yet another efficient drive, finding out that Latavius Murray could not get tackled by Vikings’ defenders and driving 75 yards for a touchdown run into the end zone by Taysom Hill. A two-point play was converted from Dalton to Jarvis Landry to give New Orleans its first lead of the day at 22-19.

Minnesota would then drive 75 yards of their own for a touchdown, a drive that was aided by three defensive penalties on the Saints. The Vikings would score on an end-around play to Justin Jefferson, but then miss the extra point, leading 25-22 with just over four minutes left in the game.

The Saints would then drive and tie the game at 25 on a field goal. A 60-yard field goal by Wil Lutz! With 1:45 left in the game, the Vikings would take over at their own 18-yard line and Justin Jefferson would haunt the Saints again, grabbing a 41-yard go-route pass to put Minnesota in field goal range. The Vikings would convert a 47-yarder to take a 28-25 lead.

The Saints would drive to the Vikings’ 42-yard line and Wil Lutz narrowly missed a 61-yard field goal off the left upright and the crossbar. Vikings defeat the Saints 28-25 as New Orleans falls to 1-3 on the season.


Below is a quarter-by-quarter recap of the game


First Quarter

  • The Saints start on defense, with Minny at their 25-yard line. Vikings move the ball inside Saints’ territory. Vikings get inside the Saints’ 30-yard line and in the red zone. On 3rd-and-goal, Kirk Cousins throws a screen pass to Alexander Mattison for a touchdown.
  • NO: 0 - MIN: 7
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line. Saints quickly face a 3rd-and-6 and two penalties push them to 3rd-and-21. After failing to convert, Saints punt.
  • Vikings start at their 22-yard line and drive the ball again with the Saints unable to apply any pressure to Kirk Cousins. Minnesota easily gets into Saints’ territory. On 3rd down, Kentavius Street sacks Cousins and the Vikings punt.
  • Saints begin on their 12-yard line. Dalton is sacked on 3rd-and-3 and the Saints punt again.
  • Vikings return the ball to their 45-yard line. On second down, Tyrann Mathieu picks Kirk Cousins off. This was Mathieu’s first interception with the Saints, as he showed that he still has the incredible instincts to find and get the ball that have made him such a great player over the years.
  • Saints take over at their own 40-yard line and run the ball on first down as the quarter ends.

Second Quarter

  • The Saints convert a 3rd-and-3 with Taysom Hill to get their first first down of the game. On 3rd-and-8, Dalton finds Chris Olave for a first down inside Vikings territory. Saints get into the red zone. Saints face a 3rd-and-goal from the 4-yard line and Dalton finds Chris Olave for a touchdown.
  • NO: 7 - MIN: 7
  • Vikings begin at their 25-yard line. On third down, Cam Jordan and Marcus Davenport sack Kirk Cousins and force the Vikings to punt.
  • Saints take over at their 4-yard line. On 3rd-and-3, New Orleans stalls and punts.
  • Vikings take over at their 40-yard line. Vikings reach the Saints’ red zone at the two-minute warning. Vikings drop an easy third down pass and settle for a 28-yard field goal converted by Greg Joseph.
  • NO: 7 - MIN: 10
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line with 1:04 left in the half. On first down, Andy Dalton fumbles the ball and the Vikings recover.
  • Vikings take over at the Saints’ 20-yard line. Saints hold the Vikings to a field goal attempt, Greg Joseph makes a 36-yard attempt.
  • NO: 7 - MIN: 13


Third Quarter

  • The Saints begin at their 20-yard line and Dalton finds Chris Olave for a 20-yard gain to the 40-yard line. Saints immediately face a 3rd-and-14 and stall. Saints punt.
  • Vikings start at their 15-yard line and go three-and-out. Vikings punt. On the return, Deonte Harty fumbles the ball, Vikings take over at the Saints’ 44-yard line.
  • On the first play, Cousins finds Justin Jefferson for 40 yards to the Saints’ 4-yard line. The Saints’ defense holds and the Vikings make another short field goal.
  • NO: 7 - MIN: 16
  • Deonte Harty returns the kickoff to the Saints 22-yard line. Saints run the ball using the returning Latavius Murray and get into Vikings’ territory. Saints face a 4th-and-4 from the Vikings’ 41-yard line. Dalton finds Marquez Callaway who gets five yards and a first down. Dalton finds Callaway for 33 yards to the Vikings’ 8-yard line. On third and goal, Latavius Murray scores a touchdown. Welcome back to the Black and Goal, Latavius!
  • NO: 14 - MIN: 16
  • Vikings return the kickoff and after a Saints penalty, start at their 45-yard line. Vikings go three-and-out but use a fake on 4th down and convert to the Saints’ 34-yard line.
  • Vikings face a 3rd-and-20 due to penalties as the quarter ends.

Fourth Quarter

  • The Saints hold the Vikings to a field goal.
  • NO: 14 - MIN: 19
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line and use Latavius Murray in both the run and the pass. Taysom Hill runs into Vikings’ territory. Andy Dalton finds Tre’Quan Smith to Minny’s 20-yard line. Adam Trautman catches a screen pass to the Vikings’ 3-yard line. Taysom Hill runs into the end zone for a touchdown. Saints go for two points and Dalton finds Jarvis Landry for the conversion.
  • NO: 22 - MIN: 19
  • Vikings start at their 25-yard line. On the third play of the drive, Demario Davis sacks Cousins, the Saints’ third sack of the day. Vikings find their way out of the hole to get to midfield. Penalties keep getting the Vikings first downs. More penalties give the Vikings a first down at the Saints’ 3-yard line and Justin Jefferson runs into the end zone on an end-around play. The Vikings miss the extra point.
  • NO: 22 - MIN: 25
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line. Saints get to the 41-yard line with Latavius Murray running the ball. Dalton finds Adam Trautman into Vikings’ territory. Saints face a 4th-and-9 into Vikings’ territory at the two-minute warning. Saints attempt a 60-yard field goal and Wil Lutz makes it.
  • NO: 25 - MIN: 25
  • Vikings start at their 18-yard line. On the second play of the game, Cousins finds Justin Jefferson for 41 yards to the Saints’ 29-yard line.
  • Saints stop the Vikings and Minnesota lets the clock run down to 29 seconds to attempt a field goal. Greg Joseph makes a 47-yard field goal.
  • NO: 25 - MIN: 28
  • Dalton finds Chris Olave to the Vikings’ 42-yard line. Saints stall and have to attempt a 61-yard field goal. Wil Lutz misses the field goal off the left upright and the crossbar.
  • Vikings win 28-25.


The Saints are 1-3 on the season. Is it over?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    It was over when Sean Payton left
    (51 votes)
  • 20%
    It ain’t over til it’s over
    (42 votes)
  • 26%
    If they keep starting Andy Dalton it’s not over
    (56 votes)
  • 18%
    It’s over, who we draftin’?
    (38 votes)
  • 10%
    I need a burger. Thank you.
    (22 votes)
209 votes total Vote Now