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It appeared from the start that Sunday was not the Saints’ day. The Saints fought back, but in the end, the Vikings overcame their painful playoff history with a 29-24 win.
This one was a tale of two halves, and there was plenty of drama with four lead changes in the final three minutes. The Vikings took a 7-0 lead on their first offensive possession and the defense kept Drew Brees off rhythm in the first half. After the first quarter, Brees was 1-of-6 passing for three yards and a pick.
Vikings - Saints - Half - Lead - Halftime
The Vikings shut the Saints out entirely in the first half, taking a 17-0 lead into halftime. The Vikings didn’t allow a single third down conversion to New Orleans until the third quarter. But then the Saints came surging back.
New Orleans finally got on the board with a 14-yard Brees touchdown pass to Michael Thomas with 1:18 left in the third. Then the Saints defense responded on the following drive when safety Marcus Williams picked off a duck from Case Keenum. The Saints turned Keenum’s mistake into seven points, pulling within three of the Vikings early in the fourth quarter.
Everything - Saints - Favor - Sean - Payton
Everything was swinging in the Saints’ favor. Then Sean Payton derailed momentum with two bad challenges in a row, and two blown timeouts as a result. A bizarre decision to run a trick play with Willie Snead at quarterback on third-and-1 with 9:12 left in the fourth did further damage.
In the end, special teams saved the Saints. Taysom Hill — who Sean Payton sees as potentially the quarterback of the future for the Saints — blocked a Vikings punt with 5:28 remaining. Drew Brees turned it into a touchdown, and the Saints took a 21-20 lead — their first of the game.
Vikings - Field - Goal
But the Vikings weren’t done. A 53-yard field goal gave them...
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A pox on both their houses!