The New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings got the NFL world waking up early for tea and crumpets as this matchup took place in London, England. The Black and Gold had a chance to tie the game as time expired, but miss out and fall 28-25 and drop to 1-3 on the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Minnesota began the game with possession of the football and drove 75 yards down the field for a touchdown in 13 plays. Quarterback Kirk Cousins completed seven passes for 67 yards, including a 15-yard screen pass to running back Alexander Mattison for the game’s opening score.
With the injuries to Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, backup Andy Dalton started under center, and would there was more of the same as the first couple of drives resulted in punts.
On the Vikings’ third possession, there was a Honey Badger sighting as Tyrann Mathieu lurked Cousins and intercepted the pass attempt with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
Off the turnover, Dalton led the Saints to just the second touchdown outside of the fourth quarter of the season. The drive lasted 12 plays for 60 yards as New Orleans converted multiple third downs with rookie Chris Olave found pay dirt for the first time in his career from four yards out.
The Vikings were able to pick up a couple of Greg Joseph field goals right before late in the second quarter and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson got the strip sack on Dalton as Minnesota went into halftime with the 13-7 lead over the Saints.
Early in the third quarter, Kris Boyd forced and recovered the fumble on Saints return man Deonte Harty to set up the Minnesota offense at the New Orleans 44-yard line. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson set up 1st & GOAL with a 40-yard catch, but the Vikings settled for a third straight field goal to take the nine-point advantage.
Latavius Murray became the main back as Mark Ingram was out the next drive with an injury. Dalton set up the offense with 1st & GOAL off of a 33-yard completion to Marquez Callaway and Murray finished the possession with the touchdown from a yard out.
After another Vikings field goal by Joseph, Taysom Hill got the Saints their first lead of the game with a score of his own and Dalton found Jarvis Landry for the two-point conversion. New Orleans led 22-19 with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter.
Minnesota reclaimed the lead due to a pass interference called on Marshon Lattimore. Jefferson got the handoff and ran it in from three-yards out for the touchdown. The PAT was missed as the Vikings’ lead was three.
After the two minute warning, New Orleans was stopped on third down. Wil Lutz tied the game at 25 with a 60-yard field goal with 1:51 left in the contest.
Jefferson on the second play of the drive went deep on Lattimore for a 39-yard catch. The Vikings with 24 seconds took the lead off of a 47-yard field goal.
Olave caught Dalton’s pass down the middle. Lutz tried a 61 yarder to tie the game again, but a double doink off the up rights and cross bar resulted in a miss as the Saints fall to the Vikings 28-25.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Justin Jefferson
Jefferson got back in his groove with 10 receptions for 147 yards. The former LSU Tiger also ran it once for three yards and a touchdown as the Vikings squeeze out three point win over the Saints.
BIG NUMBER: 10
The New Orleans Saints were called for 10 flags throughout the game for 102 yards.
UP NEXT: The New Orleans Saints (1-3) head back home for an NFC matchup with the Seattle Seahawks (1-2). The kickoff is set for 12:00 on October 9th.