The New Orleans Saints are routinely among the top-scoring teams in the NFL, but they didn’t look like it Monday night in Minnesota. The Vikings limited the Saints to four field goals and a garbage-time touchdown in a 29-19 Minnesota win to start 1-0 for the second consecutive season.
“It was just sticking with the game plan, going out there and executing our techniques,” Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “That’s what it was all about – going out there and not getting frustrated with Drew Brees throwing short passes and just keep on rushing as a group. We basically just went out there and executed our game plan: cover our receivers and allow our rushers to eventually get there to the quarterback and hit him a few times. It’s a good team win tonight. We’re really excited about it.”
The Saints mustered just 60 rushing yards on 21 carries (2.9 yards per carry), while Dalvin Cook torched New Orleans for 127 yards on 22 carries (5.8 yards per carry). It was an impressive NFL debut for the rookie out of Florida State.
And yet, 29-year-old Sam Bradford stole the show, completing 84.4 percent of his passes (27-of-32) for 346 yards and three touchdowns. He found Stefon Diggs for a pair of first-half touchdowns, while Adam Thielen finished with a game-high nine catches for 157 yards.
Bradford also completed 20-plus-yard passes to four different receivers, routinely chucking it deep.
“That’s only possible because of how good the O-Line did,” Hunter said. “We’re very proud of them. They helped him in the pocket. It’s fun to make deep passes. That’s something we’re really excited about.”
The Vikings, who started 5-0 last year before finishing 8-8, will take their show on the road this Sunday. They play the Steelers (1-0) in Pittsburgh at 1 p.m. ET.
“They’re a good football team,” Hunter said. “They have a good quarterback.”