It was a thrilling game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints in London, and the result was a kicker. Greg Joseph kicked the Vikings’ 47-yard field goal with less than 30 seconds left to give the Vikings a 28-25 lead. Will Lutz had a 60-yard run early in the fourth quarter and was tasked with another from 61 yards to tie the game in the final game. His kick bounced off the post as Minnesota survived for the win.
In the end, the Vikings did just the right thing, winning with the ball bouncing off the post.
The Vikings made a statement early, coming out and scoring a touchdown on their first drive. Quarterback Kirk Cousins found a rhythm early on with his wide receivers, particularly Adam Thielen, who was involved from the start, but a key drop at receiver caused the offense to struggle.
The Saints didn’t get off to a good start, but as time went on, their defense finally changed a bit in the first quarter, with Tyrann Mathieu’s interception on Cousins It played an important role.
The Saints were able to capitalize on the pick and march on the rest of the floor, converting their first turnover of the game and scoring their first point of the day. A four-yard reception by Chris Olaf put the Saints into the end zone.
From there, it’s a story about field goals. The Vikings regained the lead with just over a minute left in the half after Joseph’s 28-yard field goal. Minnesota then forced another turnover from the Saints, but another turnover could only score a field goal.
The Vikings got creative with match-fixing, using punter Ryan Wright’s high school quarterback skills to complete a 13-yard pass to Thielen, but they could only get 3 points from the game.
The Saints took their first lead of the game thanks to a Taysom Hill touchdown and a successful two-point conversion. The lead didn’t last long, and Justin Jefferson responded with a touchdown of his own, but the missed extra point made the game a 3-pointer.
It looked like the team went into overtime with a 60-yard field goal from Will Lutz to tie it at 25, but a Vikings field goal and Lutz’s game-ending miss put Minnesota all over the pond. win.
Here are the main takeaways from the London thriller.
Why the Vikings won
The Vikings got off to a strong start, and Cousins immediately connected with his receivers to give them some cushion in the event that things started to get a little flat on offense.
The Vikings had key turnovers and solid special-team play, including a successful match-fix, but the touchdowns that didn’t take advantage of those games put themselves some extra pressure. Scores on the board matter, but the struggle in the red zone is a nail-biting cause when the Vikings could have easily escaped.
The Vikings defense allowed the Saints to start the game with back-to-back 3-pointers to prime their offense. Minnesota struggled in the red zone with just two touchdowns in their five trips to the area, but its special team and defense kept the offense alive. Usually, mostly field goals aren’t enough to win, but for today’s Vikings it was.
why the saints fail
The Saints had the exact opposite start to the Vikings in the London matchup, with quarterback Andy Dalton leading the offense over injured Jameis Winston, with Twice, three in and one out. The Saints have the most 3-pointers of any team in the league, and with their starting quarterback and Alvin Kamara as a late starter, they have more hurdles to overcome.
Penalties are a problem for the Saints, with 10 for 105 yards and five for the Vikings for 35 yards.
Turnovers were another struggle, and even though the Vikings had only three points on the takeaway, those shots added up.
The Saints are better in the red zone, with nearly the same number of passing yards, total points, total yards, total passes, and sacks compared to the Vikings, but have a slow start, turnovers and let the Vikings Getting into the red zone five times is what gives them an L at the end of the day.
Who doesn’t love some creativity from a special team? The Vikings lined up in punt formation, but their false punt turned and passed the Saints by surprise. Former high school quarterback Punter Ryan Wright made the first hit of a 13-yard pass to Adam Thielen to keep the Vikings alive.
After Thielen was knocked down for the first time, the penalty slowed the Vikings’ offense and forced them to take out their field goal unit for a successful 46-yard attempt.
Take a look at:
There are a lot of places where I say “this could be the turning point” in this close game.
After the international break, both teams will return to the states for their next game.
The Saints host the Seattle Seahawks on October 9. As of Sunday morning, the Seahawks are 1-2 as they prepare to face the 1-2 Detroit Lions.
The Vikings will also host on October 9, welcoming the Chicago Bears to Bank of America Stadium for a divisional game. Entering Week 4, the Bears are 2-1 ahead of the 2-1 New York Giants.