With the way the 2020 season started, it seemed like there would be more bad and ugly than good for the Vikings.
The team dropped to 1-5 with a loss to the then-winless Falcons. But after the bye week, Minnesota turned it around. The Vikings gave themselves a chance to get into the playoffs towards the end of the year.
Those chances officially ended on Friday. New Orleans dominated the depleted Minnesota defense to win 52-33.
There were some positives, but the game itself was hard to watch for Vikings fans. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly from the Week 16 defeat:
The good: The offense
Photo: Butch Dill/AP Photo
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins threw for 291 passing yards and three touchdowns. Running back Dalvin Cook averaged 4.9 yards per carry and one touchdown. Minnesota put up 33 points in the loss. The team's offense wasn't perfect but it was the defense that lost it the game.
The bad: The run defense
Photo: Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports
The Saints ran for 264 rushing yards. Saints running back Alvin Kamara, who averaged 7 yards per carry, had six rushing touchdowns. The Vikings actually were not terrible in pass coverage, holding Drew Brees to an 80.8 passer rating, which is just OK. Brees also threw two interceptions and zero touchdown passes. But New Orleans imposed its will on the Minnesota defense and that meant thriving in the run game.
The ugly: The Vikings
Photo; Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports
Kicker Dan Bailey missed an extra point, the Vikings missed plenty of tackles and the team was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter. If Minnesota fans want to watch their team play well against good competition, they'll have to wait until 2021.