There is no reason that this game should have been close but in classic Vikings fashion, they allowed a team missing their QB1, RB1 and WR to be competitive and held on by a sliver in a 28-25 victory in London. The win makes the Vikings the first-ever team to go 3-0 in London
The Vikings got off to a really hot start in getting a touchdown on the opening drive, a 15-yard bubble screen pass to Alexander Mattison after penalties knocked them outside of the 10-yard line.
The offense struggled all day. Kirk Cousins was off for most of the game. He was missing targets by a hair. He was also disrupted often by a relentless pass rush that got him for three sacks. He finished the game 25-for-38 for 273 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The offense did a great job getting Justin Jefferson involved in the offense. On 13 targets, Jefferson had 10 catches on 13 targets for 147 yards and a rushing touchdown. Jefferson was involved from the get-go having two catches on the first drive.
The Vikings defense, outside of two forced fumbles, allowed the Saints to drive up and down the field with relative ease. The pass rush wasn’t consistent and they were successful in getting completions down the field. The Vikings defense needs to be aggressive and they weren’t in this game.
The Saints played about as well as you could expect for a team missing their top-three offensive skill players. Andy Dalton was efficient all game, going 20-for-28 for 236 yards and a touchdown.
The biggest factor for the Saints on offense was rookie wide receiver Chris Olave. He was excellent on the day, including catching a ball in traffic that notched the Saints a game-tying 60-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining. He caught four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown but made all of his catches in critical situations for the Saints.
The real stars of the game were the kickers. Even though he missed an extra point that complicated things at the end, Vikings kicker Greg Joseph made five field goals on the day with the longest being 47 yards.
Saints kicker Will Lutz was on a different level for the Saints. He hit a game-tying 60-yard field goal and barely missed a second one at 61-yards out. It double-doinked off the left post and the crossbar giving the Vikings the victory.
Stay tuned as we continue analyzing the game here on the Vikings Wire.