Photo credit: Adam Bettcher / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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The Saints and Vikings are familiar foes after facing off against each other in the NFC Divisional round last season. However the outcome in this game would be completely different than a year ago. New Orleans has improved quite a bit from then until now especially on the defensive side of the ball. Minnesota struggled to score and they were a shell of their self offensively. That’s because of players like Sheldon Rankins and Marcus Davenport who were constantly pressuring Kirk Cousins. Rankins and Davenport each had 2 two sacks and they were able to single-handedly disrupt a normally potent passing attack. P.J Williams also came up big for New Orleans by recording an interception that would turn into a defensive touchdown. All of these plays kept Mike Zimmer’s team on their heels and you have to believe the Saints are just better at this point. On the offensive side of the ball the most notable performer was Alvin Kamara. Kamara racked up 1 rushing touchdown and 1 receiving touchdown certainly doing his part in the win. Drew Brees didn’t have his best night throwing for 120 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception but it was enough to get the job done and that’s all that matters. Michael Thomas led all Saints receivers with 81 yards although it’s wasn’t the same high octane offense that we’re used to seeing from New Orleans. Kirk Cousins actually played well in this matchup throwing for 359 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The stats were clearly there but Cousins couldn’t manufacture enough points to overcome their opponent. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen both went over 100 receiving yards and had 1 touchdown each. Latavius Murray also ran hard with 56 yards and 1 TD. Then there was Harrison Smith on defense and he tallied up 3 tackles and 1 interception. Linval Joseph played well too with 6 tackles and 2 TFLs. At the end of the night though one team emerged victorious and that was the black and gold squad from Louisiana. With a 6-1 record there’s no doubt the Saints have evolved into a better version of themselves and there’s no telling how far they can go?
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The New Orleans Saints were the better team against the Minnesota Vikings. Their defense was one of the biggest reasons why.