Top Plays: Vikings vs. Saints

I donned my purple 84 jersey and that’s exactly what I wanted to see. A celebration of football. Randy Moss blowing the gjallhorn, and stunning pictures of US Bank stadium during his halftime Ring of Honor Induction. A 9/11 tribute. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen dominating while catching passes from a white hot Sam Bradford. A defense that easily protected the lead. Adrian Peterson being highly respected, but also highly irrelevant. Dalvin Cook grinding when needed, and taking over when Pat Shurmur called his number. That’s the week one performance I dreamed of.

Here are my top plays:

1st and 10 at NO 39

(4:44 – 2nd) S.Bradford pass deep right to J.Wright to NO 18 for 21 yards (M.Williams) [C.Jordan].


Wright WK1.gif

Instant Reaction

Yesssss lets goooooo! Sam spikes his Y/A. Great protection. Silly Saints playcall. Jarius this time wooooo after Adam the play before! And Again with emotion CANUDIGGIT! That’s the Vikings offense doing what it do baby! Sam just diamond cutted through that Saints defense there! Wowwwww it all happened so fast!

Upon Further Review

Sam threw multiple exceptional passes this game, but this was the best one. He sandwiched the ball between both two defenders and two other great balls to Thielen and Diggs for a TD. After a lackluster start, Sam was 7/10 for 40 yards. He broke out with this flurry, never looking back.

2nd and 8 at MIN 26

(0:51 – 2nd) (Shotgun) S.Bradford pass deep middle to A.Thielen to NO 30 for 44 yards (P.Williams).

Thielen WK1

Instant Reaction

I’m loving everybody into field goal range! Great pass pro and DIME #13 from Bradford! Vikings taking full advantage of the Saints calling those timeouts. Thielen is BALLING!

Upon Further Review

If we could only pick one play that broke the game open, this is that play. A 10-6 lead still made me nervous heading into halftime. The Vikings were backed up but Sam’s 2 minute toss to Thielen changed everything. The ensuing TD…well we’ll get to that:

2nd and 4 at NO 24

(0:22 – 2nd) (Shotgun) S.Bradford pass deep right to S.Diggs to NO 4 for 20 yards (K.Vaccaro). PENALTY on NO-K.Vaccaro, Unnecessary Roughness, 2 yards, enforced at NO 4.

Diggs WK1

Instant Reaction

Ohhhh Sam is making me cry with these throws! And that hit hurts too, but Diggs gets up and exhibits that swagger he always does! Have to mention the great pass protection too. Sammy slinger man! Put it in now!

Upon Further Review

With this throw Sam officially leveled up. The offense moved confidently. A Diggs TD soon after gave Minnesota a 10 point lead and the ball after halftime.

Sam couldn’t miss. This was not 2016 Sam Bradford, and I think 2016 Sam Bradford was good. Clean pockets and no excuses delivered Sam’s greatest quarter. This version of Sam, combined with good health, gives the Vikings unlimited potential.

1st and 10 at NO 40

(3:50 – 3rd) D.Brees pass deep right to T.Lewis to MIN 8 for 52 yards (T.Waynes). Penalty on MIN-T.Waynes, Defensive Pass Interference, declined.

Waynes WK1

Instant Reaction

Ahhhh damn Achilles heel. Waynes gets burned in man coverage. Smart for Saints to test secondary there with Rhodes hobbled. Now this game gets intense. CANNOT fall asleep!

Upon Further Review

The defense played well, but they did allow 19 points against a great Saints offense. While splash plays like Bash Brother Barr’s Tackle-For-Loss and Everson Griffen’s Sack Daddy were highlights, they did let up some plays against a powerful offense playing from behind. Our worrisome corner getting burned by a guy I’ve never heard of is a great example. The Zim Reapers were resilient, however. Great red zone play held New Orleans to Field Goals. Also pretty incredible effort given they generated zero turnovers. Note that Waynes managed to make the TD-saving tackle there. That’s a HUGE play even though he got beat.

2nd and 5 at NO 48

(15:00 – 4th) (Shotgun) D.Cook right end to NO 16 for 32 yards (A.Klein).

Cook WK1

Instant Reaction

Hey good lookin, Dalvin’s been cooking! Dalvin gets the edge, explodes downfield, then cuts back for a few more! When you run hard like he has you get rewarded with a play like that. Keep on chopping!

Upon Further Review

Dalvin’s first long dash put the Vikings back in the red zone shortly after New Orleans cut the lead to ten. Sniper Sam soon converted a TD to Rudolph to put the game out of reach. Cook was stymied early but finally found space outside. His second long run put a formal end to the game. They were the last of Minnesota’s 470 total yards. 470!

Final Take

The Vikings erased my nervous feelings about 2017 tonight. They looked subpar in the preseason, but came alive against New Orleans. It’s a long season. It won’t always be as easy as it was tonight. Especially not next week when they travel to Pittsburgh.

They improved every weakness from 2016 however. 3rd down conversion, running game, big plays, run defense, were ALL better. If that continues then I’m confident they’ll be able to beat them anybody when they’re playing at their best.

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