Coming out of the locker room, the Minnesota Vikings got the football first, trailing the New Orleans Saints by a score of 17-13. The kickoff from Will Lutz went for a touchback, giving Kirk Cousins and company the ball at their own 25-yard line for their first possession of the half. A run by Latavius Murray and a pass to Laquon Treadwell got the Vikings a quick first down to start the drive, and the Vikings then faced a third down situation. Cousins got the ball to Stefon Diggs, but Diggs was stopped inches short, and the Vikings elected to go for it on 4th-and-1. Cousins had Laquon Treadwell for more than enough yardage, but Marshon Lattimore knocked the ball out of his hands to force a turnover on downs.
The Vikings forced a third down situation, but Drew Brees flipped a short pass to Alvin Kamara to get the conversion for the Saints to the Minnesota 30. The Saints then tried an end-around to Taysom Hill, but it was sniffed out for a short gain. Brees then found Mark Ingram on a screen, and he took the ball all the way to the Minnesota 9-yard line. An incomplete pass and a stuff of Kamara made it third-and-goal, and the Vikings forced Brees into an intentional grounding call to get a huge stop. On came Will Lutz for a 42-yard field goal attempt, and he split the uprights to make the score 20-13 with just over eight minutes remaining in the quarter.
Lutz’s kickoff went for a touchback, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 25-yard line once again. On the first play of the drive, Cousins scrambled to his left and was run down by rookie Marcus Davenport, who appeared to strip the ball from Cousins and recover it at the Minnesota 17-yard line. Fortunately, the call was overturned, as Cousins’ knee was down before the ball came loose. A run by Murray brought up a 3rd-and-6 from the 29-yard line, and Cousins hit Stefon Diggs for a huge first down to the 42.
Unfortunately, Cousins then looked for Diggs again, and instead threw the ball directly to Saints’ cornerback P.J. Williams, who ran it back 45 yards for a New Orleans touchdown. Lutz added the extra point, and suddenly the Vikings were down by a count of 27-13 with just under six minutes left in the third quarter.
PJ Williams INT. Either it's on Diggs for stopping or on the overall communication of what to do in that situation pic.twitter.com/qiCmm5jsjR— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 29, 2018
It looks like Diggs may have stopped his route early on that one. Whatever the reasoning, it was something the Vikings could ill afford, and put them down two scores.
Marcus Sherels brought a short kickoff out to the 20-yard line for the Vikings’ next possession. Murray started things with a short run, and Cousins found Diggs again for a nice gain out to the 45. Murray then took the ball over midfield, and was stopped short to bring up 3rd-and-4 from the Saints’ 49. Cousins then took another sack, and once again it was Sheldon Rankins that took Cousins to the turf. Matt Wile came in to punt the ball away, and the Saints took over at their own 16.
The Saints picked up a first down with a couple of running plays, and as we move to the final quarter, the Saints are looking at a 2nd-and-6 from their own 42.
Fifteen minutes left from U.S. Bank Stadium, and it’s not looking promising for the good guys as they trail 27-13. Can they pull off what would be a pretty amazing comeback?