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Minnesota Vikings 34, New Orleans Saints 25: Minnesota victorious in preseason opener

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Plenty of highlights in the first game of the year

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

On Friday night at the Superdome, we got the return of Minnesota Vikings football, as they took on last year’s NFC runner-up, the New Orleans Saints. Things were pretty sloppy for the most part, but there were still plenty of highlights as the Vikings were triumphant over the Saints by a final score of 34-25.

The Vikings got the football first in this one, and after a penalty on Rashod Hill (starting in place of Brian O’Neill at right tackle), they looked outstanding. Kirk Cousins connected with Kyle Rudolph a couple of times, and even picked up a first down with his legs before connecting on this bomb to Adam Thielen.

The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but after replay Thielen was ruled down at the 1-yard line. On the next play, rookie Alexander Mattison found the end zone for the first time in his NFL career.

The Saints got a couple of field goals to make the score 7-6, and another rookie helped the Vikings expand their lead, as backup quarterback Sean Mannion found Bisi Johnson on this 18-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-6.

The Saints did manage a touchdown at the end of the first half on a pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Dan Arnold, but the failed two-point conversion attempt made it 14-12 at halftime.

Minnesota padded their lead to start the second half, this time courtesy of the defense and undrafted free agent linebacker Nate Meadors, who intercepted a pass from Taysom Hill and took it back 30 yards for a touchdown to make the score 21-12.

Following the interception, the Saints got another field goal from Lutz, this one a 26-yarder to cut the score to 21-15. Kyle Sloter came in at quarterback, and marched the Vikings down the field again, finding backup fullback Khari Blasingame for a 2-yard score. The Vikings attempted to go for two points and failed, leaving the score 27-15 late in the third stanza.

Lutz answered with another field goal for the Saints, this one a 42-yarder, on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut the Vikings’ lead to 27-18. On the ensuing Saints’ possession, Hill led his team down the field, and connected with rookie Lil’Jordan Humphrey. . .his actual name. . .for a 33-yard touchdown pass, and the extra point from Lutz made it a two-point game at 27-25 with just under nine minutes remaining in the contest.

At that point, rookie Jake Browning took over at the quarterback spot, and right there to help him along was running back Mike Boone, who went around left end and turned on the jets for a 64-yard touchdown!

Bailey’s extra point made it a two-possession game again at 34-25 with seven minutes remaining. The Saints were forced into a three-and-out, and the Vikings did enough to run out the clock and preserve the victory.

The first team offense was outstanding in their one series, with Kirk Cousins going 4-for-4 for 65 yards and a touchdown. Three of the Vikings’ four quarterbacks found the end zone in this one, as both Mannion and Sloter connected on touchdown passes as well. Tyler Conklin led the Vikings in receiving with 56 yards on a pair of catches, while Boone’s 64-yard run was enough to make him the team’s rushing leader on the evening.

The Vikings move to 1-0 this preseason, and will host the Seattle Seahawks a week from Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Saints fall to 0-1, and their next preseason game will be against the Los Angeles Chargers on the West Coast next Sunday.

The Vikings hold off the New Orleans Saints to open the preseason with a 34-25 victory. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of tonight’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!