Flashback Friday: Vikings Defeat Saints in 2017 Season Opener

Flashback Friday: Vikings Defeat Saints in 2017 Season Opener
Oct 28, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Linval Joseph (98) tackles New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints face off Sunday in London. As Joey Tribbiani once said, “London Baby!”

Minnesota is 2-1 and coming off a thrilling come from behind 28-24 win at home against the Detroit Lions, while New Orleans is 1-2 and coming off a 22-14 loss on the road against the Carolina Panthers.

This is a very winnable game for Minnesota, especially if Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas are out. The following week, they return home to face the Chicago Bears. The possibility of starting 4-1 would be huge.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 23-13.

Explained: What's on Tap for Week 4 with Saints
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

One of their most recent wins against them came in week one of the 2017 season at U.S. Bank Stadium on a Monday night. Vikings won 29-19.

Sam Bradford went 27/32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards on 22 carries in his NFL debut. Adam Thielen caught nine passes for 157 yards, and Stefon Diggs added seven receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns.

“When I’ve got time to sit back there and kind of evaluate things, I’ve got all the confidence in the world that our guys outside are going to win,” Bradford said.

On defense, Trae Waynes tied for a game-high with 11 tackles.

For New Orleans, Drew Brees went 27/37 for 291 yards and a touchdown. Former Vikings great Adrian Peterson rushed for 18 yards on six carries in his first game in a different uniform. Coby Fleener caught five passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Mark Ingram also added five receptions for 54 yards.

Another former Vikings great made his return to Minnesota. Randy Moss was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime while also working the game as an analyst for ESPN.

Randy Moss
Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings former player Randy Moss. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Both teams squared off again in the divisional round of the playoffs. Minnesota won in miracle fashion, 29-24. One of the craziest endings in NFL history.

After the week one game, Bradford only played in one more game the rest of the season due to a knee injury. Could the Vikings have won the Super Bowl, perhaps, if Bradford stayed healthy? Possibly. We will never know for sure, but he would have given the Vikings a better shot. Case Keenum did a good job in his absence, but he was not at the same level as Bradford.

(1) Saints vs. Vikings | NFL Week 1 Game Highlights – YouTube

Prediction: Vikings win 27-20