VT Breakdown: Doink, dink, thunk. The Vikes are 3-1.
Watch Vikings Territory Breakdown: Joe Oberle and Mark Craig
The Minnesota Vikings flew to London later than their opponent, the New Orleans Saints, and they looked to have more jet lag—until the game’s final play made that tired, listless feeling go away. But they somehow held on for the 28-25 win to improve to 3-1 and grab (at least) a share of the NFC North lead. The outcome was uncertain until Saints kicker Will Lutz, who had just kicked a 60-yard field goal to tie the game with 1:51 left on the clock, missed a 61-yarder after the ball hit the left upright, bounced off the crossbar and fell deflatingly (for New Orleans) to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium turf.
It was an improbable win for Minnesota—a game like many in the past they would have lost—and one that didn’t necessarily deserve. The Vikings jumped out to a seven-point lead with a great opening drive and then needed another fourth-quarter Justin Jefferson touchdown and five field goals to put away the pesky and under-manned Saints. Missing their starting quarterback, running back, guard, wide receiver and safety, the Saints hung around, clawed back into the game and actually took the lead before the Vikings and their kicker Greg Joseph eventually took it back for good.
The Vikings had a fake punt that went nowhere. They had five drives end up in field goals. They missed an extra point to give the Saints hope. Their running game grounded to a halt again. Their quarterback was up and down. The defense was again gashed by the run—in particular by a practice squad player elevated for today’s game. And they lost rookie safety/special teamer Lewis Cine to a major ankle injury. Despite all that news, The Vikings survived and now have their best start (3-1) since 2016.
It doesn’t feel as great to log this one in the win column as it did for Minnesota to tally the Green Bay Packers win on opening weekend. But we all will take it. We, as Vikings fans and observers, have all seen this before but only from the other side of the ledger.
You have to win these kinds of games in the NFL, because the Vikings have certainly lost them. They need to get better quick, however, or the games will all be like this—two of them already have. So, what must do next? Joe Oberle from Vikings Territory and purplePTSD.com and Mark Craig of the Star Tribune will be on hand to do just to discuss it. Tune into the VT Breakdown podcast and get the latest.
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