20 Brief & Essential Facts: Saints-Vikings

20 Brief & Essential Facts: Saints-Vikings
Jan 5, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports.

Each week, VikingsTerritory details 20 statistical or interesting facts about the upcoming Minnesota Vikings game. This week’s edition involves the New Orleans Saints, who are 3.5-point underdogs facing the Vikings in Week 4.

The game is on October 2nd, 2022, at 8:30 am CST at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on NFL Network.

These are the 20 random facts to know about Saints-Vikings:

Our Staff Prediction for Vikings at Saints
Oct 28, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) runs with the ball in the third quarter against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

1. Both teams are unbeaten in London, totaling a 4-0 record across the sea. Unless they tie, one team will remain undefeated.

2. The only time Kirk Cousins and presumptive Saints starting QB Andy Dalton have dueled, the game resulted in a tie — in London — six years ago. Cousins played for the Washington Commanders, and Dalton was with the Cincinnati Bengals. 27-27 in England.

3. Of all quarterbacks in NFL history who have attempted at least 100 passes against the Saints, Kirk Cousins’ 126.7 passer rating ranks #1 of 78. No quarterback has encountered more statistical success per passer rating versus New Orleans than Cousins.

4. The Vikings own the all-time head-to-head series record over the Saints, 23-13 (.638).

5. Andy Dalton is on deck to face the Vikings for the fifth time — with a fourth different team — the Bengals, Cowboys, Bears, and now Saints.

6. The last time the Vikings and Saints hooked up, New Orleans fell one rushing touchdown short of the NFL record. It scored 7 seven rushing touchdowns against Minnesota on December 25, 2020. The NFL record is 8, set by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2004.

7. The Vikings are the NFL’s second-least penalized team through three weeks. The Saints are the fifth-most penalized team.

Keys to an Overseas Win as Vikings-Saints Resume Rivalry in London
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

8. Justin Jefferson is on pace for 1,394 receiving yards.

9. Per FootballOutisders DVOA metric, New Orleans has the worst special teams in football.

10. Per offensive EPA/Play, the Saints also have the second-to-worst offense in the NFL. New Orleans’ defense, on the other hand, ranks eighth per EPA/Play.

11. The Vikings yards allowed to opponents and rushing defense DVOA rank 30th in the NFL — not good.

12. Sunday’s game for the Vikings will be their first against the Saints without Drew Brees at the helm since 2005.

13. Kirk Cousins’ performance enhances substantially in October and November. He usually starts slow and finishes slow — for whatever reason.

14. Week 4 has been a rough spot for the Vikings in recent memory. They’re 7-12 (.368) in Week 4 games since 2000, which ranks 27th in the league during the timeframe.

15. The Vikings haven’t exited Week 4 with a 3-1 record since 2012. Of course, they were 4-0 in 2016, but that season ended with an 8-8 record.

PurplePTSD: A Less Fearsome Pass Rush, Saints Injuries, Is this Primetime for Cousins?
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker D.J. Wonnum (98) and linebacker Danielle Hunter. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

16. Za’Darius Smith, who is questionable for Sunday’s game, ranks first in the NFL via tackles for loss.

17. Since 1990, when the NFL expanded to at least six teams per conference in the postseason, 36% of teams with a 2-2 record after four games make the playoffs. And 64% of 3-1 teams reach the postseason.

18. The Vikings best player through three weeks, according to Pro Football Focus, is safety Josh Metellus.

19. Minnesota’s defense has allowed zero points to opponents in the 4th Quarter through Week 3.

20. Since the start of 2020, the Vikings have played in more games than anyone with the score decided by eight points or less. Sixty-nine percent of Vikings games since the start of 2020 have been within a one-score margin.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).