Flashback Friday: Vikings Slip Past Saints in 2022

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; A general overall view as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) hands off the ball to fullback C.J. Ham (30) on the NFL shield logo in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints are set to face off this Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Both teams are 5-4. Minnesota is on a four-game winning streak. Last week was their first game without Kirk Cousins. They defeated the Atlanta Falcons 31-28 on the road. New Orleans won their second straight game.

Flashback Friday: Vikings Slip Past Saints in 2022

In the first quarter, Minnesota lost their other quarterback. Rookie fifth-round selection Jaren Hall was out with a concussion. He was then replaced by Joshua Dobbs, who was just acquired five days earlier from the Arizona Cardinals.

Flashback Friday: Vikings Slip Past Saints in 2022
Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) celebrates after a victory against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

Despite having no practice reps with the first-team offense, Dobbs looked very good last week. It did take him time to get into his rhythm (very understandably so). Dobbs went 20/30 for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He did have three fumbles (two lost), but also ran for 66 yards and a touchdown on seven attempts. He also ran for 22 yards on 4th-and-7 on the final drive, which later ended with a game-winning touchdown pass.

Last season, these two teams met in London. Kirk Cousins went 25/38 for 273 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Dalvin Cook rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries. Justin Jefferson caught 10 passes for 147 yards. Adam Thielen caught eight passes for 72 yards.

On defense, Eric Kendricks recorded a team-high eight tackles. For New Orleans, Andy Dalton went 20/28 for 236 yards and a touchdown. Former Viking Latavius Murray rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Chris Olave caught four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings place kicker Greg Joseph (1) celebrates with holder Ryan Wright (14) after kicking a field goal in the first half against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Saints 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On defense, Marshon Lattimore recorded a game-high 10 tackles. Will Lutz missed a 61-yard field. It hit the post twice. This began many huge breaks that went Minnesota’s way the rest of the regular season.

“When it left his foot, I thought it was going in,” Vikings coach¬†Kevin O’Connell¬†said. “It felt like that thing had a real good chance to go through and obviously, a couple of bounces later, we’re able to walk off as the winning team.”

Many Vikings fans were probably yelling “London baby” like Joey Tribbiani did. If not the craziest regular season in team history, it is definitely up there.

Minnesota won 28-25, improving to 3-1 on the season. They finished the regular season at 13-4.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 24-13.

This is another winnable game for Minnesota. They have struggled at home this season, but they are playing better overall, and their last home game was an upset win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Vikings Vow to Avoid Bigheadedness
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The play of Dobbs has reenergized the fan base. Most were pretty bummed over the Cousins injury. It still is a huge blow to the team, but the play of Dobbs last week is making the fans confident in the team again. Given that Hall also looked good before being out, could they later switch back to him if Dobbs does not have another good game? That will be very interesting to find out.

Currently, they have the seventh and final playoff seed. These next four games are very winnable. Even going 3-1 in that span would be very beneficial to this team. Going 4-0 will not be easy, but it is very possible.

Prediction: Vikings win 33-24


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