Rookie Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards on 22 carries in the formal takeover from Peterson.
There was so much chatter about Adrian Peterson carrying only six times in the game. His offensive line, which struggled a year ago, gave him plenty of time to execute, and it showed with his 84.4% completion percentage, 346 passing yards, and three touchdowns.
"They did a great job opening up holes, pass blocking for Sam, and making sure that the playmakers could make plays, " Cook said.
The Saints offensive line, considered to be a strength of the team, continues to take hits. Will Lutz made four field goals, three under 25 yards. The last time the Vikings played in Pittsburgh was in 2009 and the Steelers won that home game 27-17 even though Ben Roethlisberger only completed 14 total passes for 175 yards in the contest. Koo had nailed the kick moments earlier, but Denver coach Vance Joseph called timeout before the snap to ice the kicker.
Diggs had seven receptions for 93 yards, while Adam Thielen racked up 157 yards on nine catches.
Thank goodness the Saints had kicker Wil Lutz (13 points, ideal on four FG attempts) and punter Thomas Morstead (53.3-yard average with a long of 68).
The Saints defense is notorious for being easy to move the ball on, which is a good reason to hold back on your Super Bowl predictions.
"You know they're going to have a specific plan for you", Brees said. The sack would've gotten the defense off the field, but instead the Saints got a first down. That doesn't mean he's guaranteed any playing time right now.
Cameron Jordan and A.J. Klein each had their hands on a tipped pass in the end zone that fluttered off Cook's hands, missing a critical opportunity to thwart that drive and keep the deficit at four points.
But with Bradford still only 29 years old and in an offensive system he had an entire offseason to get familiar with (after being traded to the Vikings days before the start of the 2016 season), it's not inconceivable that this time, he may finally be becoming the quarterback that fulfils the loftiest of expectations.
Average Depth of Target, or the average distance a throw travels whether or not it's caught, can measure a quarterback and offense's aggressiveness over a given period. When Reiff suffered a back injury and missed a big chunk of training camp, there was a here-we-go again feeling, but he appeared healthy and comfortable back on the left side.
But this is not the Peterson of 2012, when he was a 2,097-yard rusher for the Vikings.
The crowd was really fired up for the reunion with another former Vikings great.
It was fitting on the night Randy Moss entered the team's Ring of Honor, the Vikings' offense finally threw the ball downfield a bit.
The Vikings and Saints were locked in a tight battle at U.S. Bank Stadium, Saints up 6-3 late in the second quarter when the Vikings opened up the offense. Vikings defensive ends Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter caused havoc.
The Minnesota Vikings came into the 2017 season with a massive question mark over their heads.