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Week 1 Recap: Minn 29, NO 19

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Almost four months ago, to the day, Minnesota ran all over the Saints in a game nowhere near as close as the final score indicated. The Vikings had 470 yards of total offense, as rookie Dalvin Cook averaged 6 yards ...

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Old 01-08-2018, 10:36 AM   #1
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Week 1 Recap: Minn 29, NO 19

Almost four months ago, to the day, Minnesota ran all over the Saints in a game nowhere near as close as the final score indicated. The Vikings had 470 yards of total offense, as rookie Dalvin Cook averaged 6 yards a carry in route to 127 yards, and Sam Bradford had a near-perfect stat line: 27-32, 346 yds, 3 TD's. The Saints D found Stephon Diggs (2 TDs) and Adam Thielen impossible to cover, and only sacked Bradford once.
The offense sputtered and stalled all night, not crossing the goal line until Drew Brees found Colby Fleener well into garbage time. The team finished with 60 rushing yards, 18 by Adrian Peterson (remember him?).

Four months later, Bradford and Cook are gone. The Saints D would give up the astronomical total of 555 yards against NE the following week, but would settle in and give up only 311 ypg the rest of the season. Led By Alvin Kamara, Mike Thomas, and Mark Ingram (4400 yards combined) the Saints offense finished tops in the NFC and second only to New England. Brees reclaimed the highest completion % record (from Bradford) and a handful of other milestones.

So... four months might as well be four years. The Vikings look unchanged: Cook has been swapped out capably, and Bradford's replacement is an MVP candidate. The Saints, on the other hand, have a complete different identity: a defense that believes in itself, can take the ball away, and come up with the big stops, and a balanced offense with stars taking turns in the spotlight.
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