8:20 p.m. ET
Key Decision #1: (MIN ball, trailing 17-13 / fourth-and-1, MIN 45 / 12:32 Q3)
• Minnesota was on its way to taking a two-score lead at the end of the first half when New Orleans recovered an Adam Thielen fumble and cashed it in for a go-ahead score.
• This must have been frustrating for Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, and perhaps that affected his decision-making on Minnesota’s opening drive of the second half. He got aggressive on this fourth-down situation, knowing that not converting would give the Saints a short field and a chance to take a two-possession lead.
• Minnesota fails, and New Orleans converts for a FG and 20-13 lead. On next Vikings possession, New Orleans gets a pick-6 and takes a 27-13 lead.
• The game turned with this fourth-down call by Zimmer; it was unnecessary. His defense was playing very well – Drew Brees had fewer than 100 yards passing at halftime.
• Saints CB P.J. Williams had a pick-6, but he was victimized time and again by Minnesota WRs; it was clear that Minnesota targeted him – this bears watching going forward for the Saints.
• The Saints struggled to effectively run the ball like they normally do; the Minnesota DL did a very good job Sunday – the score is not reflective of how well they played.
• Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen made a good adjustment at halftime with his run defense; New Orleans was getting gashed in the first half, but gap discipline was much better in the second half
• Zimmer challenged a first down catch by the Saints on the opening drive of the game; it was a poor challenge as the WR clearly was in-bounds. This is the second week in a row that the Saints’ opposing head coach used a challenge on the Saints’ opening drive.