Dalton, Saints fall short to Vikings in London

Benny Greenspan, Staff Writer

Matthew Tate

In the first NFL London game of the season, the New Orleans Saints fell just short to the Minnesota Vikings, losing 28-25

The Saints had several key injuries entering the game, as starting quarterback Jameis Winston was out with a combination of back and leg injuries, starting running back Alvin Kamara was out with a rib injury and top receiver Michael Thomas was sidelined with a toe injury.

As a result, the offense was handed down to veteran quarterback, Andy Dalton, who the Saints signed this past offseason. Dalton completed 20 of his 28 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown that came in the second quarter to rookie breakout Chris Olave. 

For the second straight game, first round pick Chris Olave led the team in receiving with 67 yards off of four receptions. 

With Kamara out, the Saints relied on veteran Mark Ingram and returning Saint Latavius Murray, who rushed for 30 and 57 yards respectively, with Murray also scoring a touchdown to narrow the deficit to 16-14 late in the third quarter

Penalties were also a major factor in this game as the Saints defense was called for three penalties that resulted in a touchdown drive by the Vikings to go up 25-22 with four minutes left in the game. Most notably, star safety Tyrann Mathieu was called for an “illegal use of hands” penalty on a third and 10 on the Minnesota 49 that would have ended the Vikings drive. This penalty caused outrage among Saints fans, as many claimed the call to be turning point of the game.

Nevertheless, the Saints found themselves down three points and in a fourth down situation, with nobody else to turn to but kicker Wil Lutz. This time, Lutz was able to deliver, drilling a 60-yard field goal.

This gave the Vikings and Kirk Cousins under two minutes to put a drive together, which they did largely due to a 40-yard pass to star receiver Justin Jefferson. The Vikings were able to score a field goal to put them up 28-25 with 25 seconds remaining. While the Saints were able to get to the Minnesota 43 in 20 seconds, Lutz was unable to deliver another miracle from 61 yards, as his field goal “double doinked” on the goalpost. 

The Saints now find themselves 1-3 heading into week five, where they hope to find some momentum at home against the Seattle Seahawks. The game will be at 12 p.m. CST on Oct. 9 and will be broadcasted on FOX.

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