Minneapolis - Two late touchdown passes from Sam Bradford to Stefon Diggs gave the Minnesota Vikings a 16-6 halftime lead over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The first Vikings touchdown was an 18-yard strike to Diggs with 4:08 to play in the half to give Minnesota its first lead. The Vikings marched from their own 5 with less than two minutes in the half to score on a two-yard pass that was upheld on review. Diggs kicked the ball into the crowd after the play.
Bradford was 17 of 20 for 197 yards in the half.
The Saints ended two long drives with Wil Lutz field goals, one from 43 yards and the other from 21. Kai Forbath scored the first Vikings points on a 24-yard field goal. Forbath missed the extra point on the Vikings' second touchdown.
New Saints running back Zach Line, who played the first 10 seasons of his career in Minneapolis, had the first carry of the game for the Saints, a 9-yarder, but carried the ball just three more times for a total of 14 yards.
Penalties hurt the Saints in the first half as they had five for 47 yards, two of which were for 15 yards and extended the Vikings' opening scoring drive.
Four rookies started for the Saints, left tackle Ryan Ramczyk, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, linebacker Alex Anzalone and safety Marcus Williams. Right tackle Zach Strief left the game with an injury late in the half and was replaced by veteran Senio Kelemete. Rookie tailback Alvin Kamara saw extensive action as well.
Saints stat leaders
Drew Brees, 9 of 14 for 71 yards
Mark Ingram, six carries for 17 yards
Coby Fleener, two catches for 34 yards
Vikings stat leaders
Sam Bradford, 17 of 20 for 197 yards with two TDs
Dalvin Cook, eight carries for 22 yards
Stefon Diggs, six catches for 63 yards with two TDs