Minneapolis – There wasn't much heft provided by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in a 27-19 loss to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Saints, now 5-5 entering their bye week, had a two-game losing streak snapped with one of their most disappointing showings of the season.
One quarter to a quarter-and-a-half of good football wasn't enough to get the job done Sunday. It rarely is, and it was reflective in the individual performances.
OFFENSE: Quarterback Jameis Winstonprovided enough of a spark to help the Saints pull to within a score, and that was asking a lot, considering he entered the game with New Orleans trailing 27-3. The stay-ready-so-you-don't-have-to-get-ready mantra is a lot easier to fulfill when you're getting first-team reps, which Winston did not get last week and hasn't gotten much this season. But he came off the bench when Derek Carr (right shoulder, concussion) was injured and threw touchdown passes to Chris Olave and A.T. Perry to give New Orleans a fighting chance. He did his job, and then some, completing 13 of 25 passes for 122 yards. He was sacked once and threw two interceptions which appeared to be as much miscommunication as mis-throws.
DEFENSE: Honestly, difficult to come up with anyone when the unit allows 24 points in the first half and continues to have difficulty dealing with mobile quarterbacks. The Saints settled down to only allow a field goal in the second half, continuing a troubling trend of slow-start, fast-finish. Linebacker Demario Davis did provide the unit with its only sack, and finished with a game-high nine tackles, with a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. But by Saints standards, the defense has been subpar for the last month.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Again, difficult to unearth much here from this unit. The bright spot was that kicker Blake Grupe made a 48-yard field-goal attempt. He'd missed four of his previous 11 attempts, so hopefully a long make is a good sign.
Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 of the 2023 NFL season.