BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - All the preseason hype of a much improved Saints defense didn't pan out Monday night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The home standing Vikings dominated New Orleans from the first quarter until the final second ticked off the clock.
Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford put on a clinic. He connected on 27 of 32 passes, piled up 346 yards and three touchdowns. Stefon Diggs hauled-in 7 passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Adam Thielen grabbed 9 receptions for 157 yards. Saints defensive backs De'Vante Harris and P.J. Williams were beat like a drum.
Rookie running back Dalvin Cook established a new Vikings record for most rushing yards by a rookie in a season opener by busting through the New Orleans defense for 127 yards on 22 carries. He broke Adrian Peterson's record.
Peterson who is now playing for the Saints rushed for 18 yards on 6 carries and he had a few words for New Orleans head coach Sean Payton.
Payton said, "No, I would tell you if we were in a heated exchange. So why don't you ask him. He was into it, we were all into it. There was non that I could recall, and I'm being honest.
Peterson said, "There's no issue. I don't know what clip you're talking about. That's what people do. They jump to conclusions. I stopped this two questions ago. I told you there was nothing."
Quarterback Drew Brees completed 27-of-37 passes attempts for 291 yards and a late fourth quarter touchdown. It didn't help that veteran offensive lineman Zach Strief left the game with a knee injury in the second quarter. Brees felt pressure throughout the game.
Will Lutz connected on four field goals after the Saints offense failed to keep possible touchdown drives alive.
The Saints kickoff their home slate of games Sunday at high noon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome hosting New England. Patriots are coming off a big loss to Kansas City and will be eager to get back under the win column. After Brady watched the Saints defense on Monday night, he's probably licking his chops.