A Christmas road trip to New Orleans eliminated the Minnesota Vikings (6-9) from the playoffs after a 52-33 dismantling by the Saints (11-4).
Drew Brees became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 80,000 yards and RB Alvin Kamara tied an NFL record with 6 touchdowns as the Saints offense gouged the Vikings defense in historic fashion. The 52 points allowed were the most by any Vikings team since 1963, and if not for a pair of interceptions, the score could have been even higher.
Kamara rushed for a career-high 155 yards to help New Orleans clinch a fourth straight NFC South title. Brees completed 19 of 26 throws for 311 yards in his second game back from rib and lung injuries as the Saints racked up 583 total yards (the most Minnesota has ever allowed in their 60-year history).
”We couldn’t stop the run, didn’t cover well, couldn’t get any pressure on the quarterback, and couldn’t tackle well.’’ Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said when addressing the media after the game. ‘’I’m really disappointed, you’ve got to work really hard to give up 52.’’
In the first half, the Saints averaged 8.8 yards per play while converting 21 first downs. The Vikings defense had no answer stopping the Saints offense in the second half either.
The frustrating teaser is the fact that it was a close game until the final quarter. The Vikings cut the deficit to four points twice in the third, but ultimately the Saints offense was unstoppable on a day where the Vikings couldn’t force a single punt.
Kirk Cousins statistically had another great performance completing 27 of 41 throws for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dalvin Cook averaged 4.9 yards per carry totaling 75 yards on 15 rushing attempts.
The Vikings have one more road trip next week as they close the book on the 2020 season in Detroit.