1st game of the year. Expectations are high at this point. 1st Monday night game of the year. Playing to a national TV audience against Adrian Peterson and the New Orleans Saints.
Adrian Peterson’s first return to the Twin Cities, since signing with the Saints. He had 6 carries for 18 yards. After his first carry, when he was booed heavily, he was underwhelming, and didn’t receive any additional booing.
Randy Moss was inducted into the Vikings “Ring of Honor”. He was gracious and humble in accepting the honor. He also honored former coach Dennis Green, as having the biggest impact on his career,
Sam Bradford was spectacular. Here are some of his highlights:
Named offensive player of the week, by NFL.
He was 27 of 32 for 346 yards & 3 touchdowns.
He had the highest passer rating in his career; 143.
7 passes of 15 yards or more. Best in 2016 was 5.
Dalvin Cook gained 123 yards, on 22 carries, for a 5.8 average. He set a new rookie running back record for yards gained, by a rookie, in his first game, previously held by Adrian Peterson. He also had a couple of outstanding pass blocks. He had 2 runs of 20 yards or more, in the fourth quarter. The Vikings only had 6 such runs, in all of 2016.
Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs were beasts. Thielen had 9 catches for 137 yards, including a 44 yarder. Diggs had 7 catches for 93 yards, including a 30 yarder. The catches all came at key moments in the game, not just stat fillers, when the game had been decided.
The offensive line was outstanding as well. It was the first time all 5 had played together, including preseason games. 3 of the 5 weren’t with the Vikings last year. Probably the toughest position to master.
Last but not least, the defense was terrific. They held the Saints rushing to 60 yards. They held Brees to 291 yards and 1 touchdown. They held the Saints to 19 points.