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Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints Pick & Prediction DEC 25TH 2020

FinishedTV: NFL | FOX | AmazonMercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans

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Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints Recap DEC 25TH 2020

Kirk Cousins threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph on the first possession of overtime as the visiting Minnesota Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-20 in an NFC wild-card playoff Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota won the coin toss to start overtime and used a 43-yard pass from Cousins to Adam Thielen to get a first down at the New Orleans 2. After two runs by Dalvin Cook set up third-and-goal from the 4. Cousins found Rudolph in the left corner in the back of the end zone against cornerback P.J. Williams.

The Vikings, the No. 6 seed after finishing 10-6, advance to play at No. 1 seed San Francisco next Sunday. The Saints were the No. 3 seed after winning the NFC South with a 13-3 record.

Cook rushed 28 times for 94 yards and two touchdowns, and Adam Thielen caught seven passes for 129 yards, including his diving grab -- which came with top Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore on the sideline with an injury -- to set up the winning score. Cousins completed 19 of 31 for 242 yards in his first road playoff start.

Drew Brees completed 26 of 33 for 208 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an interception and lost a fumble. It was the Saints' first game all season with multiple turnovers committed.

Minnesota led 13-10 at halftime and extended its lead on Cook's 1-yard touchdown run with 3:23 left in the third quarter.

The Saints went scoreless in the second half until Brees threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Taysom Hill to pull within 20-17 with 10:31 remaining.

New Orleans drove to a first down at the Vikings 20 on its next possession, but Brees fumbled while being sacked by Danielle Hunter. Jalyn Holmes recovered for Minnesota at its 36.

Four plays later New Orleans appeared to take the lead when Cook was tackled, the ball came loose and safety Vonn Bell picked up the ball and ran 38 yards to the end zone. But replays showed that Cook was down by contact before the ball came loose, and the touchdown was overturned.

The Saints then forced a punt, and Brees drove them 39 yards to Wil Lutz's 49-yard field goal with two seconds left to tie the score and force overtime.

--Field Level Media

The New Orleans Saints are in the playoffs.

But they've lost two games in a row after winning nine straight. They have failed two weeks in a row to clinch the NFC South title. They have dropped from the No. 1 seed to the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Best NFL Picks Week 16

And now they get a reminder of the disappointing end to last season as they host the Minnesota Vikings in the penultimate game of this season on Christmas afternoon.

It was 51 weeks ago that the Vikings went into the Superdome and upset the Saints 26-20 in a wild-card game.

"Last year, we were flat and we played poorly," Saints coach Sean Payton said.

New Orleans (10-4) is hardly panicking though. It's still the No. 2 seed in the conference and can pass Green Bay with some help. It needs just one win or one Tampa Bay loss to clinch its fourth consecutive division title.

Nonetheless, Payton said, "this has got to be a bounce-back week."

The Saints lost to Philadelphia two weeks ago to drop to 3-1 in the games that Drew Brees missed because of rib and lung injuries.

Brees returned last week and showed plenty of rust in the first half before finding some rhythm. Despite the slow start, the Saints stayed with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs before narrowly losing, 32-29.

"You want to be playing your best football going into the playoffs," Brees said. "We understand that we've sealed a playoff spot. But, the most important factor right now is for us to win and win the division, and then, continue to kind of build on and ascend, going into the playoffs."

NFL Week 16 Moneyline Odds

New Orleans has lost back-to-back games for the first time since the first two games of the 2017 season, which also included a 29-19 loss to the Vikings.

"It's been a long time since we lost back to back," said safety CJ Gardner-Johnson, who was a sophomore at Florida when it last happened. "We're not going to let that happen again."

One thing the Saints likely don't have to worry about happening again is a playoff game against Minnesota.

The Vikings (6-8) need to win their last two games and see Arizona lose its last two and Chicago lose at least once to qualify.

Minnesota's injury-plagued defense had nine players on the injury report Tuesday, including star linebacker Eric Kendricks, who has missed the last three games because of a calf injury.

"I have seen some strides from the guys we're playing with (on defense)," coach Mike Zimmer said.

Learn How to Bet on Quarterback Props

The Vikings allowed the Bears' David Montgomery to rush for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns last week in Chicago's win.

With Brees less than 100 percent and All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas on injured reserve, New Orleans might be inclined to emphasize the run with Alvin Kamara and former Viking Latavius Murray.

Kamara has gained nearly 800 yards both rushing and receiving yards and has scored 15 touchdowns.

"We didn't play very well against the run (against the Bears). We didn't tackle very well," Zimmer said. "Kamara's obviously a great back. He's got really, really good feet. He's hard to tackle. They use him in more variety of ways. We're just going to have to do a better job in some of the cutback and power runs than we did last week."

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who had 132 yards and a touchdown against Chicago, and rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who had eight catches for 104 yards, were both Pro Bowl selections this week.

--Field Level Media

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Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Player Position Lineup
Garrett Bradbury primary: Center Starter
Tyler Conklin primary: Tight End Starter
Dalvin Cook primary: Halfback Starter
Kirk Cousins primary: Quarterback Starter
Anthony Harris primary: Free Safety Starter
Jaleel Johnson primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Brian O'Neill primary: Right Tackle Starter
Ifeadi Odenigbo primary: Right Defensive End Starter
Riley Reiff primary: Left Tackle Starter
Irv Smith Jr. primary: Tight End Starter
Harrison Smith primary: Strong Safety Starter
Shamar Stephen primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Adam Thielen primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Eric Wilson primary: Weak Linebacker Starter
Dakota Dozier primary: Left Guard Starter
Justin Jefferson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Jeff Gladney primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Ezra Cleveland primary: Right Guard Starter
Cameron Dantzler primary: Right Cornerback Starter
D.J. Wonnum primary: Left Defensive End Starter
Blake Lynch primary: Middle Linebacker Starter
Chris Jones primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Chad Beebe primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Mike Boone primary: Runningback Substitution
Bisi Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Brett Jones primary: Center Substitution
Hercules Mata'afa primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Dru Samia primary: Guard Substitution
Armon Watts primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Eddie Yarbrough primary: Defensive End Substitution
Britton Colquitt primary: Punter Substitution
Dan Bailey primary: Kicker Substitution
Rashod Hill primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Ameer Abdullah primary: Runningback Substitution
James Lynch primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Harrison Hand primary: Cornerback Substitution
K.J. Osborn primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Josh Metellus primary: Safety Substitution
Dan Chisena primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Jake Bargas primary: Fullback Substitution
Ryan Connelly primary: Linebacker Substitution
Hardy Nickerson primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jordan Brailford primary: Defensive End Substitution
Dylan Mabin primary: Cornerback Substitution
Andrew DePaola primary: Long Snapper Substitution
C.J. Ham primary: Fullback Not active
Jalyn Holmes primary: Defensive End Not active
Eric Kendricks primary: Linebacker Not active
Alexander Mattison primary: Runningback Not active
Kyle Rudolph primary: Tight End Not active
Oli Udoh primary: Offensive Tackle Did not play
Sean Mannion primary: Quarterback Did not play
Troy Dye primary: Linebacker Not active
Todd Davis primary: Linebacker Not active
Hale Hentges primary: Tight End Did not play
Player Position Lineup
Terron Armstead primary: Left Tackle Starter
Drew Brees primary: Quarterback Starter
Marcus Davenport primary: Right Defensive End Starter
Demario Davis primary: Middle Linebacker Starter
C.J. Gardner-Johnson primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Janoris Jenkins primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Cameron Jordan primary: Left Defensive End Starter
Alvin Kamara primary: Runningback Starter
Marshon Lattimore primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Erik McCoy primary: Center Starter
David Onyemata primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Ryan Ramczyk primary: Right Tackle Starter
Shy Tuttle primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Emmanuel Sanders primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Malcolm Jenkins primary: Strong Safety Starter
P.J. Williams primary: Free Safety Starter
Cesar Ruiz primary: Right Guard Starter
Adam Trautman primary: Tight End Starter
Marquez Callaway primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Ty Montgomery primary: Wide Receiver Starter
James Hurst primary: Left Guard Starter
Kwon Alexander primary: Weak Outside Linebacker Starter
Alex Anzalone primary: Linebacker Substitution
Austin Carr primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Will Clapp primary: Center Substitution
Jared Cook primary: Tight End Substitution
Carl Granderson primary: Defensive End Substitution
J.T. Gray primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Ethan Greenidge primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Justin Hardee primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Josh Hill primary: Tight End Substitution
Taysom Hill primary: Quarterback Substitution
Lil'Jordan Humphrey primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Wil Lutz primary: Kicker Substitution
Thomas Morstead primary: Punter Substitution
Latavius Murray primary: Runningback Substitution
Sheldon Rankins primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Craig Robertson primary: Linebacker Substitution
Dwayne Washington primary: Runningback Substitution
Zach Wood primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Michael Burton primary: Fullback Substitution
D.J. Swearinger primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Zack Baun primary: Linebacker Substitution
Malcolm Roach primary: Defensive Linesman Substitution
Juwan Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Derrick Kelly primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Ken Crawley primary: Cornerback Substitution
Malcom Brown primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Nick Easton primary: Center Not active
Kaden Elliss primary: Linebacker Not active
Trey Hendrickson primary: Defensive End Not active
Marcus Williams primary: Safety Not active
Andrus Peat primary: Guard Not active
Jameis Winston primary: Quarterback Did not play

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
    • Rusher: Alvin Kamara
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 15 Yards
    • Rusher: Dalvin Cook
    • Conv Kicker: Dan Bailey
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 40 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
    • Rusher: Alvin Kamara
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 5 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
    • Rusher: Alvin Kamara
  • MIN 10
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 4 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Dan Bailey
    • Rusher: Mike Boone
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 30 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Wil Lutz
  • Period 3
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 4 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Irv Smith Jr.
    • Passer: Kirk Cousins
    • Conv Kicker: Dan Bailey
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 6 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
    • Rusher: Alvin Kamara
  • MIN 9
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 2 Yards
    • Passer: Kirk Cousins
    • Pass Receiver: Irv Smith Jr.
    • Conv Kicker: Dan Bailey
  • Period 4
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 3 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
    • Rusher: Alvin Kamara
  • MIN 2
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 1 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Adam Thielen
    • Conv Passer: Kirk Cousins
    • Passer: Kirk Cousins
    • Conv Receiver: Justin Jefferson
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Taysom Hill
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 7 Yards
    • Rusher: Alvin Kamara
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
  • Match End


Last 10

W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • @Detroit W 37 - 35
  • @New Orleans L 33 - 52
  • Chicago L 33 - 27
  • @Tampa Bay L 14 - 26
  • Jacksonville W 24 - 27
  • Carolina W 27 - 28
  • Dallas L 31 - 28
  • @Chicago W 19 - 13
  • Detroit W 20 - 34
  • @Green Bay W 28 - 22
W 70% L 30%
7 3
  • Tampa Bay L 30 - 20
  • Chicago W 9 - 21
  • @Carolina W 33 - 7
  • Minnesota W 33 - 52
  • Kansas City L 32 - 29
  • @Philadelphia L 21 - 24
  • @Atlanta W 21 - 16
  • @Denver W 31 - 3
  • Atlanta W 9 - 24
  • San Francisco W 13 - 27

Last Meetings

  • Vikings @ Saints 33-52
  • Vikings @ Saints 26-20
  • Vikings @ Saints 34-25
  • Saints @ Vikings 30-20
  • Saints @ Vikings 24-29
  • Saints @ Vikings 19-29
  • Vikings @ Saints 9-20
  • Saints @ Vikings 42-20
  • Vikings @ Saints 9-14
  • Vikings @ Saints 28-31

American Football Conference

Buffalo Bills133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-29-0-1
Miami Dolphins106 0.6253.00.00.0 5-35-37-0-3
New England Patriots79 0.4386.00.00.0 5-32-65-0-5
New York Jets214 0.12511.00.00.0 1-71-72-0-8
Pittsburgh Steelers124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-36-0-4
Baltimore Ravens115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Cleveland Browns115 0.6881.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Cincinnati Bengals411 1.2677.50.00.0 3-51-63-1-7
Indianapolis Colts115 0.6880.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Tennessee Titans115 0.6880.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Houston Texans412 0.2507.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars115 0.06310.00.00.0 1-70-81-0-10
Kansas City Chiefs142 0.8750.00.00.0 6-28-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders88 0.5006.00.00.0 2-66-25-0-5
Los Angeles Chargers79 0.4387.00.00.0 4-43-55-0-5
Denver Broncos511 0.3139.00.00.0 2-63-53-0-7

National Football Conference

Washington Football Team79 0.4380.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Dallas Cowboys610 0.3751.00.00.0 4-42-64-0-6
New York Giants610 0.3751.00.00.0 3-53-55-0-5
Philadelphia Eagles411 1.2672.50.00.0 3-41-73-1-7
Green Bay Packers133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-28-0-2
Chicago Bears88 0.5005.00.00.0 3-55-33-0-7
Minnesota Vikings79 0.4386.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Detroit Lions511 0.3138.00.00.0 1-74-42-0-8
New Orleans Saints124 0.7500.00.00.0 6-26-28-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers511 0.3137.00.00.0 2-63-52-0-8
Atlanta Falcons412 0.2508.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Seattle Seahawks124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-37-0-3
Los Angeles Rams106 0.6252.00.00.0 6-24-46-0-4
Arizona Cardinals88 0.5004.00.00.0 4-44-44-0-6
San Francisco 49ers610 0.3756.00.00.0 1-75-33-0-7

Last Injuries