The Minnesota Vikings topped the New Orleans Saints in Week 4, 28-25, in another whimsical game where the Vikings squandered a nine-point lead but still won.
Minnesota’s offense and defense were hot and cold once again, but when it mattered, the units delivered. The special teams group was the steadiest contributor and should be handed the game ball.
Ultimately, the Vikings survived the Saints, etching a record of 3-1 inside the NFC North, a division now possessing a Vikings-Packers sprint for the North’s crown.
On offense, these were the top performers per Pro Football Focus:
- Christian Darrisaw (75.3)
- Ed Ingram (70.2)
- Justin Jefferson (69.0)
- Adam Thielen (68.6)
- Kirk Cousins (67.5)
Darrisaw, the Vikings top performer in Week 3 versus the Detroit Lions, followed up that effort with another outstanding game against the Saints. NFL fans and pundits have forecasted a breakout season for Darrisaw all year, and it’s coming to fruition.
Ingram struggled last week but is evidently back on track, notching the second-best grade on the Vikings offense in London. As a rookie, Ingram will continue encountering ups and downs, but his debut across the pond was all positive.
Jefferson was fantastic, getting off the schneid after consecutive quiet games in Weeks 2 and 3. The Lions used frequent double coverage on Jefferson, whereas the Saints preferred a single defender, for the most part. All told, Jefferson grabbed 10 receptions for 147 yards and a nifty rushing touchdown.
Thielen continued his crusade to prove his first two games were outliers. The Vikings curiously didn’t target the 32-year-old against the Packers and Eagles, but after that, Thielen roared back, slapping in the face any narrative theorizing an “age-related decline.” Thielen caught 8 passes for 72 yards in England.
Finally, Cousins played wonderfully down the stretch, despite throwing only one touchdown pass, along with a bad mid-game interception. The Vikings signal-caller has authored game-winning drives in successive weeks — yes, those things that naysayers constantly claim he doesn’t do well.
Even in victory, “the bad” must be highlighted, so these were the worst performers on offense:
3. Ezra Cleveland (49.7)
2. Garrett Bradbury (45.8)
1. Johnny Mundt (28.2)
The Vikings return to the United States for a Week 5 date with the rival Chicago Bears.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).