NEW ORLEANS — Despite an effective performance by backup quarterback Andy Dalton, the Saints fell in heartbreaking fashion in London to the Minnesota Vikings, 28-25.
Vikings kicker Greg Joseph hit a 47-yard field goal with 24 seconds left to give the Vikings a 28-25 lead. The Saints still had a chance to tie the game late, but kicker Wil Lutz missed the potential game-tying kick as he rung the ball off the left upright and crossbar.
The offensive woes that have plagued the team early this season weren't as evident, but the Saints still struggled to garner a rhythm in the first half, mustering only 7 points after a Tyrann Mathieu interception gave the offense a short field to work with. The second half yielded better results, as the team's rushing attack began to pick up with Latavius Murray leading the charge.
Dalton finished the game with a stat line of 20/28, 236 yards and a touchdown. In Alvin Kamara's absence, Murray spearheaded the rushing attack, especially in the second half, finishing with 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month Chris Olave was once again the team's leading receiver, finishing with 67 yards and a touchdown on 4 catches.
Despite the better offensive success, turnovers and penalties were still a major point of ire for the Saints. The team committed two costly turnovers that led to two field goals for the Vikings, ultimately making the difference in the game.
The team was penalized 10 times for 102 yards, most notably on a fourth quarter drive where the team was penalized three times on third down, allowing the Vikings to score on a Justin Jefferson touchdown run.
Saints head coach Dennis Allen lamented the impact those mistakes had in the game.
"I wasn't a fan of some of the calls in the game," said Allen.
"It’s hard to overcome some of those costly turnovers – the fake punt and the two turnovers led to nine points and in a game like that, those things are costly."
The loss now drops the Saints to a disappointing 1-3 as the team will return to New Orleans for a pair of home games coming up. They will face the Seattle Seahawks next at the Caesar's Superdome next Sunday, October 9, at noon. They follow that up with a highly anticipated tilt with the Joe Burrow-led Cincinnati Bengals on October 16 at noon.