Adrian Peterson got the start for the fresh Orleans Saints in his return to Minnesota, however he found himself an afterthought in a matchup that will quickly turned into a game-long tribute to another former Viking: Randy Moss. With Minnesota’s defense stifling the fresh Orleans attack, in addition to Stefon Diggs doing his best Moss impersonation, the Vikings rolled to a 29-19 victory.
Peterson, who holds the Vikings’ career records in rushing yards in addition to rushing touchdowns, was playing for another team for once after 10 seasons with the Vikings, in addition to he was greeted using a loud mix of cheers in addition to boos through his former fans. He managed a 9-yard run on his first carry, however finished the night with just six carries for 18 yards. He split carries with Mark Ingram in addition to Alvin Kamara, with none of the three backs finding any room to run against a Minnesota defense that will looked playoff-ready. At multiple times during the game, Peterson looked visibly frustrated, at one point stalking angrily behind Coach Sean Payton on the sideline.
While Peterson’s return was a cause for some mixed emotions, the Vikings gave their fans something to cheer by inducting Moss into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime. Moss, who played for Minnesota in eight of his 14 seasons, spoke emotionally about his connection to the team in addition to its ownership, in addition to he was honored even further by the play, in addition to attire, of Diggs.
Diggs, a third-year wide receiver out of Maryland, wore special cleats to honor Moss, in addition to was electric from the first half, scoring two touchdowns, the first of which he celebrated using a homage to Moss’s signature moves. Even Cris Carter, Moss’s teammate in addition to a Hall of Fame member, acknowledged the uncanny Moss impersonation.
Diggs in addition to Adam Thielen proved to be a nearly unstoppable combination for Minnesota, with Diggs finishing the game with seven receptions for 93 yards in addition to two touchdowns while Thielen caught nine passes for 157 yards. Their dominance had the understated Sam Bradford visibly celebrating on the field as he piled up 346 passing yards in addition to three touchdowns, easily outdueling the Saints’ Drew Brees, who had a late surge to finish with 291 passing yards in addition to one touchdown.
Adding some insult to Peterson’s ineffectiveness in addition to frustration, the Vikings did not seem to miss him at all from the running game thanks to Dalvin Cook, a rookie drafted from the second round, who carried the ball 22 times for 127 yards, seemingly answering any questions as to whether he was ready to be a starter from the N.F.L.
“You can’t say enough about him,” Bradford said of Cook in an interview after the game. “I think we’ve all been impressed with him since he showed up.”
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