The Vikings looked like they were on their way to an easy win after 30 minutes of play on Sunday, but things wound up getting tight in the second half.
Jameis Winston replaced an injured Derek Carr and threw two touchdown passes to help cut the Vikings’ lead from 27-3 to 27-19 in the fourth quarter. An interception by rookie corner Mekhi Blackmon with just over three minutes left gave them a chance to run out the clock, but the Saints defense forced a punt that gave Winston a chance to continue the comeback.
The Saints had the ball near midfield and Winston took a couple of deep shots. The first fell incomplete and cornerback Byron Murphy picked off the other one, but Winston got one more shot on a Hail Mary after a Vikings punt with seconds to play. It fell incomplete and the Vikings moved to 6-4 on the season.
Josh Dobbs ran for a touchdown and threw for another to help stake the Vikings to their 24-3 halftime lead, but the offense stopped clicking in the second half of the game. They punted four times and Greg Joseph missed a 54-yard field goal to leave the door open for the Saints.
Dobbs finished 23-of-34 for 268 yards and ran seven times for 44 yards to continue the strong play he showed in his Vikings debut last week. Tight end T.J. Hockenson caught 11 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown to power the offense. The Vikings appear to be close to getting wide receiver Justin Jefferson back from a hamstring injury, so there could be even bigger days ahead for Dobbs and the offense.
They’ll move on to a primetime date with the Broncos next Sunday night and another win would have them looking very good in the NFC playoff race.
The Saints are 5-5 and they’ll have a bye week to see if they can get Carr back. He left with a concussion and a right shoulder injury after a hit by Vikings edge rusher Danielle Hunter. Winston was 13-of-25 for 122 yards with touchdowns to Chris Olave and rookie A.T. Perry, but the Vikings defense was ultimately able to close out New Orleans.