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Bradford, Vikings cruise past Saints 29-19 in opener

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Sam Bradford set the NFL record for completion percentage for Minnesota last season, his accuracy aided by the volume of short passes under heavy pressure.

With protection from the rush, he showed Monday night he can throw the ball down the field with the best of them.

Bradford started his second year with Minnesota in style, passing for 346 yards and three touchdowns to help the Vikings beat New Orleans 29-19 and spoil Adrian Peterson's first game with the Saints.

''When I've got time to sit back there and kind of evaluate things, I've got all the confidence in the world that our guys outside are going to win,'' Bradford said.

Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 93 yards, two for scores and all in the first half, and Adam Thielen racked up 157 yards on nine catches as Bradford carved up a Saints defense that looked again like one of the worst in the league despite a major renovation. Rookie Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards on 22 carries in the formal takeover from Peterson.

Peterson was limited to 18 yards on six carries, in a time share with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara and an afterthought once the Saints fell behind. Drew Brees was quiet, too, with 291 yards on 27-for-37 passing padded by the late push to catch up.

''We didn't do anything different or try to out-trick them,'' Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr said. ''You know, line up and play, do your job.''

Coby Fleener caught the only touchdown toss, after the 2-minute warning. Will Lutz made four field goals, three under 25 yards.

''The bottom line,'' Brees said, ''is you've got to score touchdowns.''

Brees and Bradford are both in the final year of their contracts, with the same agent, Tom Condon, who is sure to cash in on both clients. Brees has by far the better resume, nine seasons further into his career, but Bradford stole the show on this prime-time stage.

Behind mostly clean pockets created by a remade offensive line, Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes without a turnover. With three rookies and three free agents in the starting lineup, the Saints tried hard to better a defense that has held Brees and company back since the Super Bowl title eight years ago. The first performance left a lot to be desired, with Diggs and Thielen consistently finding favorable matchups underneath and along the sideline.

''I just try to run a route, catch the pass, but Sam, you know, he's a slinger,'' Diggs said.

FLAGS FLY

The Saints had three unnecessary roughness calls in the first half. Two of the personal fouls extended a drive that ended with one of three field goals by Kai Forbath. The other 15-yarder was on safety Kenny Vaccaro for head-hunting Diggs during an acrobatic catch in the closing seconds of the first half. Diggs came right back with another highlight-reel grab to give the Vikings a 16-6 lead at the break after a 10-play, 95-yard drive.

Cameron Jordan and A.J. Klein each had their hands on a tipped pass in the end zone that fluttered off Cook's hands, missing a critical opportunity to thwart that drive and keep the deficit at four points.

DECENT DEBUT

Cook became the first Vikings rookie running back to start a season opener since Michael Bennett in 2001. Despite trouble hanging onto a couple of passes thrown his way, he helped salt away the game in the second half. Bradford and Cook were the primary beneficiaries of the work done by an offensive line with four new starters and plenty of old external skepticism after a lackluster 2016 performance.

''In the building, we felt great about those guys,'' Bradford said. ''We've seen what we're capable of doing.''

BACK AGAIN

Ten years and two days after Peterson made his NFL debut in purple with 103 yards rushing and a 60-yard touchdown reception on this same block of downtown Minneapolis, albeit in a different stadium, he returned in black, white and gold as a part-time player for the pass-first Saints.

The crowd was really fired up for the reunion with another former Vikings great. Former wide receiver Randy Moss, already on site as an analyst for ESPN, became the 22nd member of the team's Ring of Honor in a halftime ceremony punctuated by a passionate speech and shout-out to the fans.

TACKLE TROUBLE

With Terron Armstead still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, rookie Ryan Ramczyk started at left tackle for the Saints. Then right tackle Zach Strief injured his left leg in the second quarter, forcing Senio Kelemete into action. Vikings defensive ends Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter caused havoc.

UP NEXT

The Saints play Sunday against New England, their only home game in the season's first five weeks.

The Vikings visit Pittsburgh on Sunday, their only road game over the first four weeks of the schedule.

---

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
D. Brees 9 QB
291 PaYds, PaTD
17
FPTS
S. Bradford 8 QB
346 PaYds, 3 PaTDs, -3 RuYds
31
FPTS
Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:56
(Kick formation) W.Lutz extra point is GOOD, Center-Z.Wood, Holder-T.Morstead.
plays
yds
pos
19
29
Touchdown 1:56
D.Brees pass short middle to C.Fleener for 8 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
8
plays
75
yds
2:04
pos
18
29
Field Goal 4:00
K.Forbath 45 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.
8
plays
48
yds
3:49
pos
12
29
Field Goal 7:49
W.Lutz 20 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-Z.Wood, Holder-T.Morstead.
12
plays
73
yds
5:03
pos
12
26
Point After TD 12:52
(Kick formation) K.Forbath extra point is GOOD, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.
plays
yds
pos
9
26
Touchdown 12:52
S.Bradford pass short left to K.Rudolph for 15 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
9
plays
89
yds
4:51
pos
9
25
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 2:43
W.Lutz 24 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-Z.Wood, Holder-T.Morstead.
8
plays
83
yds
2:46
pos
9
19
Field Goal 11:07
K.Forbath 32 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.
8
plays
54
yds
3:53
pos
6
19
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Missed Point After Touchdown 0:03
(Kick formation) K.Forbath extra point is No Good, Wide Right, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.
plays
yds
pos
6
16
Touchdown 0:03
S.Bradford pass short right to S.Diggs for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN. The Replay Official reviewed the pass completion ruling, and the play was Upheld. The ruling on the field stands.
10
plays
95
yds
1:40
pos
6
16
Point After TD 4:08
(Kick formation) K.Forbath extra point is GOOD, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.
plays
yds
pos
6
10
Touchdown 4:08
S.Bradford pass deep right to S.Diggs for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
3
plays
74
yds
1:18
pos
6
9
Field Goal 5:26
W.Lutz 21 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-Z.Wood, Holder-T.Morstead.
13
plays
74
yds
6:49
pos
6
3
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 1:01
K.Forbath 24 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.
14
plays
78
yds
7:20
pos
3
3
Field Goal 8:21
W.Lutz 43 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-Z.Wood, Holder-T.Morstead.
13
plays
56
yds
6:39
pos
3
0
Team Stats
Time of Pos 28:44 31:16
1st Downs 19 23
Rushing 3 5
Passing 14 14
Penalty 2 4
3rd Down Conv 4-11 9-14
4th Down Conv 0-0 0-0
Total Net Yards 344 470
Total Plays 59 63
Avg Gain 5.8 7.5
Net Yards Rushing 60 129
Rush Attempts 21 30
Avg Rush Yards 2.9 4.3
Net Yards Passing 284 341
Comp. - Att. 27-37 27-32
Yards Per Pass 7.7 10.7
Sacked - Yards Lost 1-7 1-5
Penalties - Yards 6-52 5-50
Touchdowns 1 3
Rushing TDs 0 0
Passing TDs 1 3
Other 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 1-0
Int. Thrown 0 0
Punts - Avg 3-57.0 2-43.5
Return Yards 57 119
Punts - Returns 1-0 2-11
Kickoffs - Returns 3-57 4-108
Int. - Returns 0-0 0-0
Kicking 5/5 5/6
Extra Points 1/1 2/3
Field Goals 4/4 3/3
Red Zone Eff. 1-5 -20% 3-6 -50%
Goal to Go Eff. 0-3 -0% 1-1 -100%
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Saints 0-1 3331019
Vikings 1-0 31331029
284 PASS YDS 341
60 RUSH YDS 129
344 TOTAL YDS 470
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
D. Brees 9 QB
17
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
73% 291 1 0 104.7
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
73% 291 1 0 104.7
D. Brees 27/37 291 1 0 17
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
A. Kamara 41 RB
3
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 18 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 18 0
A. Kamara 7 18 0 5 3
A. Peterson 28 RB
1
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 18 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 18 0
A. Peterson 6 18 0 9 1
M. Ingram 22 RB
6
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 17 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 17 0
M. Ingram 6 17 0 7 6
T. Ginn 19 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
T. Ginn 1 5 0 5 5
J. Kuhn 29 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
J. Kuhn 1 2 0 2 0
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
M. Ingram 22 RB
6
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 5 54 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 5 54 0
M. Ingram 5 5 54 0 18 6
C. Fleener 82 TE
11
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 5 54 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 5 54 1
C. Fleener 6 5 54 1 24 11
T. Ginn 19 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 4 53 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 4 53 0
T. Ginn 5 4 53 0 27 5
T. Lewis 11 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 2 52 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 2 52 0
T. Lewis 3 2 52 0 52 5
M. Thomas 13 WR
4
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
8 5 45 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 5 45 0
M. Thomas 8 5 45 0 14 4
A. Kamara 41 RB
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 4 20 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 4 20 0
A. Kamara 6 4 20 0 15 3
B. Coleman 16 WR
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 2 13 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 2 13 0
B. Coleman 3 2 13 0 9 1
A. Peterson 28 RB
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 0 0 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 0 0 0
A. Peterson 1 0 0 0 0 1
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
A. Klein 53 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-3 0 0.0
A. Klein 8-3 0.0 0 1
K. Vaccaro 32 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
K. Vaccaro 5-1 0.0 0 0
M. Lattimore 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
M. Lattimore 4-0 0.0 0 0
A. Okafor 57 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
A. Okafor 4-2 0.0 0 0
M. Te'o 51 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
M. Te'o 4-2 0.0 0 0
P. Williams 26 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-4 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-4 0 0.0
P. Williams 4-4 0.0 0 0
C. Robertson 52 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
C. Robertson 3-0 0.0 0 0
D. Harris 21 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
D. Harris 3-0 0.0 0 0
M. Williams 43 SAF
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
M. Williams 3-2 0.0 0 0
C. Jordan 94 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 1.0
C. Jordan 2-2 1.0 0 0
C. Banjo 31 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
C. Banjo 2-0 0.0 0 0
A. Anzalone 47 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
A. Anzalone 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Onyemata 93 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
D. Onyemata 2-2 0.0 0 0
T. Edmunds 33 RB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
T. Edmunds 2-0 0.0 0 0
T. Davison 95 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
T. Davison 1-1 0.0 0 0
S. Rankins 98 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
S. Rankins 1-1 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
W. Lutz 3 K
0
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
4/4 1/1
SEASON FG XP
4/4 1/1
W. Lutz 4/4 43 1/1 13
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
T. Morstead 6 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 57.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
3 57.0 1
T. Morstead 3 57.0 1 68
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Kuhn 29 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 9.0 9 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 9.0 9 0
J. Kuhn 1 9.0 9 0
A. Kamara 41 RB
3
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 26.0 26 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 26.0 26 0
A. Kamara 1 26.0 26 0
T. Edmunds 33 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 22.0 22 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 22.0 22 0
T. Edmunds 1 22.0 22 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. Ginn 19 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
T. Ginn 1 0.0 0 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
S. Bradford 8 QB
31
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
84.4% 346 3 0 143.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
84.4% 346 3 0 143.0
S. Bradford 27/32 346 3 0 31
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
D. Cook 33 RB
13
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
22 127 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
22 127 0
D. Cook 22 127 0 33 13
L. Murray 25 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 6 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 6 0
L. Murray 2 6 0 3 0
J. McKinnon 21 RB
3
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 5 0
J. McKinnon 3 5 0 10 3
S. Bradford 8 QB
31
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 -3 0
S. Bradford 2 -3 0 -1 31
S. Diggs 14 WR
21
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -6 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -6 0
S. Diggs 1 -6 0 -6 21
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
A. Thielen 19 WR
15
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
10 9 157 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 9 157 0
A. Thielen 10 9 157 0 44 15
S. Diggs 14 WR
21
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
8 7 93 2
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 7 93 2
S. Diggs 8 7 93 2 30 21
J. McKinnon 21 RB
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 3 32 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 3 32 0
J. McKinnon 3 3 32 0 25 3
K. Rudolph 82 TE
8
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 3 26 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 3 26 1
K. Rudolph 3 3 26 1 15 8
J. Wright 17 WR
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 1 21 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 1 21 0
J. Wright 2 1 21 0 21 2
D. Cook 33 RB
13
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 3 10 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 3 10 0
D. Cook 5 3 10 0 4 13
L. Treadwell 11 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 1 7 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 1 7 0
L. Treadwell 1 1 7 0 7 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
T. Waynes 26 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-2 0 0.0
T. Waynes 9-2 0.0 0 0
T. Newman 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
T. Newman 3-1 0.0 0 0
E. Griffen 97 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 1.0
E. Griffen 3-3 1.0 0 0
E. Kendricks 54 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
E. Kendricks 3-3 0.0 0 0
X. Rhodes 29 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
X. Rhodes 3-1 0.0 0 0
H. Smith 22 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
H. Smith 3-3 0.0 0 0
A. Barr 55 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-5 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-5 0 0.0
A. Barr 3-5 0.0 0 0
A. Sendejo 34 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
A. Sendejo 3-3 0.0 0 0
B. Gedeon 42 ILB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
B. Gedeon 2-0 0.0 0 0
L. Joseph 98 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
L. Joseph 2-1 0.0 0 0
C. Ham 30 RB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
C. Ham 2-0 0.0 0 0
J. Kearse 27 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Kearse 1-0 0.0 0 0
M. Sherels 35 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
M. Sherels 1-0 0.0 0 0
D. Hunter 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
D. Hunter 0-1 0.0 0 0
T. Johnson 92 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
T. Johnson 0-1 0.0 0 0
S. Stephen 93 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-4 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-4 0 0.0
S. Stephen 0-4 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
K. Forbath 2 K
0
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
3/3 2/3
SEASON FG XP
3/3 2/3
K. Forbath 3/3 45 2/3 11
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Quigley 4 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
2 43.5 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
2 43.5 1
R. Quigley 2 43.5 1 52
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. McKinnon 21 RB
3
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
4 27.0 39 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
4 27.0 39 0
J. McKinnon 4 27.0 39 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
M. Sherels 35 CB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 5.5 13 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 5.5 13 0
M. Sherels 2 5.5 13 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 NO 19 6:39 13 56 FG
1:01 NO 25 1:16 3 6 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:15 NO 24 6:49 13 74 FG
4:08 NO 25 2:25 3 2 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:07 NO 25 1:39 3 -5 Punt
5:29 NO 11 2:46 8 83 FG
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:52 NO 25 5:03 12 73 FG
4:00 NO 25 2:04 8 75 TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
8:21 MIN 15 7:20 14 78 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:45 MIN 25 2:30 3 -1 Punt
5:26 MIN 26 1:18 3 74 TD
1:43 MIN 5 1:40 10 95 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 MIN 33 3:53 8 54 FG
9:28 MIN 32 3:59 6 22 Punt
2:43 MIN 11 4:51 9 89 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
7:49 MIN 25 3:49 8 48 FG
1:56 NO 48 1:56 5 33 Game