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Vikings go without a touchdown in loss to Saints; Bridgewater replaces Cassel

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Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (1-2) defeated Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings (1-2) 20-9 Sunday afternoon at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bridgewater and the Vikings? The rookie backup quarterback was cast into the starting role after Matt Cassel left the game with an injury in the first quarter. Viking Update reports Cassel has "several" fractured bones in his foot. Bridgewater led Minnesota to field goals, but the offense was otherwise stagnant and failed to reach the end zone.

With Cassel expected to miss an extended period of time, head coach Mike Zimmer said Bridgewater will be the starter going forward, according to NFL Media's Albert Breer.

The Saints marched down the field on their first two possessions to jump out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. Pierre Thomas found the end zone on a one-yard rush and Brees connected to tight end Josh Hill on a 34-yard pass down the middle of the field for an easy touchdown.

Bridgewater finished 12-20 passing for 150 yards and no interceptions. He also rushed six times for 27 yards.

Brees was extremely efficient, going 27-35 for 293 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Rushing offense sputters without Peterson

Adrian Peterson did not play. He is on an exempt list that will keep him away from the Vikings until child abuse charges against him in Texas are resolved. Without Peterson, the Vikings struggled to run the ball, finishing with 59 yards on 22 carries. Matt Asiata averaged just 2.9 yards per carry. He finished with 35 yards on 12 attempts.

Game-changing moment

After a third field goal by Walsh made the game 13-9 in the third quarter, the Vikings defense was about to force the Saints to punt for a fifth straight possession, but a roughing the quarterback penalty on Captain Munnerlyn gave Drew Brees and the Saints a free first down.

With extra life, the Saints marched down the field and capped off the drive with a 18-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Marques Colston, giving New Orleans a 20-9 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Injuries

Cassel wasn't the only Vikings starter to leave the game with an injury. Right guard Brandon Fusco left the game in the second half, as did cornerback Josh Robinson and tight end Kyle Rudolph. Linebacker Chad Greenway, who missed a pair of practices this week with a broken hand, left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return.

Scoring Plays

  • 1st quarter: Pierre Thomas 1-yard rush, 7-0 Saints
  • 1st quarter: Josh Hill 34-yard reception from Drew Brees, 13-0 Saints
  • 2nd quarter: Blair Walsh 35-yard field goal, 13-3 Saints
  • 2nd quarter: Blair Walsh 30-yard field goal, 13-6 Saints
  • 3rd quarter: Blair Walsh 40-yard field goal, 13-9 Saints
  • 4th quarter: Marques Colston 18-yard reception from Drew Brees, 20-9 Saints

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