Sam Bradford, Vikings Beat Saints in Adrian Peterson's Return to Minnesota
Adam Bettcher/Getty ImagesThe Minnesota Vikings kicked off their 2017 regular season with a 29-19 victory at home over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night in U.S. Bank Stadium.Sam Bradford threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-32 passing, and Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns.Adrian Peterson returned to Minneapolis for the first time since he signed with the New Orleans Saints. Not only is Peterson the leading rusher (11,747 yards) in franchise history, but he's also one of the greatest players to wear a Vikings uniform.Peterson was a non-factor for the Saints offense, carrying the ball six times for 18 yards. At one point in the game, he appeared to have words with Saints head coach Sean Payton.Dalvin Cook, his replacement at running back for Minnesota, went for 127 yards on 22 carries. Cook also broke Peterson's record for most rushing yards by a rookie in his Vikings debut, per CBS Sports' Will Brinson.Monday night's matchup pitted one of the better offenses against one of the better defenses from a year ago. According to Football Outsiders, the Saints ranked sixth in offensive efficiency, whereas the Vikings were eighth in defensive efficiency.Minnesota limited New Orleans to 118 total yards and six points in the first half. Bradford and Drew Brees had a role reversal as the former threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns, while the latter was 9-of-14 for 71 yards.Pro Football Focus highlighted how the Vikings did a great job of pressuring Brees in the pocket:On the opposite side of the field, the Saints secondary had no answer for Diggs, who registered six receptions for 63 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone. New Orleans cornerback De'Vante Harris appeared to have good coverage on Diggs in the final seconds of the second quarter, but the 2015 fifth-round pick made the catch to put Minnesota up 16-6.The NFL shared a replay of his second touchdown reception:Little changed for New Orleans in the second half.