News & Analysis

PFF ReFocused, NFL Preseason Week 1: Minnesota Vikings 34, New Orleans Saints 25

Minnesota VikingsMike Boone and Nate Meadors came up big in the team's 34-25 win over the New Orleans Saints on Friday night.

PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

Final Score

Minnesota Vikings 34, New Orleans Saints 25

Minnesota Vikings

Hercules Mata'afa stood out rushing from the interior Friday night, using his short-area quickness to beat blocks and bring pressure on the quarterback. Jalyn Holmes also brought pressure from the interior, coming free on a handful of stunts and registering two sacks.

Rookie seventh-rounder Olabisi Johnson had a handful of highlight-reel grabs against New Orleans on Friday, including a gritty snag in tight coverage down the left sideline.

New Orleans Saints

Teddy Bridgewater was solid in executing the conservative gameplan and playing mistake-free. He was extremely accurate and efficient when he had a clean pocket around him and made the throws he was asked to make.

Second-year defensive interior Taylor Stallworth had a solid outing against the Vikings' interior offensive line, wreaking havoc as a pass-rusher and more than holding his own in the run game.

Minnesota Vikings

On several occasions, Saints receivers ran wide open due to miscommunication among Vikings defenders in coverage. New Orleans benefited from Minnesota's blown coverage assignments on a handful of big plays.

Vikings guard Dru Samia and Dakota Dozier both struggled significantly against the Saints' defensive front. Neither of the two earned high marks in pass protection, and they didn't make up for their pass-blocking woes with strong efforts in the run game.

New Orleans Saints

Though tight end Dan Arnold did catch a touchdown earlier in the game, he may have had the worst play of the day, dropping a dump-off pass and tipping into the open arms of Vikings' Nate Meadors. The former UCLA cornerback took Arnold's gift to the house for a pick-six.

Offensive tackle Michael Ola, a 31-year-old NFL veteran, didn't have much success in this one. He earned ugly marks in pass protection and as a run blocker across 30-plus offensive snaps in the contest.

[Editor's Note: All of PFF's player grades and advanced statistics are finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers before 5pm ET on the Monday following each weekend's slate of games during the season. Sign up today to gain access!]

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.

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