Game Notes

It was thought the battle of the running backs would be between Saints teammates Ricky Williams and Deuce McAllister. Instead, Michael Bennett showed them both up.

* While Michael Bennett had a huge game, perhaps even more impressive was the Vikings defense in stuffing the Saints tandem of Ricky Williams and Deuce McAllister. In Williams' first three carries, he lost nine yards. In McAllister's first three carries, he lost 11 yards.
* The Vikings offense looked solid, but Cris Carter admitted that the loss of four Pro Bowl offensive linemen "will eventually catch up with us."
* Dennis Green played the frontline players longer than he typically does in a first preseason game because of the lack of tangible playing time since the loss of Korey Stringer.
* The Vikes defense did a nice job of stuffing Williams and McAllister, but the pass defense looked brutal against the Saints first unit. Aaron Brooks completed all 10 of the passes he threw for 129 yards and a touchdown.
* Brooks' passing was the downside of the defensive effort. On the upside, the Vikings biggest problem last year was the lack of a pass rush, which allowed quarterbacks to pick apart the secondary. However, in the first five drives of the game, the Vikings defense recorded a sack in each of the first three and forced a fumble and intercepted a pass in the next two.
* It was a bitterweet reunion for Saints QB Jeff Blake. He was sacked by Lance Johnstone, who was the same player who broke his foot last year while with the Raiders and allowed Brooks to take over as the starter.
* Backup QB Todd Bouman called an audible to a bomb that nearly clicked in the second half. VU has been told that was the first audible Bouman has called to a pass as a Viking -- a sign that he is more comfortable as the No. 2 QB and is reading defenses better.
* Rookie Shawn Worthen got the start, sending Fernando Smith into a line rotation as a non-starter.

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