Saints cruise past injury-depleted Vikings for first win

The New Orleans Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead and held on for a 20-9 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3. Our takeaways:

  1. Matt Cassel left early in the second quarter with a toe injury and was ruled out for the game shortly thereafter. Rookie Teddy Bridgewater injected life into the offense, but managed just a pair of field-goal drives the rest of the way. Bridgewater was uneven, standing in against Rob Ryan's pressure but failing to respond to the Saints' scores in the second half. Per NFL Media's Albert Breer, Cassel has several fractured bones in his foot. Coach Mike Zimmer confirmed after the game that Bridgewater is now his quarterback.
  1. The Saints had no trouble cruising through the Vikings' defense on the first two drives of the game, but the offense missed Mark Ingram's playmaking ability as the ground attack was shut down in the second and third quarters. Khiry Robinson (18 rushes) and Pierre Thomas (11 touches) split the load while Travaris Cadet saw just two carries.
  1. Marques Colston had a bad drop early in the game after being held catchless in Week 2 and fumbling the game away in Week 1. Just when we were beginning to wonder if he had much left in the tank, he gave the Saints a 20-9 lead with an 18-yard touchdown catch. He's still well behind Brandin Cooks in the pecking order.
  1. Zimmer hinted at an increased role for rookie Jerick McKinnon, but it didn't come to fruition. McKinnon touched the ball four times for just eight total yards while starter Matt Asiata continued to underwhelm as a runner. On 27 carries this season, Asiata has managed just 3.0 yards per. The usage pattern suggests the coaching staff still doesn't trust McKinnon.
  1. After an impressive August, Kyle Rudolph looked lumbering while playing through an abdominal injury in Week 2. He didn't look any better Sunday, showing very little playmaking ability after the catch.
  1. Drew Brees finished with a passer rating of 120.3 despite being shut out for the entirety of the second and third quarters.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps all of the Week 3 action and picks the top team in the AFC.

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