Kirk Cousins leads underdog Minnesota Vikings to upset victory over New Orleans Saints

The Minnesota Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints in a thrilling 26-20 overtime victory to advance to the next round of the NFC playoffs.

Kirk Cousins emerged the hero, throwing two perfect passes in overtime, a 43-yard completion to the always reliable Adam Thielen, followed by a precision fade to Tight End Kyle Rudolph, who secured the victory and sent the Vikings fan base into a state of ecstasy.

The often criticised Minnesota quarterback finished the game 19-31 with 242 passing yards and the game winning touchdown, while star running back Dalvin Cook feasted on a below par Saints defence and rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

The Vikings held a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Saints battled back with a Taysom Hill touchdown catch from Drew Brees with 10:31 remaining in the fourth.

However, on New Orleans’ next drive, Danielle Hunter forced Brees’ first fumble of the season to regain possession, but the Saints showed their fortitude and drove into field goal range with just seconds remaining, and kicker Will Lutz, who missed a 43-yard field goal right before half-time, came up clutch and drilled a 49-yard kick.

Minnesota won the coin toss for the opening possession in overtime and the rest was history, as Cousins delivered his finest passage of play, quieting much of the criticism for a man who has struggled in prime time games throughout his career.

For the Saints, it was just their second home loss in the playoffs under head coach Sean Payton, but their second in a row after last year’s NFC Championship Game defeat to the Rams.

It will also create questions about the future of the franchise, with Brees about to turn 41.

The Vikings will head to San Francisco on Saturday to face the 49ers and will once again have the odds stacked against them.

Both teams have outstanding defences, so fans can expect another physical encounter with multiple turnovers.

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