Saints score again, but out of challenges

Getty Images

The Saints are making a game of it, but the Vikings are hanging on.

A Kai Forbath 49-yard field goal after a long replay challenge delay pushed Minnesota’s edge to 20-14 in the fourth quarter.

The Saints cut the lead to 17-14 on Michael Thomas’ second touchdown reception of the day, at a time when the Vikings started running short on people.

Safety Andrew Sendejo was ruled out with a concussion, and cornerback Xavier Rhodes was off the field and in the medical tent as the Saints carved into the lead. And it didn’t help that they took over by a ridiculous Case Keenum interception, when he threw a ball up for grabs which was grabbed by rookie safety Marcus Williams.

The Vikings answered with a field goal drive, but the more important development might have been the two ill-advised challenge flags Saints coach Sean Payton threw. The second, on a Keenum incomplete pass, left them with one timeout and no challenges for the final 10:12 of the game. It would have been the difference in 8 yards, which might have impacted Forbath. But it definitely impacts thier late-game strategy.