Vikings beat Saints 26 to 20, advance in playoffs

NFL/Minnesota Vikings
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Kirk Cousins hit tight end Kyle Rudolph with a 4-yard fade on third-and-goal in overtime, and the Minnesota Vikings pulled out a 26-20 victory over the Saints in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs.

Dalvin Cook gained 130 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns.

Cousins finished with 242 yards and one TD passing, highlighted by his 43-yard completion to Adam Thielen on the opening possession of overtime to give Minnesota the ball on the Saints 2-yard line and set up the winning score.

Saints' quarterback Drew Brees passed for 208 yards and a touchdown but Minnesota's defensive front forced the record-setting quarterback into two turnovers -- one game after the Saints had finished the regular season with an NFL record-low eight.

It was the second straight time the Saints' season had ended in overtime in the Superdome.

The disappointing end for the favored Saints (13-4), came nearly a year after New Orleans lost in the NFC championship game to the Los Angeles Rams in a game marred by missed Rams penalties late in regulation.