After a stunningly quick game-opening 5-play, 77-yard touchdown drive by the Saints, it looked like it might be a very long night for the Vikings.
But, as it turned out, those 7 points would be the last points of the half for the Saints. The Vikings defense, which looked utterly inept early, tightened things up in the second quarter.
The secondary, as we feared, did get shredded initially, especially the side being covered by inexperienced corner-safety combo Asher Allen and Husain Abdullah. But the Vikings started running some zone blitzes at the Saints, and started shuffling personnel. They began getting a little pressure on Drew Brees, taking away the deep throws that hurt them early on.
Offensively, the Vikings looked as shaky early as the defense…except for Adrian Peterson, whose tough running helped eat clock and keep the Saints’ offense off the field. And most importantly, AD showed no signs of the fumbling problems that plagued him the last time he saw the Saints.
It was a grinding half of football for the Vikings and Brett Favre. With Sidney Rice and Chester Taylor gone, Favre struggled to find new go-to targets. However, with the half winding down, he finally found something that worked. Two straight tosses to Visanthe Shiancoe over the Saints’ coverage resulted in a touchdown and, after a blocked PAT, a 9-7 lead going into the half.
Along the way, Favre threw one interception, on an ill-advised pass with the rush bearing down on him. It was far from the prettiest half of football Favre has ever played, but who cares how it looks when you come out ahead?