After the Giants selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft DeMario Davis Color Rush Jersey
, cornerback Eli Apple was a disappointment, and this year the Giants had finally had enough and traded him to New Orleans. Now Apple is showing that a fresh start was what he needed.Apple has started eight games for the Saints and already has more interceptions as a Saint than he had in two and a half years as a Giant — including a big interception in Monday night’s win over the Panthers. Apple thinks he’s in the right place.“My teammates, they’re bringing out the best in me. They push me every day, especially Coach AG [secondary coach Aaron Glenn] and the whole defensive staff,” Apple said, via ESPN. “Every week, it’s just understanding the defense, understanding how my teammates play and just playing with more confidence.”The Saints gave up a 2019 third-round draft pick and a 2020 seventh-round draft pick to get Apple, who is just 23 years old and showing off some of the talent that made him a Top 10 pick. This evening’s game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings had all the makings of a grudge match. We all know what happened in the Divisional Playoff game last season. For the Saints however, the more important thing tonight was to try and keep their one game lead in the NFC South over the 5-2 Panthers, in the very competitive NFC conference.Here’s how the game unfolded:1st HALFWinning the toss, the Vikings deferred and the Saints started with the ball. New Orleans came out firing on all cylinders, with Sean Payton drawing from his trick-play box early and often https://www.thesaintsfanshop.com/Max-Unger-Jersey
, using Taysom Hill and even Teddy Bridgewater on one play. The Saints would find the end zone easily on an Alvin Kamara run to take a 7-0 lead. The Vikings would get in the act as well, Kirk Cousins finding Stefon Diggs for a touchdown to tie the game at seven.After the Saints went three-and-out on their next drive, the Vikings would once again drive 81 yards into the end zone with a rushing touchdown by running back Latavius Murray. A missed extra point by Dan Bailey would give the Vikings a 13-7 lead with 11:57 left in the half.The Saints would once again put a dent on the scoreboard, with a Wil Lutz 52-yard field goal reducing the Vikings’ lead to 13-10. The drive was marked by a big drop on third down from a wide open Alvin Kamara. On their next drive, the Saints would start marching into Vikings territory, when a pressured Drew Brees would unfortunately throw his first interception of the year, a ball intended for Michael Thomas that was picked off by linebacker Harrison Smith.The Vikings would then move the ball with ease into Saints territory, looking as though they were ready to take a 20-10 lead, when P.J. Williams would somewhat atone for his coverage sins, forcing a fumble by Adam Thielen, which was returned deep into Vikings territory by cornerback Marshon Lattimore. A Vikings unsportsmanlike penalty and two-plays later, Alvin Kamara would leap into the end zone, giving New Orleans a 17-13. A sudden and unexpected change in momentum had the Saints leading by four at halftime Sheldon Rankins Jersey
, rather than trailing by 10.2nd HALFThe Vikings would start the half with the ball, but a 4th and 1 gamble at their own 45-yard line would result in a pass break-up by Marshon Lattimore, on a pass intended for wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. New Orleans, having the ball at Minnesota’s 45-yard line, would only be able to muster a field goal, however increasing their lead to 20-13.On the Vikings’ next drive, P.J. Williams would continue his atonement party, picking off Cousins and returning the interception for a touchdown, giving the Saints a two touchdowns lead at 27-13.Minnesota’s next drive would end in a punt after a beautiful sack of Kirk Cousins by Sheldon Rankins on a three-man rush. The Saints would then take the ball and methodically drive it down the field, using some clock in the process and eventually settling for another field goal by Wil Lutz, a 42-yard this time, to take a 30-13 lead.The Vikings would not simply roll over for the Saints and would use a long drive that resulted on a 4th and goal touchdown pass from Cousins to Adam Thielen, to trim their deficit to 10 at 30-20 Ryan Ramczyk Color Rush Jersey
, with less than five minutes left in the game.With Minnesota trailing by 10, the Vikings elected to go for an onside kick, which sailed over the heads of the Saints’ Hands Team and went out of bounds. The Saints would milk the clock, forcing the Vikings to use all their timeouts. New Orleans would go into the two-minute warning with a 30-20 lead. Minnesota would get one last possession, but without timeouts, the VIkings would run out of time The Saints are 6-1, still alone atop the NFC South and they are winning in a rarely seen methodical fashion. This team is now winning in multiple ways. That’s a great sign.Saints Win, Saints Win!***Here’s a quarter by quarter timeline of the game:1st QuarterVikings win the toss and deferSaints start from their 20-yard line after a Taysom Hill returnTaysom Hill finds Michael Thomas for a deep 44-yard pass in the red zoneAlvin Kamara rushes into the end zone for a touchdownNO: 7 – MIN: 0Vikings start from their 9-yard lineVikings run the ball successfully and get into Saints territoryP.J. Williams gets roasted by Stefon Diggs and Vikings get into the red zoneVikings go for it on 4th and goal and Stefon Diggs for a touchdownNO: 7 – MIN: 7Saints take over at their 25-yard line after a touchbackSaints go three-and-out and puntVikings take over at their 19-yard lineMinnesota is moving the ball as the quarter ends2nd QuarterVikings easily get into Saints territoryVikings get into the red zone on a flea flicker from Cousins to Adam ThielenP.J. Williams commits a pass interference in the end zoneLatavius Murray leaps into the end zone for a touchdownDan Bailey misses the extra pointNO: 7 – MIN: 13Saints take over at their 31-yard lineSaints get into Vikings territoryAlvin Kamara drops a wide open pass on third downWil Lutz kicks an makes a 52-yard field goalNO: 10 – MIN: 13Vikings start from their 25-yard lineVikings stall at their 40-yard line and are forced to puntSaints take over at their 33-yard lineSaints get into Vikings territory on two runs by KamaraDrew Brees throws his first interception of the season to Harrison SmithVikings are marching as the two-minute warning hitsVikings get into Saints territory on the strength of Kirk Cousins’ armVikings get into the red zoneAdam Thielen fumbles and Marshon Lattimore returns it into Vikings’ territoryBrees finds Kamara for a pass down to the one-yard lineAlvin Kamara rushes into the end zone for a touchdownNO: 17 – MIN: 133rd QuarterVikings start at their 25-yard lineVikings go for it on 4th and 1 near midfield and Marshon Lattimore breaks up the passSaints start at the Vikings’ 45-yard lineSaints get into the red zone on a screen play to Mark IngramSaints stall in the red zoneWil Lutz makes a 42-yard field goalNO: 20 – MIN: 13Vikings take over at their 25-yard lineVikings get two first downs and get near midfieldP.J. Williams picks off Cousins and returns it for a 45-yard touchdownNO: 27 – MIN: 13Vikings take over at their 20-yard lineVikings get into Saints territorySheldon Rankins sacks Kirk Cousins, forcing the Vikings to puntSaints take over at their 16-yard lineSaints are moving the ball as the quarter comes to a close4th QuarterSaints get into Vikings’ territory on a pass to Tre’Quan SmithSaints methodically drive the ball down the fieldSaints stall at the Vikings’ 25-yard lineWil Lutz makes a 42-yard field goalNO: 30 – MIN: 13Vikings take over at their 25-yard lineVikings get into Saints territoryMarcus Davenport reports his second sack of the gameVikings convert a 3rd and 17 and get into the red zoneOn 4th and goal, Cousins finds Adam Thielen for a touchdownNO: 30 – MIN: 20 Vikings try an onside kick that goes out of boundsThe Saints at their 43-yard lineSaints get into Vikings’ territory, forcing Minnesota to start using their timeoutsSaints face a 3rd and 10 in Vikings territory at the 2-minute warningSaints stall and are forced to punt with 1:15 left in the gameVikings take over at their 9-yard line with 1:09 left in the gameMinnesota runs out of time, as the clock expiresFinal Score: NO: 30 – MIN: 20Saints Win Saints Win!