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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Drew Brees is breathing down Dan Marino’s neck and has the New Orleans Saints looming in Green Bay’s rearview mirror.

Brees threw for 412 yards and five touchdowns to lead the surging Saints to their sixth win in a row, 42-20 over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Brees completed 32 of 40 passes to help the Saints (11-3) overcome a slow and sloppy start to stay two games ahead of Atlanta in the NFC South. They turned the ball over twice deep in their own territory in the first half, botched a surprise onside kick and had a 40-yard TD pass called back because of a penalty.

But Brees threw two touchdowns to Lance Moore and one each to Darren Sproles, John Gilmore and Jimmy Graham in just over three quarters of work to keep the Saints steamrolling toward another NFC South title.

The 412 yards gives Brees 4,780 yards for the season, putting him 304 away from Marino’s single season record set in 1984 with two games to play.

The much-maligned Saints secondary held the Vikings to 94 net yards passing. Ponder completed 14 of 31 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns to Toby Gerhart, but most of that production came in the final six minutes of garbage time.

The Saints outgained the Vikings 573-207 and Brees had his fifth TD pass and was out of the game before Ponder had his fifth completion.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 60 yards in his return from a three-game absence, but the Vikings dropped their sixth straight game. Their depleted secondary lost cornerback Asher Allen to a concussion in the first half and they had no chance once Brees and the Saints got rolling.

The Saints stumbled out of the gates, with Graham fumbling a first-down catch, Sproles dropping what would have been another first down and Robert Meachem’s 40-yard touchdown catch wiped out because of a holding call on fullback Jed Collins.

After Brees hit Moore for a 5-yard touchdown, the Saints turned the ball over again when Brees wasn’t ready for a shotgun snap from Brian De La Puente that squirted right past him. Everson Griffen scooped the ball up and gave the Vikings great field position at the New Orleans 21.

The Vikings only went backward, settling for a 49-yard field goal to make it 7-6. Brees threw a 1-yard fade to Graham for a touchdown midway through the second quarter, but coach Sean Payton’s decision to try a surprise onside kick backfired and let the Vikings back in the game.

Griffen recovered the kick to give Minnesota good field position, Peterson ripped off a 39-yard run and Gerhart scored on a 10-yard shovel pass to make it 14-13, breathing a little life into a stale Metrodome crowd.

After losing to the lowly St. Louis Rams on Oct. 30, the Saints weren’t about to drop another one to an overmatched opponent with the second seed in the NFC playoffs on the line.

Brees put his foot on the gas and didn’t let up.

He threw a 13-yard touchdown to Sproles toward the end of the first half, then started the third quarter with a 2-yard TD to Gilmore and hooked up with Moore on a 47-yard score.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (25)
  1. Tom says:

    I wonder who the poor sap was that bought the tickets to make sure it got on TV. They should demand their money back, but yet on the other hand they should have known better.

    1. MAR k says:

      Tom, I bet the poor sap is a lot SMARTER than you. The poor sap made it possible for a great number of people to watch these LOSERS and will remember these clowns when Governor Goofy wants a peoples stadium.

  2. MN Citizen says:

    As a retiree who has seen our house and investments go down, down, down; why spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars so we can continue to watch “our” Vikings lose, lose, lose.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Your house and investments value has decreased, so the rest of us shouldn’t get an NFL franchise?

      How did you spend so many years dumb?

  3. Vikings da Bomb says:

    All it will take is the new stadium folks. If the state would hurry up and cough up that little dab o money things would turn around.

    1. Brett says:

      Yep, he’s right all right. Just look at the twins. Went from division champ to the worst team in the entire major leagues in ONE year.

    2. You pay for it says:

      I doubt that the most expensive construction project ever in state history would qualify as a little dab o money,

      No public money for wilf. Ever.

      1. jackactionhero says:

        Public money would be for a facility owned by the State of Minnesota. You knew that though, didn’t you…

        1. down the road says:

          Who cares who owns it. wilf fleeces our pockets. But you knew that too!

          You want the football team, they you pay,

          bye wilfie

        2. So? says:

          The state owns lots of facilities. So What? How many of them put money directly into a billionaire’s pockets?

    3. Mad Dog says:

      They have a new stadium in LA.

  4. v says:

    Ah…. three messages before the first bigot.

    1. anti-v says:

      Yea, play the race card v . The Vikings suck. GO VIKES! and take the Timberwolves with you.

  5. Brett says:

    I agree on no taxpayer dollars for a new stadium, but the officating in today’s game was HORRIBLE, as USUAL. Two penalties called on the vikes in the first half, even the play-by-play guys said they were BS. One was on Shank, the other against our defense. So, the ain’ts STILL need the refs’ help to beat us? What’s up with dat?

    1. Brett'srattle says:

      ya get hit again in the head by yer beetch Brett? sound dumber than usual – and that is hard

      1. Brett says:

        Sounds more like you got hit in the head with a Louisville Slugger. Which game did you watch?



  7. Mad Dog says:

    The Vikings need to lose the rest of thier games. Why win now? The more they lose the better draft pick they will get which will improve the team in the long run. They need to have the Rams win a game and for the Colts to win 2 more to get the first pick.

  8. Kevin says:

    If this team sucked anymore…..they would simply put skirts on….set up Lemonade stands…..and help Ziggy get his new palace….

  9. weswon says:

    Calm Down. Its just another non entertaining game in a the very disappointing 51 year history of the Vikestinkings. Go ZIGGY, GO ZIGGY to L.A. However, If they already have a stadium ffor you, how will you be able to profiteer as a DEVELOPER?

  10. Join us as we pay homage and erect a new shrine says:

    Oh come on people. This is just another tiny bump in the road for our beloved Vikings. Did you go to the bathroom during the commercial and miss the touching “MN is OUR HOME and we want YOUR MONEY” message from Zygi?

    Let’s not rush to judgment over a mere 51 years of not bringing home the big banana.

    Paint your homes purple and put your wallets into Zygi’s hands so he can build a new home that is fitting our beloved team of millionaires.

  11. Joe says:

    I just can’t believe that Zygi is keeping this terrible coaching staff. Hey, the majority of the problems this year like last has come because of very poor coaching. Case in point…look how well Jackson is doing. His team is 7-7 Jackson are you kidding me…. Wow

  12. Al says:

    We had 5 TD’s thrown against us…nice secondary. We have a QB who plain and simply is NOT ready. Our linebacks are mediocre at best. Defensive line is ok. Offensive line is mediocre, Ponder??….take a seat and let Rosenfels have a
    chance and put Webb out at wide reciever, we need help there too.

  13. j speedbag 64 says:

    if we get a shot at luck then we should take him and go from frazier and bring in some football people who can convince a decent coach to come here….

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