NEW ORLEANS — The Minnesota Vikings upset the heavily favored Saints, 26-20, on Sunday afternoon when quarterback Kirk Cousins hit tight end Kyle Rudolph with a 4-yard touchdown pass in overtime to end New Orleans’s season.
The Vikings were led by running back Dalvin Cook, who had 94 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and a defense that stymied the Saints’ biggest offensive weapons.
“We just fell short on offense,” Saints tight end Jared Cook said after the game. “We didn’t do our job.”
The Vikings will now meet the top-seeded 49ers (13-3) in San Francisco next Saturday afternoon in the N.F.C. divisional round.
Minnesota, which lost its final two regular-season games, held its own in a raucous Superdome, where the crowd noise reached 125 decibels during the game. The unexpectedly tight game extended the rivalry between the two teams, which have accounted for some of the most memorable postseason moments in each other’s franchise histories. Minnesota upset New Orleans in the divisional round two seasons ago on a 61-yard touchdown catch by receiver Stefon Diggs that has come to be known as the Minneapolis Miracle.
In 2009, the Saints advanced to their first and only Super Bowl berth after beating the Vikings, 31-28, in overtime. Sunday’s game was the fifth playoff meeting between the two teams.