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Saints rally to stop Vikes in opener

New Orleans Saints receiver Marques Colston (12) is stopped, after a catch, by Minnesota Vikings defenders E.J. Henderson (56) and Husain Abdullah (39) during the first quarter of the NFL season opener in New?Orleans Thursday. AP Photo/Dave Martin

NEW ORLEANS -- In a much-anticipated rematch of last year's NFC Championship game, the New Orleans Saints came out on top of the Minnesota Vikings once again Thursday night.

The Super Bowl champion Saints rallied in the second half to win the 2010 season opener 14-9 at the Louisiana Superdome.

Things didn't look too promising for the Vikings on the game's first possession. The Saints took the opening kickoff and marched downfield with ease, going 77 yards in five plays to take a 7-0 lead. The vaunted Viking defense appeared dazed as Brees picked it apart, connecting on completions of 28, 12 and 29 yards.

But Minnesota settled in after that, in part because of a successful running game sparked by Adrian Peterson, and in part because the defense settled in and played better, holding the Saints to 63 yards the rest of the half.

The Vikings finally got on the board early in the second quarter after holding the ball for 9 minutes, 25 seconds and driving 66 yards to set up a 41-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell. They took the lead just before halftime when Favre and Visanthe Schianco connected twice for big passes on a 64-yard, five-play touchdown drive. A Favre-to-Schianco TD pass covered 20 yards. Longwell's extra-point kick was blocked and the Vikings took a 9-7 lead to the locker room.

New Orleans stopped the Vikings on the first drive of the second half, and Brees quickly guided the Saints to the end zone. They went 74 yards in 11 plays and never even faced a third down. Pierre Thomas went the final yard through the middle of the Viking defense to give the home team a 14-9 lead.

Minnesota 0 9 0 0 -- 9

New Orleans 7 0 7 0 -- 14

NO -- Henderson 29 pass from Brees (Hartley kick)

Min -- FG Longwell 41

Min -- Schianco 20 pass from Favre (kick blocked)

NO -- Thomas 1 run (Hartley kick)