MINNEAPOLIS — Wade Wilson passed for 212 yards and three touchdowns and connected on two key passes just before halftime Sunday to turn a close game into a rout, leading the Minnesota Vikings to a 32-3 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
"I think Wade was probably as alive as I've seen him," Viking Coach Jerry Burns said. "He had a take-charge attitude."
While Wilson was completing 16 of 24 passes and starring for the Vikings, his former teammate and adversary, Tommy Kramer, was a goat for the Saints.
Kramer was signed by the Saints during training camp after having been cut last off-season by the Vikings. He spent 13 years in Minnesota, the last three as Wilson's rival in an often bitter quarterback controversy.
Sunday, Saint starter John Fourcade sustained a concussion in the second quarter, forcing Kramer into the game for four series. He was one for three for two yards, was sacked twice and threw an interception during the Vikings' key spurt just before halftime.
The Vikings were thrilled to see the nimble Fourcade exit in favor of the 35-year-old Kramer.
"My legs were dancing," nose tackle Henry Thomas said. "I said, 'Oh good, we don't have to chase that other guy.'
"I couldn't wait. For years in practice, all I heard was, 'Hank, don't hit the quarterback.' But, oh, this time I could. And I got him."
Asked if he felt sorry for Kramer, Wilson said: "No. Why should I? I don't feel sorry for him. I don't feel happy for him. I don't feel anything for him."
Kramer, who often fanned the flames of competition in the past, had nicer words for Wilson this time: "I thought he played extremely well. I want him to do well--against other teams."
Wilson wasn't the only star for the Vikings (1-1), who have won 13 straight home games. Mike Merriweather had two interceptions, Mark Dusbabek recorded a safety and Minnesota forced five turnovers. Hassan Jones had four receptions for 103 yards.
New Orleans, still without a touchdown this season, is off to its first 0-2 start in Jim Mora's five seasons as coach.