Thursday, 02 July, 2020


NFL Divisional Round: 10 fast facts for Vikings v Saints

Jan 7 2018 New Orleans LA USA New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees reacts after throwing a pass for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Mercedes Benz Superdome. Ma Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Ferguson | 10 January, 2018, 20:33

There's not much about the New Orleans Saints, and certainly not much about the Vikings, that remains the same since the two teams' dramatic NFC Championship Game meeting eight years ago. "I wasn't really rooting for anybody or anything like that", Zimmer said, before revealing his drink of choice on Bourbon Street that day: "I had some of those hurricanes". I know I don't have to remind anyone around Minnesota of the specifics of that game.

Linebacker Eric Kendricks is another player who talked about the fans being an important part of having home-field advantage, especially during the playoffs.

They set up play action, they open up the screen game, they have been the primary cog of the Saints' offensive engine.

There's only one player, defensive end Brian Robison, who's still around from that season, however.

Still, there has been plenty of buzz in Minnesota about getting back at the Saints.

"We are a lot more confident", Saints linebacker Manti Te'o said.

Diehard Vikings fan Doug Mickleson relocated here two years ago, reconnecting with another Minnesota transplant named Susan Sweeney, an old high school sweetheart. That unit was No. 1 in total yards and points allowed (15.5 ppg; first time a Vikings defence led the league in that stat since 1970), tops on third down (only 25.2 per cent conversions), No. 2 against the rush (83.6 rpg) and No. 2 against the pass (192.4 ypg).

The Vikings-Saints matchup with more bearing on Sunday's game would, of course, be the one that opened the 2017 season for both teams on September 11, when the Vikings won 29-19 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Nobody here is going to remember that. We just want to win a game.

The Saints won January 24, 2010, on a field goal on the first possession of sudden-death overtime.

- Vikings safety Harrison Smith had five interceptions in 2017, tied for the fifth most in the league. If the Vikings establish the run it's going to be nearly impossible for the Saints to win this game. We've got expectations. Again, I've been saying it all year: "We've got loftier goals".

"I mean, you've seen the game", Robison said. "So what do you think?"

That being said, the Saints still scored 31 points.

"You try to enjoy as many of these moments as possible because it's not gonna last forever", Brees said.

"We got Lattimore, and Cam Jordan, and the secondary was incredible", said Prieto. So, I had no issue with their approach.

The two teams have morphed in a number of ways throughout the season, but of all the changes both clubs have made between the Vikings' Week 1 win and their NFC divisional playoff matchup this weekend, the way each team uses its top cover corner could be one of the more significant moves this weekend.

"I still even question some of the validity of the whole Bountygate stuff, even after all of these sort of ridiculous investigations. It became obvious very early on that they wanted to stop the run and that was gonna provide us with some opportunities outside". In their seven road playoff games, they have 18 turnovers and just three takeaways.

Rita's is a Saints fan, so we wanted to ask him if we prayed to canonized Saints, which ones would help our Saints win? Minnesota and New Orleans meet in the NFC Divisional Round Sunday at 3:40 PM at US Bank Stadium. The Prietos say they would love to be in that number.

While Ingram does a lot of the dirty work, rookie Alvin Kamara is the most potent backfield threat for New Orleans.

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