Morning vikes fans!! Here is a bit of a rambling I threw together. Last week I realized I had pretty much done this over 11-20 post so I thought I would put it all together this week.
These are all my thoughts and if you don't like them feel free to disagree then get made fun of by me.
First off lets look at the broad strokes of this game. The Vikings and the Saints are both very good offensive teams. The Saints were ranked numero uno this season being fourth in passing and sixth in running. The Vikes hit fifth place on offense with a eigth ranks passing attack and a thirteenth rated running attack. To mirror this bad news we'll look at what our D looks like compared to them. Over all the Vikes D comes in at a nice sixth place while the Saints roll in around 25th on over all defense. Breaking this down the Vikes are 13 on pass/2 on run and the Saints are 6th against teh pass and 21st against the run. They allow 1.8 more points per game on D than we do and they get 2.5 more points on offense than we do.
Luckily this isn't all that matters. Because if it was we'd lose in a close one. I think the matchups we have with them will help us quite a bit, but in the end this game is going to be very close.
Let's break down some of the positions.
QB: I hate to say it and R4F is going to pour gas on my and light me, but Brees is a better QB than Favre right now. The man is a miracle he's quick, he's accurate, he's confident and he just doens't make a lot of mistakes. Now this isn't a complete blow out, they QB rating is only 2 points off after all. The thing that will even this out will be Minnesota's D Line play. We will need to sick them on Brees all day and try to take his deeper routes away from him. I think if we can keep him throwing short and running Brett should be able to keep up and surpass the numbers.
RB's: yeah we have AP, and CT but numbers don't lie, the saints have out run us over the season by 200 yards, .4 average yards and 2 TD's. They use a triple threat and have a solid receiver back in Bush, much like we have in Taylor. They are a more consistant group but don't break as many big plays as we have over the year (would like to see more of em..) I think we need to deal with this but I would much rather see NO run on us than passing on us so I think we're going to just need to pick our poison on this one.
O Line: I think this is about even with maybe a push to the Saints. They have allowed less sacks on Brees this year than the Vikes have and have the 6th ranked rushing in yards. The only good news is looking at their schedule they havn't played a lot of strong defensive line units, and when they did (Dallas) they got beaten by them. So I think we have a chance to make something happen here. As well their Defensive line is not as tough as Dallas's by any stretch and other than Will Smith I'm not sure who we have to worry about. Now Smith is a bad man and we'll have to make sure to scheme smart against him.
Receivers: This is a wash, Rice, Harvin, Berrian map well against Meacham, Colston, Henderson and Co. Both QB's toss the ball around a lot and like to keep their options open. But I think we have an edge on the big play on this. Both teams also have good receivers that like to catch out of the back field. I think we can win this matchup but I really think we need to keep our passes in, as their secondary really hawks the ball well.
TE's Shocky vs Shiancoe. This will not make people happy but I think Shiancoe wins this one. He has more yards, more TD's, more average yards he's just had a better year so far.
Well I'll deal with the defensive side of this next.
On offense the Saints are a complete team that really has very few weaknesses. The only good news is that our numbers actually do compare with theirs. We are not as strong in execution as they have been all year but we should be able to hang with them in a shoot out.
D Line: This has to go to Minnesota we are monsters here and except for Will Smith I can't see how they match up to us here. They are not a terrible line but they have given up a lot of yards to the run this year and other than Smith I don't see anyone really pressuring the QB. I think this is were we will win or lose the game if we have a game like we did against Dallas, well good times, if it's like the Cards, we're doomed...
LB's: I would give this a wash, The LB's on the Saints side I'm not familiar with enough to give this a serious rating, I'll try and look into this more to figure it out.
Secondary: They have it, they simply get turn overs. They arn't the best tacklers (another reason they are not strong against the run) but they are very good at knowing where the ball is. this will be the toughest test our receviers have faced all year and I hope we're up for it.
On Defense I think we win. And I think this is where we have a good chance at stopping the Saints.
Harvin - we win. (Reggie Bush is SO last year :D)