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The Biggest Game of the Childress Era

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-3) GAME #5 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-2)

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Date: October 6, 2008 Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Time: 7:00 P.M. CST Stadium: Louisiana Superdome
TV: ESPN Know Thy Enemy: Canal Street Chronicles
Gonzo's Prediction: Saints 31, Vikings 24
Final Score: Vikings 30, Saints 27


Injuries: Minnesota Vikings

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Vinny Ciurciu knee 10.3.2008
Ray Edwards shoulder 10.3.2008

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Benny Sapp hamstring 10.3.2008
Drew Radovich shoulder 10.3.2008
Jim Kleinsasser foot 10.3.2008
Sidney Rice knee 10.3.2008
Bernard Berrian knee 10.3.2008

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
E.J. Henderson foot/toes 10.6.2008
Mike Jones undisclosed 8.11.2008
Heath Farwell knee 8.11.2008
Kenderick Allen wrist 8.19.2008
Jayme Mitchell knee 8.11.2008
Michael Boulware wrist 8.30.2008


Injuries: New Orleans Saints

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Terrance Copper hamstring 10.3.2008
Troy Evans ankle 10.3.2008
Randall Gay hamstring 10.3.2008
Jonathan Goodwin hamstring 10.3.2008
Aaron Stecker hamstring 10.3.2008
Mike Karney ankle 10.3.2008
Olaniyi Sobomehin shoulder 10.3.2008
Mark Campbell hamstring 10.3.2008

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chris Reis hamstring 10.3.2008

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
James Reed Achilles 8.10.2008
Mark Simoneau back 9.12.2008
DeMario Pressley foot 7.27.2008
Adrian Arrington toe 8.29.2008
Greg Fassitt knee 8.30.2008

What? You think "biggest game of the Childress era" is an exaggeration? Think of where this team will be with a loss tonight to drop them to 1-4, and then get back to me on that.

Obviously, the big story coming out of Minnesota today is the fact that E.J. Henderson, the NFC North's best middle linebacker and one of the best in the NFL, will miss the rest of the season due to the dislocated toes on his foot. Henderson was placed on IR today by the Vikings.

We already knew that #56 was going to be out for tonight's game, so things tonight aren't going to be terribly affected. However, being without E.J. Henderson for the rest of the season is a HUGE blow to this defense. Henderson was, to this point, arguably the Vikings' best defensive player. He was wreaking his usual amount of havoc against the run, but he looked like he had gotten better in coverage, too, and looked as though he was well on his way to a Pro Bowl season. We hope that E.J. has a speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing him back in 2009.

So, the first game of the post-E.J. era is tonight in Louisiana. This is an interesting matchup, looking at both of these teams. Minnesota runs the ball better than anybody in the league, and the Saints have trouble stopping the run. Likewise, Minnesota's woes against the pass are well-documented, and nobody in the league right now is throwing the ball better than New Orleans. Drew Brees is so dialed in right now that it's ridiculous, and he's doing it without a lot of key components. No Marques Colston, no David Patten, no Jeremy Shockey, and Brees just keeps clicking along.

This one is going to be a battle to see who can hide their weakness the best. The yards (and, hopefully, touchdowns) are going to be there for Adrian Peterson tonight, I think, but this defense needs to start living up to its billing and get after Drew Brees tonight. If he has time to sit back in the pocket, it doesn't matter who he's throwing to, he'll rip Minnesota to shreds.

This game may come down to who has the ball last. Unfortunately, to this point, the Vikings haven't given me a lot of hope that they can stop Drew Brees in crunch time, if that's what it comes down to. Hence, I have New Orleans edging the Beloved Purple by a touchdown and, officially, putting our season into the toilet.

Come on, boys. . .prove me wrong.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!