I'm not sure how much stock to put into history when it comes to the National Football League. Maybe I'm reaching, maybe I'm just looking for something to keep me from losing my mind for the next. . .SIX AND A HALF HOURS!? Are you kidding me? Come on, stupid clock, be faster!
But, be that as it may, the Vikings would appear to have history on their side on this one. How can I make such a declaration? Well, let me see here. . .
-Including playoff games, the Vikings have beaten the Saints in eight of their last nine meetings. That includes last year's contest in the Big Easy, where the Saints got an early touchdown and then saw their offense held out of the end zone for the final 56+ minutes of the contest. (By the defense. . .yes, Reggie Bush, punt returns, yadda yadda. . .I'm talking strictly about the New Orleans offense.) That was with Gus Frerotte at quarterback and a receiving corps that isn't as good as what we have right now. It also includes two playoff games, a 44-10 blowout at the Superdome in 1987, and a 34-16 Minnesota victory in 2000. Overall, the Vikings have an 18-7 record against New Orleans.
-No team that has lost their last three regular season game has ever advanced to the Super Bowl. The Saints dropped their last three games of 2009 against the Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Carolina Panthers.
-To add on to that one. . .and I find this stat to be pretty amazing, to be honest. . .no team that has lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the regular season has ever advanced to the Super Bowl. Now, granted, that's only something that's been in effect since 1976, but I think it's still pretty impressive. The "Tampa Bay Curse" has even affected the Vikings. . .just think back to 1998, when the Vikings went 15-1 in the regular season. Who wants to take a stab at who that one regular season loss was to? That's right. . .it was a 27-24 loss. . .at Tampa Bay.
-According to Kevin Seifert, teams that play in domed stadiums are 1-11 in 12 games when they've gone on the road for a conference championship game. That doesn't sound like it bodes well for the Vikings. However, 11 of those 12 games have been played outdoors.
The one that was played indoors? Atlanta at Minnesota in 1998. Yeah. . .we don't need to remind everyone how that turned out, short of confirming that that game comprises the "1" side of the "1-11" figure above.
Like I said, I don't know how much it means. It might not mean one single, solitary thing. But it's something to think about as we get closer to game time.