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Vikings vs. Saints: Three thoughts, five predictions

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Ohhh weeee, the game that’s been getting hyped up is finally tonight.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. That’s right, primetime, baby. I’ll break down three thoughts on tonight’s game, as well as five quick predictions.

Can the success continue?

Over the past few weeks, the Vikings seem to be steadily moving forward in terms of progress, despite the hiccups Minnesota has had with injuries throughout the season. I think fans want to see how the Vikings stack up with a higher-caliber team, like the Saints.

Now, Minnesota did beat the Philadelphia Eagles three weeks ago, but it’s fair to say that the Eagles just aren’t the same team as last year. Both the New York Jets, and Arizona Cardinals are both “ehhhhh” (insert shoulder shrug emoji here).

The Saints are 5-1, and everyone knows that the offense runs on high-octane. New Orleans have put up at least 40 points three times this season (Bucs, Redskins, Falcons). Tonight will be a true test. Obviously, Minnesota can put points up on offense (like when the Vikes put up 31 on the Rams), so my focus will be shifted on the defensive side of the ball (since the Rams put up 38, and scored on just about every drive I believe).

Everson Griffen’s return

It’s finally time to see Sack Daddy return. Boy, He sure has been missed. The defensive front have done, I think a decent job with Griffen being out. What a better time to return, than a Sunday night matchup against the Saints.

It’s only one guy, but it’s not just his play on the field that has been missed. It's also his off the field leadership. He’s probably the most vocal guy on the team. To put it simple, he knows how to hype up the boys.

Expect Griffen to make an immediate impact Sunday night. Hell, I’m going to be off-the-wall here and say he’ll sack Drew Brees three times, and just make it a nightmare for the veteran quarterback. That’s like best case scenario for him tonight. It’s Griffen, it can happen.

How important is this win?

I’m going to leave this third point for y’all, the readers because I like to see people actively engaging in discussion in the comments. But, how important is this win? I mean, it's not like Minnesota has an easy schedule moving forward.

The next three matchups will be against divisional opponents. The Detroit Lions come to Minneapolis next week, with a well-needed bye the following week. Then, the Vikes will head to Chicago to face the Bears, and then will come back home to face the Packers.

Geez, just looking at the schedule is sort of making me cringe. After the Pack game, the Vikings will play in New England against the Patriots. The remaining road games would be the Seahawks and Lions. The two home games will be against Miami and Da Bears.

Five Predictions (some are BOLD, so don’t trip)

Kirk Cousins throws the rock for 275 yards, and two touchdowns. Latavius Murray will rush for 100 yards, at least.

Vikings defense will only allow 21 points, and holds Brees to under 200 passing yards.

Holton Hill grabs an interception if he gets some snaps.

Aldrich Robinson snags two touchdowns, since that’s all he does I guess. (always a hard sleeper in fantasy, so if you’re feeling risky, pick him up).

Vikings win in non-miracle fashion 32-21.

P.S. I love Teddy Two Golves, he’s a great guy. That’s why I think Minnesota should make him an honorary Viking, and just have him be on the Vikings’ sideline during the game, chilling with Thielen.