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New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings: Key Information and First Quarter Open Thread

We’ve waited all day for Sunday night, and it’s here!

Minnesota Vikings v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The majority of the NFL action for Week 8 is in the books, and now we can finally sit back and treat ourselves to the most important game of the weekend.

Yes, it’s time for Sunday Night Football, and this week your Minnesota Vikings are hosting the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Both of these teams are on a bit of a roll coming into this one, and the Vikings are missing some pieces, so we’ll see if they can maintain their positive momentum.

Here is everything you need to know.

Time: Sunday, 28 October, 7:20 PM Central time

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Television coverage: KARE-11 in the Twin Cities, NBC affiliates across the country

Radio coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 83, XM Channel 225

Line: Saints -2, Over/under 55

Prediction: Saints 34, Vikings 31

Three keys

1) Get pressure on Drew Brees - This is going to be as big a key as any in this one. The Vikings are hurting in the secondary, and even though it appears that Xavier Rhodes will play, he might not be 100%. That means that the big guys up front are going to have to get after Brees in this one. Hopefully the return of Everson Griffen will provide the Vikings’ defense the spark they need to do just that.

2) Throw the football. A lot. - Usually, the emphasis is on being able to run the football to balance things out offensively, but in this case that could be counter-productive. The Saints’ run defense is really good, but their pass defense is awful, and they certainly don’t have anyone capable of hanging with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Kirk Cousins is going to have time to make plays in this one, and I think the Vikings are going to have to air it out in a big way.

3) Take advantage of home cooking - By that, I don’t mean any sort of “hometown calls” from the officials. . .as if the Vikings would get those anyway. . .but it’s tough to deny that the Saints are a significantly different team on the road than they are at home. The crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium tonight should be bonkers, and the Vikings are going to need to take advantage of that in this one.

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As usual, we will roll out a brand new Open Thread at the start of each quarter, so make sure you keep your eyes open for that. Enjoy tonight’s game, ladies and gentlemen, and hopefully in a few hours here we’ll be celebrating the Vikings’ fourth consecutive victory.