Vikings vs Saints… Good morning Horners! Your Minnesota Vikings are heading down to Big Easy but it surely won’t be against the New Orleans Saints. This is the NFC Wildcard game where one team advances and the starts its offseason. Pressure abounds for the organization with many players and coaches playing for their futures. How well they handle the pressure and play will be the question, and it is a big one.
Hopefully Minnesota fortunes continue after the impressive Gophers win on Wednesday. They came out aggressive and beat a favored Auburn. The Vikings will have to do the same thing. Fortunately, the offense is 100% healthy as of Friday’s injury report, and with the style of zone blocking and play action passes, the offense could have great success. The teams the Saints had problems with this year ran those types of schemes. The key will be to get Kirk Cousins passing and Dalvin Cook and the run game both comfortable early. They will be key. Which one do you think will be more critical to Vikings success? We’ll find out, and usually within the first quarter whether ‘good Kirk’ or ‘bad Kirk’ shows up. That is where the pressure also comes into play.
It is the Vikings defense that will have a hard time against Drew Brees. Mac Alexander was ruled out and Mike Hughes was put on IR. That will mean the rotation of corners that has worked in the later part of the season won’t be there. Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes will have to be on the top of their games and Jayron Kearse will have to take advantage of his opportunity at nickel. He, for one, will be playing for his next contract. Pressure, pressure, pressure will be key, with converting it to best performances and to rattling the New Orleans offense to generate as much confusion and as many turnovers as possible. Like with ‘bad Kirk’ showing up, if the defense starts allowing the Saints to drive up and down the field, it could be a very long and upsetting day. Solution… Take the underdog status and prove everyone wrong.
Mike Zimmer has had his teams beat Sean Payton’s Saints before. He’ll have to do it again. Let’s road warrior this all the way to the Super Bowl. Ted, Drew and Dave will see after the game for what should be an absolutely epic post game. See you there!
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