NFC Divisional Preview and Prediction: Saints at Vikings

Arnold Nichols
January 14, 2018

Three members of the Saints will be making their first appearance in Minnesota since they were Vikings when New Orleans kicks off in U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

They had at least one takeaway in 13 of the next 14 games, giving the ball back to their future Hall of Fame quarterback during an eight-game win streak after the 0-2 start.

Keenum will call on tight end Kyle Rudolph to produce his first 100-yard receiving game of the season as the quarterback looks to play it safe and avoid Saints defensive backs Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley. This is not to say the Vikings don't get plenty of credit for creating their own fortune.

"They're a quick team and they give us some trouble", Jets captain Blake Wheeler said of Chicago.

Although Keenum had previous National Football League experience, including nine starts for the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, he was signed by the Vikings as a one-year stopgap to be the guy in the ball cap providing sideline support and give Bridgewater ample time to recover from his colossal knee injury. "I think his faith has been that for him".

A number of Vikings players and coaches accused the Saints of deliberately trying to knock Favre out of the game at the time, but it was only until years later that the punishment for this game was issued out. The more they have the ball, the better they are able to utilize Brees and his weapons.

In order for that to happen, the Minnesota Vikings would need to activate the quarterback off injured reserve and make space for him on the 53-man roster.

"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of emotion going through my mind", he said.

Super Bowl champion Drew Brees and his highly touted offense featuring wideouts Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. versus the Vikings stingy defense and secondary featuring All-Pros Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.

And if that wasn't enough to make this game memorable to Saints fans, there was more. Plucked off the Jaguars' practice squad late last season, he's been one of the bigger surprises on the team this year. Since then though, both teams have changed drastically. In that game, Ingram and Kamara combined for 35 yards rushing and 74 yards receiving, while competing with the since-jettisoned Adrian Peterson for touches. This is Keenum's game to win or lose.

Thomas, who was held to five catches for 45 yards by the Vikings in their Week 1 meeting, was passed off between defensive backs rather than shadowed by Rhodes exclusively.

Asked on Friday if Bradford was ready to play in a game, Zimmer said, "I think so".

The Vikings are two wins away from playing in a Super Bowl on home turf and Zimmer hopes their fanatical support can lift them into an NFC Championship date with the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles - who they would have to travel to face - or the Atlanta Falcons.

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