Sunday, January 24, 2010

AFC Championship Vikings @ Saints Playoff Preview

The first game today was all about the big play. No matter how good your defense is players like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Brett Favre are still going to put points up on the board and pressure you for three hours. That fact alone should make the night cap a great game as it features Brett Farve and Drew Brees whi finished 1-2 in QB rating.

This game should be explosive. The Saints were first in the NFL in points scored while the Vikings were second. Both teams are very balanced as the Saints were 4th passing and 6th rushing and the Vikings were 5th rushing and 8th passing. Most people would not think that the Saints had such a good running game.

The Saints are 8-1 at home this year with their only loss coming to the Dallas Cowboys in week 15. The Superdome and the Saints fans are going to be CRAZY today. The crowd noise and the speed of the Saints will be sick today. The Saints have a ton of weapons in Colston, Henderson, Shockey, Bush, Meachem, Thomas, & Bell. Their defense was bottom half in most categories all year but that will not matter today. The Saints are all about pressure. The Saints had 35 sacks during the season and a +11 turnover ratio. The biggest thing to remember is the Saints intercepted 26 passes, and Brett Favre will throw you the ball. Farve only threw 8 of his 33 TDs on the road, while throwing 5 picks.

The Vikings are also explosive and lit up the Cowboys last week. However if you look closer at that game Favre had 3 TD passes to Rice for 108 of his 214 yards passing. Each of those three passes were not clearly caught but they were. Other than those plays the Vikings had a very hard time moving the ball. Adrian Peterson once against struggled running for only 2.4 yards per carry. Brett Favre is having the best year of his career but will he be able to finish it off? On defense the Vikings led the league with 48 sacks behind the BEAST Jared Allen. They will need to get to Brees to stay in this one. The Vikings were all over Tony Romo last week sacking him 6 times.

Mid-season the Saints and Vikings were both undefeated and you could see this game coming down the road. Well it is now here so enjoy it. Reggie Bush was running harder than I have seen him run since he was at USC. That is bad news for the Vikings. Also Jeremy Shockey coming out of the backfield and blocking will be a huge key in this game. I just think Brees will torch the Vikings secondary if he can get any time at all. The Saints will be lightning quick all over the field today and will be just too much and too fast for the Vikings. This game like many others will come down to pass pressure, turnovers and tackling. I expect the Saints to get a ton of yards after the catch and that may be the difference.

Prediction New Orleans Saints 37 - Minnesota Vikings 27



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