Vikings will have Sam Bradford active Sunday

16 January, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Terence Newman Vikings

"The first thing that we'd like to do is just block him".

"There are some similarities in regards to scheme, but I think when you go through a course of an National Football League season and you look at the attrition that takes place, there are eight or nine of our starters that are playing in that game that aren't playing in this game, and I'm sure the same exists for Minnesota", New Orleans coach Sean Payton told reporters this week, according to the team's website.

If the Saints have a playoff rival, it's Minnesota.

A amusing thing happened though on New Orleans' way to another disappointing crater of a season.

Regardless, New Orleans survived a tough test of their own during Wild Card weekend, downing the Carolina Panthers 31-26 and weathering a 17-point Panthers second half comeback. It's been a stirring ride worthy of the late John Facenda and the NFL Films orchestra providing the soundtrack. It's also interesting to note that while the NFC is technically the road team in this year's Super Bowl, the, and home locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Again, back in September the last time these two teams met, such lofty aspirations seemed like a foolish wish. Vikings' record against spread in regular season was best in NFL.

If they win, that would lead to a matchup with either the Atlanta Falcons or the Philadelphia Eagles for a spot in the Super Bowl.

Bradford also had success against the Saints way back in Week 1. Second, Minnesota matches up with their explosive offense better than any defense in football. And before you comment in defense of his good season, remind yourself that the reason for going to the playoffs is to win the Super Bowl.

The Saints can only hope the trip to Minnesota is kinder than most trips to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Case Keenum took over for Bradford and has been remarkable in leading the Vikings (13-3) to an NFC North title.

"I didn't play against (Jordan) the last time, but looking at him on tape, you can tell he's a smart guy who's been playing a long time and feeds off whatever you give him", Vikings right tackle Rashod Hill said. Minnesota's defense has only allowed seven touchdowns all season at home, and three of those were in mop-up time. But it's hard for the Vikings not to covet a wily vet like Brees. Keenum will be a free agent at the end of this playoff run, and despite his breakout year the Vikings could decide to return to Bradford, with Teddy Bridgewater (who appeared in one game this season after not playing since 2015) as a backup. That means we have a "Pros vs. Joes" game, with the wiseguys on the Vikings but public bettors are on the Saints.

The Saints, of course, can't concern themselves with such subplots and wishes for such complications for the Vikings.

Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford completed 27-of-32 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting, earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Is the Saints' season about to end, or will the circle remain unbroken? They are just 3-12 in those games.


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