What a crazy year it has been for Vikings fans. Minnesota started the year off hot with a beat down on the Falcons and followed it up with a few bad weeks against Green Bay and Chicago. In those weeks, Minnesota was talked as one of the biggest pretenders and the playoffs looked as far as could be. Now here they are, a 10-6 record, which could have been easily 11-5, and in the playoffs. I really didn’t know if this would be possible after the week 4 loss to the Bears. They take on the Saints Sunday and are looking to hold off a Saints revenge, as the last time they met in the playoffs, the famous Minneapolis Miracle was born when Diggs took a last second pass from Case Keenum and took it to the house to pull an upset over Saints. Can Minnesota pull of another win?
Lets take a look at the injury report. Linebacker Eric Kendricks (Quadriceps), Defensive End Stephen Weatherly (sick), Cornerback Mackenzie Alexander (Knee), and Safety Andrew Sendejo (sick), did not participate as of Wednesday. Minnesota really needs Kendricks in the game. He is a game changer and the defense just doesn’t operate the same without him. Dalvin Cook said he will be at 100 percent for the game.
Now Lets take a step back and talk about the week 17 game vs Chicago. Minnesota lost the game 19-21, but I can’t even say I was upset by the loss. It was a sure to be blowout as the Vikings were playing their second team defense and offense. Minnesota’s second team defense really stepped up. They were constantly putting pressure on Trubisky and got 3 sacks. Ifeadi Odenigbo has proven himself to be an asset to this team and I think will be a starter in the near future. He is strong, quick, explosive, and most importantly determined. He has only played a few snaps all year and he almost had 2 Touchdowns on the season. He is a 260 pound Defensive End. That is impressive.
Our second offense wasn’t terrible. Mike Boone redeemed himself from last week as he put up 148 yards and 1 Touch Down on 17 attempts. He seems like a solid back that I would hope Minnesota can keep around. Sean Mannion got the start and he did what a backup QB does. Mannion went 12-21 126 yards, 2 interceptions. Now watching the game, it seemed like they were not trusting him with throwing the ball. They only let him air it out 1 time, the rest were short passes that didn’t give the offense a chance. I know Mannion isn’t the best, but he could definitely be better then what he did if given the chance. It didn’t help that he was throwing to some 4th string WR’s. Bisi Johnson is still looking like a solid WR3, which should make fans happy.
The Saints game will be a great challenge for Minnesota. It is an away game and the Saints have a great team led by arguably the best QB of the current generation of QB’s. Drew Brees is such a good leader and great passer, the Defense will have to bring everything together to beat him. If Rhodes and Hughes can’t figure out how to stop the pass game, there will be little hope for the game. Drew Brees is passing to Michael Thomas, who broke the single season pass record recently. Thomas is the best WR in the NFL right now and his stats, and game play prove it, so Rhodes, Waynes, and Hughes all have a tough game ahead. If this was 3 years ago Rhodes, there would be no problem as he was once the best CB in the game, but not so much anymore. Let’s see what Zimmer has in store for this game.
The offense should do well in this game. Kirk Cousins usually does fine on Sunday, Cook should be back, and Thielen can be fully healthy again and get back into the mix. It will he an exciting game to watch, and should be a down to the wire type game. If Minnesota pulls this off, they will then be heading to Green Bay. I believe the Vikings have what it takes to beat any team…if their Defense plays like the elite unit they should be…and if it’s not a Monday night game. Let’s see the Vikings prove people wrong! SKOL!
Vikings vs Saints Wild Card Weekend Preview: Can Minnesota Hold off a Saints Revenge?Tweet
Writer on the Minnesota Vikings and writer for timeskewed.com. Professional Music instructor.