Brees is a week shy of his 39th birthday. Now, as Minnesota prepares to take on the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs, McDermott is stuck at home.
“It is a different type of team you’re preparing for now, ‘ Payton said”.
The Saints won their NFC Wildcard 31-26 against the Panthers last week with Drew Brees completing 23 of 33 passes for 376 yards, 2 scores, and a pick. But the Carolina drive stalled in part because of an intentional grounding penalty called on quarterback Cam Newton, much to the Panthers’ dismay, and Newton was sacked on fourth down in the final seconds to seal the outcome. Thomas had 45 yards on five receptions when the two teams matched up in Week 1.
And the Saints beat them through the air. Players and coaches, including Payton, celebrated wildly in the locker room, dancing and passing around a broom that symbolized their three-game sweep of the NFC South rivals this year.
Brees said it made for a special reunion. “See who you got, see where everyone is at. Because obviously there’s plenty of struggle and plenty of adversity”. The offensive line had a tremendous pass blocking day as Brees faced pressure on just 23 percent of dropbacks.
The Minnesota Vikings (13-3) will try to defeat the New Orleans Saints (11-5) for the second time this season as small home favorites for Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff matchup.
In Week 1, the Saints visited the Vikings, who were 3-point favourites and won 29-19.
Meanwhile, Vikings fans, who have never seen their team win a Super Bowl (and some have never even seen them play in one) are shaking in their boots.
It seems impossible to think the Vikings can be as stifling now that Ingram and Kamara have become one of the best backfield duos in National Football League history and now that Brees just had his best performance of the season with 376 yards and two touchdowns against Carolina. Rhodes only allowed two touchdown passes while he was shadowing receivers this season, while Lattimore finished the regular season limiting Mike Evans to two catches for 25 yards on five targets.
NOTES: QB Sam Bradford continued practicing on Monday as the Vikings consider whether to activate him off injured reserve.
The Vikings held the Ingram-Kamara duo to a combined 109 yards back in September, while Adrian Peterson was crowbarred into the Saints’ equation. “If a team is going to do that, then I feel like with the matchups we have outside, there should be opportunities”.
Part of me says the Vikings will be playing for the NFC championship January 21, perhaps in their home venue, if No. 6 seed Atlanta goes to Philadelphia and clips the top-seeded Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field.
“Everybody keeps talking about us and the things we’ve been able to accomplish”. That was on display on a 24-yard completion to tight end Colby Fleener with 9:06 remaining in the second quarter. He has thrown for 1,760 yards in those games averaging about 293 yards per contest.
That’s one of the more painful postseason losses in Vikings’ history, not to mention the fact it also was Exhibit 1A in the Bountygate scandal that rocked the Saints’ organization. The only blemish was a crunch-time interception that effectively served as a short punt.
The Saints won January 24, 2010, on a field goal on the first possession of sudden-death overtime. Fortunately, neither team nor fan base will have to brrrrrr-ave the elements since the game will be played in the toasty, temperature-controlled climate of U.S. Bank Stadium.
“You can’t be more proud of the defense”.
“We are a lot more confident”, Saints linebacker Manti Te’o said. “Obviously, we didn’t play well enough”. And that’s what you hate to have as a defense. They were trying to establish the run with their two backs. We tried to do the same thing to Drew, but Drew is a just little bit more elusive.