Remember just a week ago when seemingly every "expert" was picking the Dallas Cowboys over the Minnesota Vikings? Well, nearly the same thing is happening again this week as the Minnesota Vikings are once again being thrown under the bus.
"Their secondary is terrible! They won't be able to stop Drew Brees! Adrian Peterson hasn't had a 100-yard game in months. That's not changing this week. We're not afraid of him. Brett Favre will turn back into the old gunslinger we all know and throw the game away with three picks."
Many Saints fans seem to think this is going to be a blowout because their "elite" defense is going to stop Favre, Peterson, and Rice. Wait, did I just miss something?
This defense that people keep talking about, didn't they just finish the regular season 25th in total yards, 26th in passing yards, and 21st in rushing yards?
While it's true that the Saints have a ton of takeaways, but someone should tell them that Favre only threw seven interceptions all season and Adrian Peterson has only one fumble in his last six games.
Everybody seems to be making a big deal about Peterson and his lack of rushing performance in the second half of the season. I'll tell all of you what I've been saying for weeks now, THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS OFFENSIVE LINE IS NOT VERY GOOD!
"But Andy, they have not one, but TWO Pro Bowlers. How can they be terrible?"
Neither players really deserved it and I'll take that to the grave with me.
Peterson led the league in hits at or behind the line of scrimmage and still managed to pull of a 4.4 yard-per-carry average this season. With over 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns, he earned every yard he got. With the Tennessee Titans offensive line, this guy would have been impossible to stop.
Peterson is not in a slump. The offensive line is. They can protect Favre much better than they did earlier in the season, but they lost their ability to run block in the process.
As far as Favre goes, don't expect him to throw interceptions left and right. The guy just had the best season of his career and threw a league low seven interceptions. That's a very impressive number for a guy that threw 22 last season.
Despite the Saints signing ex-Vikings Darren Sharper, it's not an advantage to him nor is it an advantage to Favre. People are turning this Sharper-Favre thing into something that's not going to be. Just like Sharper knows Favre's tendencies, Favre knows Sharper's. There's no advantage or disadvantage here. Please drop the ridiculous story that Sharper will own Favre or vice versa.
The Saints have been hobbled by injuries to their secondary recently, but all the starters returned and gave a solid performance against Kurt Warner and company.
The problem is, this isn't the Cardinals that the Saints are playing.
The Saints didn't have to worry about a running game against the Cardinals. They do against the Vikings. If they go into this game believing that Peterson is finished for the season and has nothing left to offer, Peterson will have a career day.
On the opposite side, Reggie Bush has risen from the grave and is playing at a Hall of Fame level. He is the one of the fastest running backs in the NFL and showed everyone last week why he is the best player in the NFL. Don't believe me? Just ask a Saints fan or Trent Dilfer.
After one great game, people are bowing down to Bush. He's the "X-factor" for the Saints. Let me say this again, this isn't the Cardinals he's facing. This is the number two ranked rushing defense. Bush may have a good game and he may not. But saying after one game that Bush has finally found himself is a joke.
I have no doubt that Drew Brees will have a great day. He will probably get at least two touchdowns and throw for 200 plus yards. I realize the Vikings secondary isn't good, but on the flip side, the Saints entire defense isn't very good.
One thing that Brees has to watch out for is the Vikings pass rush. Jared Allen could have a field day and cause Brees into some bad throws. With the Kevin Williams and Pat Williams in the middle, don't expect a lot of running room in the middle of the offensive line.
Because Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield is not 100 percent, backup Benny Sapp will start in his place after a very impressive performance against Dallas last week.
However, this does not mean Winfield will not play. The Vikings will use a heavy dose of the nickel defense and insert Winfield into that nickel slot. That way they can use his biggest strength, stopping the ball carrier in his tracks.
This is going to be a great game with two great offenses. It comes down to which defense will cause the most three and outs. In the end, I see the Vikings pulling it out 24-34.