With a strong defense led by Jared Allen, the Vikings are poised for another Super Bowl run.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the the rematch.
Let me restate—There's been a LOT of HYPE surrounding the REMATCH!
Everyone calm down, take a deep breath, and repeat after me, "It's only one game, it's only one game."
The most it will do is serve as a tie breaker in the event that the Saints finish with as good as record as the Vikings.
Note: Only 18% of the Super Bowl winners have repeated as champions the following year.
People are so concerned about the Saints' defense. This is the same defense the Vikings amassed 475 yards against, 120 yards more than the Saints gave up on average over the regular season.
There are others who point to the potent Saints offense, the same offense that gained only 275 yards against the Vikings' defense, almost 150 yards less than their season average.
The only reason the Saints won the NFC Championship game was due to turnovers. The Vikings coughed up the ball five times compared to one for New Orleans.
When a team wins the turnover battle, they have a good chance of winning the game. When they have a plus four turnover ratio, they should win by a blowout—not by a field goal in overtime.
Whether or not the Vikings lose the season-opening game will do little to keep them from another successful season as they defend their NFC Central Division title.
I see the Vikings going 12-4 again this year. They won't go undefeated in the NFC North, but finishing with a 4-2 record. Still good enough to win the division. Sorry Packers' fans, I see your team 9-7 to 11-5, finishing with a Wild-Card berth in the playoffs.
The defense will be improved—there will not be a tougher front seven, and once corner backs Cedric Griffin and Chris Cook return, the secondary will be just fine.
The offense, although not as explosive as last year, will still do just enough to win a dozen games. Remember, we have the Favre factor.
So, sit back and enjoy the opening game of the 2010 NFL season, and don't be surprised if the Vikings just might win against the Saints on Thursday night.
Post script: OK, so the Saints defeated the Vikings 14-9.
What did we learn? The Saints were able to take advantage of our corner backs, and besides Visanthe Shiancoe, Brett Favre had no rhythm on offense. These were things we knew going into the game.
Favre was rusty, he was rusty to start last season. The difference—opening against the Cleveland Browns instead of the Super Bowl Champions.
For all it's worth, it's still just one game, and at the end of the season it will only be counted as a single loss.