Vikings Vs. Saints: Why Neither Team Will Make It To NFC Championship
The showdown for bragging rights in the NFC is almost upon us, and everyone is looking to New Orleans where the Vikings and the Saints will battle it out at the Superdome.
Offseason struggles with Brett Favre aside, both teams are expected to fair well in this upcoming NFL season.
But if you're not a Saints or a Vikings fan, you're probably feeling a little left out at the moment.
Don't worry, we're here to comfort you.
Here are the top ten reasons neither team will make it to the NFC Championship.
10. The Madden Curse
Laugh it up if you want, but this curse seems to be a very real thing. Since 2000, every player to grace the cover of Madden NFL has had some sort of trouble the following year.
Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, and Troy Polamalu have all felt the effects of the curse, and now Drew Brees could be its next victim.
It could strike anytime, so Brees should be careful (Think Final Destination).
9. Vikings After Their Bye Week
The Vikings will take their bye in Week 4, and after that the hardest part of their season begins.
Minnesota will travel to the New Meadowlands Stadium in Week 5 to see the Jets, come home to play the Cowboys in Week 6, and then play two road games at Green Bay and New England in Weeks 7 and 8.
Brett Favre and company will have their work cut out for them during these four weeks, and they will be lucky to come out of it 2-2 without injury.
8. Super Bowl Curse
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Not to sound superstitious, but there is yet another curse that may plague the Saints. While the "Super Bowl Curse" usually affects the losers, recent Super Bowl winners have seen the effects as well (Just ask Pittsburgh and New England).
This could be simply because the champs let the win go to their heads, but it does make you think.
7. Reggie Bush
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With Reggie Bush being stripped of his Heisman Trophy, the Saints are attracting some bad press along with all of their hype.
This only directly affects one player on the Saints' stacked offense, but Bush's woes could create some tension throughout the team.
6. Sidney Rice
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Sidney Rice will be out for a large chunk of the regular season due to his hip surgery, and this leaves a large hole in the Vikings' receiving corps.
Percy Harvin is still around, but his migraines might get in the way. And it doesn't look like Bernard Berrian has earned Brett Favre's trust yet.
5. Darren Sharper
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Sharper is a key piece in the Saints' defense, and he will be out for at least six games on the PUP list.
When the Saints play teams with aggressive offenses, they will definitely feel the absence of Sharper. Sharper had nine interceptions and 71 tackles last season, something the Saints' defense will have trouble making up for.
4. Peterson Fumbles
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With Sidney Rice out, the Vikings will be looking to running back Adrian Peterson to pick up the slack on offense.
The problem here is that Peterson has had trouble holding onto the ball in the past, and if he repeats his fumbling woes this season, the Vikings will be in big trouble.
Peterson has been said to be working on this aspect of his game in the offseason, so we will have to wait and see.
3. Saints Running Game
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The Saints have come to rely on Drew Brees' arm to lead their offense, and their running game leaves quite a bit to be desired.
Other teams in the league will surely notice the holes in the Saints' offense, put more pressure on Brees, and anticipate the pass.
2. Brett Favre
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Favre has been without a doubt an exceptional quarterback, but we have to address the elephant in the room: He's getting old.
Jared Allen and company had to fly down to Mississippi to drag Favre up to Minnesota, and Favre's ankle is a serious issue. Favre will more than likely find a way to play through the pain, but there is a definite possibility that it will affect his game.
1. Green Bay and Atlanta
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Both the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints are definite contenders in the NFC, but there are other teams that could give them a run for their money.
The Falcons have a chance at delivering the Saints a pair of losses, and the Packers are an even bigger threat to the Vikings.
Green Bay has one of the best offenses in the NFL, and the Vikings will have to work hard to stay atop the NFC North.