Friday, 19 January, 2018

X-factors for Vikings against Saints

Cam Newton injured his knee in playoff loss to Saints Cam Newton injured his knee in playoff loss to Saints
Cassandra Gardner | 14 January, 2018, 00:16

But while talk of a curse might bore the Vikings, there is one thing they should be very cognizant of as they prepare for Sunday's NFC Divisional playoff game against New Orleans at U.S. Bank Stadium. The defense was exposed in this season's infancy, starting with the Vikings' 470 yards in the opener.

All of that said, if this is the year the Vikings finally end the misery and bring a championship to their fans, it'll be a lot like when the Red Sox and Cubs did it. "All my friends and family who have come up from Texas and my friends from other teams that come in, they'll text me after the games and they'll be like, 'Dude, that place is ridiculous.' It really is".

Shurmur, 52, is one of the most-sought-after coaches by the four remaining teams with head coach vacancies. The good news is that Kyle Rudolph and Pat Elflein is not on the list, meaning they are good to go. The Saints and Vikings played once this season in Week 1. With everything on the line, the Vikings are planning to have quarterback Sam Bradford available for this Sunday's showdown, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

"He's just a talented guy that can make the throws", says linebacker Craig Robertson. "I know they knew I was a good player, they kept me there for four years". The Saints' defense was tied for sixth-worst in allowing teams to convert 41 per cent of their third-down chances. "It's just a God-given, innate thing that he's maximized by working hard".

The defensive turnaround has been a key to the Saints' sixth playoff appearance in 12 seasons of Payton and Brees.

Even Without Jake Browning, Washington's 2019 Quarterback Room Will Be Loaded
Eason started Georgia's season-opener against Appalachian State but suffered a sprained knee on the third series of the game. With Fromm's success , Georgia will apparently lose arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC to the Pac-12.


The Saints' decision with Lattimore could be more fascinating, given the Vikings' ability to move both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen all over the field. Plucked off the Jaguars' practice squad late last season, he's been one of the bigger surprises on the team this year. Bradford had just produced an injury-free career-best performance in 2016, so the Vikings were banking on him.

Alvin Kamara and Mike Ingram were taken out of the Saints' wild-card game against the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans still won because Drew Brees was vintage Drew Brees. Their offense is second in total yards and fourth in total points.

The Vikings are ninth in the National Football League in red zone touchdown percentage. In that game, Ingram and Kamara combined for 35 yards rushing and 74 yards receiving, while competing with the since-jettisoned Adrian Peterson for touches.

Keenum will also try to get his confidence flowing by completing a few short passes to Rudolph, who will act as a safety valve in the passing game. RB Jerick McKinnon gained career-high 991 yards from scrimmage, 5 TDs (3 rush, 2 rec.) ...

Asked on Friday if Bradford was ready to play in a game, Zimmer said, "I think so".

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