Will We Need Another “Minneapolis Miracle?” Vikes & Saints Playoff Preview.
Yes, we will need the help of Santa Clause, Prince and the good man upstairs for the Minnesota Vikings to beat the New Orleans Saints in Sunday's Wildcard game in New Orleans.
The Vikes are a seven point dog and for good reason. We have a QB (Kirk Cousins) that has never won a playoff game. Thank God this game isn't being played on a Monday night. Our star Running back Dalvin Cook has a banged up shoulder. He's expected to play but for how long and how effective remains to be seen. Our secondary has been rather porous in pass game all year...and oh yea, we're facing future HOF QB Drew Brees and one of the games best WR's Michael Thomas. Not to mention, maybe our best defensive player Eric Kendricks has been hurt. Our offensive line has been as strong as a wet piece of toilet paper of late. QB Kirk Cousins has been running for his life the last few weeks. The Saints have won seven of their past eight playoff games at the Superdome dating back to 2000 including a victory over Brett Favre and the Vikings in the NFC Championship game. Yep, it's going to take a miracle to win this.
It's a good thing I believe in miracles. The Saints do a few key injuries as well. Three of the Saints' four starting defensive backs missed the regular-season finale due to injury, including cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) and safeties Vonn Bell (knee) and Marcus Williams (groin). It's unclear whether any or all of them will be available Sunday. Fullback Zach Line's status is also unclear as he deals with a knee injury.
The Saints and Vikings ranked second and fifth, respectively, in turnover differential during the regular season, and New Orleans took care of the ball at a historic level. The Saints set a new NFL record by committing just eight turnovers in 2019, eclipsing the previous record of 10 that was shared by the 2010 Patriots and 2011 49ers. So don't expect many turnovers in Sunday's game — but any that arise could prove to be a game changer.
The Vikings will need to protect Kirk Cousins and most importantly get a running game going to set up the play action pass. It will more than likely take a "shootout win", if the Vikings are going to win this game. Can our defense find a way to slow down Brees just enough to win this game? I wouldn't bet on it. Start praying for a miracle!