Three reasons to believe in the Vikings against the saints
Simply put, nobody thinks the Vikings will bother the saints on Sunday afternoon.
They are helpless of 8 points, but that does not tell the whole story. When Mike Zimmer said earlier this week that no one was choosing the Vikings, it was successful. Of the 78 experts who chose this game, only two took the Vikings. Many expect it to be an easy and explosive victory for the Saints.
But there is still a game to play. And with their purple over purple uniforms, the Vikings will take the field in the Super dome believing they can win it. Let's take a look at three reasons to be optimistic about the big odds.
1. Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen are healthy
The first thing the Vikings have for them is this: for the first time since Week 6 against the Eagles, they have a totally healthy offense. The return of Thielen coincided with the second injury in the upper part of Cook's body, so this will be his first game together in months.
The fact that Cook is available changes the game for a Viking offense that looked horrible without him against the Packers a couple of weeks ago; His great ability to play as a runner and catcher is crucial to the explosiveness of the offense in general. The Vikings expect it to be as close as possible to 100 percent. Cook hasn't had 100 yards (ca. 91 m) of scrimmage in almost two months, and it is unlikely that the Vikings will win this game if it doesn't reach that mark. And don't forget Alexander Mattison, who is also healthy for this game.
As for Thielen, I think it's the X factor of the Vikings for this game. He hasn't done much since he returned from his hamstring injury. That has to change for the Vikings to have a chance. If he can get going and Kirk Cousins can find Stephen Diggs for a couple of great plays, the Vikings can move the ball. Add the race game and the Vikings have the recipe to keep up with the Saints in a high score game. It will take an incredible performance by Kirk Cousins and a game called creatively by Kevin Stefan ski, but the weapons are there.
2. The story of MikeDimmerr against Drew Brees
In four games against the Vikings since Zimmer took over as head coach, Drew Brees has had only seven touchdown passes with three interceptions, and has not exceeded 300 yards (0.27 km) in any of those games. He was fired twice in the Minneapolis Miracle game, and had 120 aerial yards with another INT in the 2018 regular season meeting.
I am not suggesting that Zimmer has discovered Brees, but he and defensive coordinator George Edwards should have a good plan on how to limit the future quarterback of the Saints Hall of Fame. That plan will require a lot of attention towards Michael Thomas. If it is successful or not it is another story.
Another reason for optimism in defense: Eric Kendrick's is back. The Vikings will need their only All-Pro selection from the first team to play as they have done all season. In Anthony Harris, Danielle Hunter and Harrison Smith, the Vikings have no shortage of players who change the game on the defensive side of the ball. Is there any chance that Xavier Rhodes 2017 appears magically?
3. Sports are rare.
I will let Mark Craig of Star Tribune explain:
With everyone counting the Vikings and preparing for the Saints-Packers at Lam beau Field next week, I have the strange feeling that the Vikings could achieve the unlikely. Probably not, but who knows? Sports are rare. Let's see what happens.