Right now, the Saints are a touchdown favorite. Given the fact that Minnesota has more offensive playmakers right now, I can’t justify picking them to cover that enormous spread.
In the end, I believe this will be a far tighter matchup than people anticipate. Zimmer has fared well versus Payton and Brees in the past, and the Saints don’t have the weapons to take advantage of Minnesota’s lack of depth at the cornerback position.
Where New Orleans can take advantage is the Vikings’ run-heavy philosophy. If they fail to adapt in this game, the Saints can force them into a lot of obvious passing situations on third down, and from there, their pass rush can feast on Cousins.
This game comes down to philosophy and health. Is Brees healthy, and will Payton let him air it out against a defense built to limit some of their other strengths? Will the Vikings pass the ball on early downs and take shots down the field against a team vulnerable to explosive passes.
The overall strategy of this game for both sides make it very intriguing.
New Orleans should be able to come away with a victory, but it won’t be easy! Then again, would you expect that to be the case in any game against Minnesota?
I know that Saints fans want nothing more than to see their team eliminate the Vikings from the playoffs as some form of revenge. Hopefully, that desired Christmas gift can become a reality!