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Setting The Table For The Saints

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 20, 2010 – 7:48 am

Our weekly “setting the table” blog entries are designed to construct a context around the Vikings upcoming game by pointing out relevant factors and circumstances in the week’s matchup.

But this week I’m fairly certain you don’t need me to set the table too much – it’s the NFC Championship Game and the conference’s top 2 seeds will battle at the Louisiana Superdome for a right to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLIV.

This is a great matchup on so many levels, and we’ll dig deeper into this matchup as the week wears on. Ultimately, though, football fans are in for a treat with this game because the Vikings and Saints were the NFC’s 2 best teams all season and they’ve arrived in the conference championship game after earning 1st round byes and then dominating legitimate challengers in the Divisional Round. Suffice it to say, these 2 teams left no doubt that they are the best the NFC has to offer.

New Orleans marched through the first 13 weeks of the season, going 13-0 before losing their final 3 contests. They finished the regular season as the league’s highest-scoring outfit (31.9 points per game) and ranked #1 in total offense (yards per game). The Vikings, meanwhile, began 6-0 and improved to 10-1 before losing 3 of 4 in December and then finishing with an impressive 12-4 mark. They also have a top 5 overall offense and they are the NFL’s 2nd-highest scoring offense at 29.4 points per game.

So offensively one might give a slight edge to New Orleans, but on the other side of the ball one might favor the Vikings. They dominated an explosive Cowboys offense last week in the Divisional Round, finished 6th in the league in total defense and ranked #2 against the run.

The Saints, meanwhile, don’t rank as impressively in overall defense but they have play-makers who thrive when put in favorable situations. The offense has made a habit of staking the team to large leads and the defense has more than pulled its weight by registering big-time plays. S Darren Sharper, a former Viking and teammate of QB Brett Favre’s in Green Bay, is the face of the Saints play-making style because of his 9 INTs, 3 of which he’s returned for TDs.

There are interesting matchups on special teams as well, with both teams featuring explosive returners and both teams also holding slight edges in other areas of special teams play.

Anyway, that’s enough setting the table for now. We have a lot more to get to, so stay tuned to vikings.com and the vikings.com Blog the rest of the week.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 29 Comments »


29 Responses to “Setting The Table For The Saints”

  1. By bigfan on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    i cant wait for this game. we are going to have to keep our noses to the grind and try to get to brees more than we got to romo. this is the big step. like adran peterson said a superbowl ring would be lovely. lol. this is what favre came back for san if we can keep him protected the outcome will definetly be better.we seen what they did to warner im sure were studying that and making a good game plan. go vikes SKOL!!!

  2. By phishphin on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Hey you Viking fans,you better set the table with your frozen minnows and knockwurstes,cause you’re going back home after Sunday.By the way go next door and get ya some on that cheese!!! It’s out turn now,finally.GO SAINTS.

  3. By viking fan on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Just make us one promise,,, When the Saints quit playing in the last 2 minutes of the game and allow our vikings to score more points on the board, please promise not to cry!!

  4. By phishphin on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    We’ll be crying with happiness .We will show you guys respect unlike Chicago and Philly.I yeah we just signed GOD our roster.Look for the earth to shake.Maybe I shoundn’t say that. Those poor people in Haiti.Our hurricane Katrina was nothing compared to that. WHO DAT!!!!!

  5. By vookie on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Vike fans, I am a Saints fan, and I am pulling for the Saints, but don’t listen to this phisphin. We both have good teams and nobody knows who’s going to show up for the game. Come down go to the game if you can and enjoy. We’ll all drink some beers, catch a buzz, then pull for whomever wins to win the superbowl. If there is one thing that we are better than, than you is having a party. It’s a way of life down here.
    p.s. WHO DAT BABY!!!!!!!!!!

  6. By phishphin on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    vookie,if I could drink,I’d drink to that.You gotta admit,it will be very painful if the Saints loose.Oh no what did I just say! Vike fans crawfish are coming out early this year come and get’em.They might be from China though.Ya can’t beat Nawlins anytime!!

  7. By steven on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    phish vikings franchise is limbo (or could be in danger) they need a super bowl win but both teams deserve it

  8. By steven on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    the vikings will win if they play there A game im pretty sure

  9. By Bigfan1 on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    This will be a great game, whoever comes to play and wants it the most will go to Miami…no excuses. The big easy is not going to have it easy…the Four Norsemen are coming to town.

  10. By HANK on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    should be a great championship game if the vikes weren’t playing i’d be pulling for the saints…..SKOL VIKINGS

  11. By moorevikes on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    well it seems that N.O. puts out a better group of fans than dallas. what i nice change. anyone who talks about catchin a buzz is cool in my book. can’t wait til the game. good luck saints fans, but i wouldn’t be a viking fan if i didn’t say i hope we win. i really wish i could come down and enjoy the party. i was there in 2000 for mardi gras and had an insane time. drank so many hurricanes my poop was red.

  12. By kdub fan on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    congrats to winfeild though i dont know how this year. hopefully he will not be playing cuz we going to da bowl baby

  13. By kdub fan on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    we match up great with the saints. AP should get back to form against the soft run d. if we can put pressure on BREES we can win quite handily. i see 34-17 vikes to the bowl

  14. By kani on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    YALL COME NA

  15. By corwin on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    WE DAT !

    that’s who !!!!

  16. By tbird on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    WE DAT?? WHAT IS DAT? WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU? ONE OF THE WORST FRANCHISES IN FOOTBALL HISTORY..OH YEAH DAT WHO!!

  17. By tbird on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    JUST LIKE LAST WEEK FELLAS, WHEN THE DALLAS FANS WHERE COMING UP HERE TALKING TRASH..SEE WHAT HAPPEND TO THEM? THEY DISSAPPEARED LOL

  18. By phishphin on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    I…………had a dream last night,and it was good.I’ll be setting in row 10, 40yard line. For the honor,I’m glad we’re playing the Vikes and not the cowboys.Good luck to all and when you read this Vike fans,how bout a little WHO DAT chant from you.I’m not a Bret fan.I’ve known him and his family from years back,but I understand your love affair. your ole buddy phishphin.good bye

  19. By JockScratch on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    I found this article on JockScratch.com It’s a new site that uses twitter feeds to post up to the minute news headlines and player info for your favorite teams. You dont even have to be on twitter to use it. Check out more Vikings info here: http://www.jockscratch.com/nfl/vikings

  20. By Andy Betancourt on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Poor Saints, I remember the bags over your heads. New Orleans you wont beat us. Ponder on Dat!!!!

  21. By kevin on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    where are fans hanging out in New Orleans before the game? Hotel or parking lot of the Superdome?

  22. By kevin on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    at the marriott convention center hotel

  23. By DCfaninDE on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Them Saints gonna catch ya w/ your purple panties down on the field

  24. By GW on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    I have been following the Vikings since the Joe Capp days and can honestly say this is the best Viking team ever. Saints are a good team but if both teams play well Minnesota will still win. They just have too many weapons. They need to relax and play their game. This is not their first rodeo in a dome. They will score quickly and take the fans out of the game. If we can take a lead into the locker room at halftime it will be over. The Saints fans will all be drunk by then. The key to this game is to sack Brees early and often, contain Reggie Bush big plays, and have Favre spread the ball around with quick slants and screens. That will open up the game for Rice downfield and allow AP and Cedric to balance out the offense. Skol…..

  25. By Benje on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    This games going to be amazing. Definitely the best game of the year.

    SKOL VIKES!

  26. By george craig on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    Well at least you purple people will know Favre’s decision for next year – he made that choice when he three the interception instead of getting a few yard closer for his kicker. Fire him quick!!

  27. By rod on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    one more year brett….

  28. By phishphin on Jan 25, 2010 | Reply

    I got da WHO DAT fever and it’s spreading!!!! Thanks for the ride I hope you guys at least enjoyed our city.

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