The Vikings will open their 2010 season on the road (at New Orleans), just as they opened the 2009 season on the road (at Cleveland). The Vikings will also open the 2010 season with a starting lineup quite similar – possibly 19 out of 22 starters are the same – to the lineup they opened with in Cleveland.
But even with all of those similarities, clearly this year’s season-opener will be quite different. Vikings QB Brett Favre said as much in a Wednesday interview on John Madden’s Sirius NFL Radio show, as pointed out by the Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad.
“Last year we opened up at Cleveland. I had no clue what to expect from our team, from myself, but it sure was made a lot easier by handing the ball to Adrian [Peterson] that game,” Favre said. “I think he rushed for roughly 180 yards. I had the best seat in the house, didn’t have to do too much, was never really asked to make a big play. And that was a good way to ease into it.”
Favre’s memory serves correctly, as the Vikings ran the ball 37 times in last year’s opener while throwing just 22 passes. Peterson rushed for 180 yards and 3 TDs on 25 carries. This year’s opener will likely be much different – there is no easing into things this year. The Vikings may encounter the nastiest atmosphere of the entire season tonight as the Saints play their 1st regular season game since winning the Super Bowl last year.
The best way to take a frenzied crowd out of the game is to run the ball consistently. Will the Vikings be able to do that tonight?
“I hope so,” Favre said. “I don’t really know what to expect. What are we going to lean on? Who is our go-to guy, things like that, where I think the Saints would probably have a better feel for where they are right now.”
While Peterson and the ground game carried the Vikings to victory over Cleveland last year in Week 1, Favre will surely be relied upon to make a big play here and there against the Saints. The Vikings will attempt to establish the run against this Saints defense – Peterson had 122 yards and 3 TDs against New Orleans in last year’s NFC Championship Game – but there’s also no doubt that Favre will need to find an open receiver in a tight spot several times during the game, perhaps near the goal line or on a 3rd and long situation.
Tags: Adrian Peterson
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