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Coach Chris: Final Thoughts Before The Big One In The Big Easy

It’s game day, and I am still feeling confident about our prospects.
 
There is just too much talent that is too focused on the goal to not feel good about the outcome.
 
With full realization that anything can happen and weird, unexpected things can rise up to bite you… especially on the road. Unfortunately, there is little a coaching staff can do to prepare for these anomalies. The big thing is, can you adjust and recover from them before they break you?
 
That, more then anything else, is what scares me today. I am confident, that the Vikings are the better team. We match up well in many ways. Take a look:
 
Viking passing offense vs. Saints passing defense
– The Saints have the 26th ranked passing defense, so… Edge Vikings if – given time – Favre can slice and dice this very average group. But if Favre has one of his famous “Melt-down games”, (and he is soooo overdue) then Vikings will get their butts handed to them. So the key will be Time and Turnovers. Bryant McKinnie will once again be key as he HAS to neutralize the pass rushing havoc of Will Smith. Look for the Vikings to funnel Tahi and/or Kleinsasser to the left to help.

 
Vikings rushing offense vs. the Saints rushing defense
: The Vikings NEED Adrian Peterson to be a difference maker today. Great players save their best for the Biggest games. So, if this is true, then Peterson should ( finally ) have a huge game. The Saints have a tendency to give up big plays early vs. the run. Lets hope this is the case today.
Key
: Keep the ball away from the Saints offense by consistently controlling the line of scrimmage vs. the 21st ranked Saints run defense. The Vikings Massive offensive line needs to have a huge game today. John Sullivan, Anthony Herrera and Steve Hutchenson need to be “Rocks” on the interior of the Viking line. The Vikings need to assert their powerful run offense…..early and often. Watch out if : Peterson has the fumbles today !
 
Special teams: Kick return coverage
– Last week, the Viking coverage teams had a M-O-N-S-T-E-R game. The Cowboy were completely shut down. The Cowboy offense was continually pinned inside their own 20 because of the punting of Chris Kluie combined with this unit. Watch out if: Kluie kicks the ball to Reggie Bush. If he does……He, Coach Childress and the entire coaching staff Should Be Maimed !
 
Special Teams: Returns
– Don’t fumble the ball, gain positive yardage and hope for just one big play !
 
Vikings run defense vs. Reggie Bush
: DON’T give up big plays. The Viking defense feasts on running backs. ANY running back ! The Saints need to be forced into a lot of third and longs where the front four can tee off on Drew Brees. Watch out if: The Saints can consistently pick up yardage on first down. If Brees is put into non pressure situations….the Vikings carriage will turn into a pumpkin faster then Pat Williams can gulp down a hamburger.
 
Vikings pass defense vs. Drew Brees
– This is THE key. The big uncertainty. The big Scary tamale ! The Saints passing game is based upon precision and razor thin timing. It looks like Jeremy Shockey will play which doesn’t help the Vikes. The Saints are 0 – 3 without him in the starting line-up. His presence means that the Vikings safeties need to spend their resources covering him which thins coverage on the wide-outs.
 
If the Saints are spot on…..the Vikings ( or anyone else for that matter ) CANNOT stop them ! BUT…..if the front four can put pressure on Brees without giving up coverage by blitzing, the corners can throw the Saints wide-outs off their routes, Brees is forced into throwing the ball off balanced and there are no major secondary breakdowns that lead to big passing plays…….then this area can be limited. If so, I just don’t see how the Saints can win this game.
 
Finally
– The Vikings must win the T.O. department. Home teams that have fewer turnovers win 90 % of the time in the playoffs. So, even if we manage to pull the rest of this off, we can still lose if we turn the ball over. Again, it would be one of those anomalies I mentioned earlier, and that makes me nervous !
 
That said…..I will stay with my earlier prediction:
 
Vikings – 31
 
Saints  –  28


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6 Responses to “Coach Chris: Final Thoughts Before The Big One In The Big Easy”

  1. c.carterhof says:

    All good Chris.

    Vikings bring “pants on the ground” guy to New Orleans
    Posted by Mike Florio on January 24, 2010 1:47 PM ET
    A famous songwriter is hanging out with the Vikings in New Orleans. And it’s not Prince, who penned a pathetic rallying cry that sounds like the product of the sour belchings of organ pipes.

    Instead, it’s General Larry Platt, the creator of “pants on the ground.”

    Platt, 62, performed the song less than two weeks ago on American Idol. Vikings quarterback Brett Favre chanted the refrain in the locker room after Minnesota upended the Cowboys last Sunday.

    A reader tells us that Greg Coleman of KFAN has reported that Platt will be on the sidelines today with the Vikings. Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Platt has made an appearance at a team meeting.

    Somewhere, Prince has a mildly pissed off look on his face.

    But don’t feel bad, Vikings. Prince always looks that way.

  2. […] Coach Chris: Final Thoughts Before The Big One In The Big Easy Keep the ball away from the Saints offense by consistently controlling the line of scrimmage vs. the 21st ranked Saints run defense. The Vikings Massive offensive line needs to have a huge game today. If so, I just don’t see how the Saints can win… […]

  3. […] Coach Chris: Final Thoughts Before The Big One In The Big Easy Keep the ball away from the Saints offense by consistently controlling the line of scrimmage vs. the 21st ranked Saints run defense. The Vikings Massive offensive line needs to hav… […]

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  5. […] Coach Chris: Final Thoughts Before The Big One In The Big Easy Keep the ball away from the Saints offense by consistently controlling the line of scrimma… […]

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