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QBREES9 01-17-2010 09:15 PM

In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
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Vikings quarterback returned for another shot at the Super Bowl, and he'll get it

We should've seen this coming from the start. The New Orleans Saints were the hottest team in the NFC for 13 weeks. The Minnesota Vikings were the second-best squad for 11 weeks. They seemed to be steamrolling toward a meeting in the NFC title game and now here they are, the last two left in the race deciding conference supremacy.

One thing we already know is that this should be a heck of a game. But here are 10 other questions that deserve to be answered before kickoff next Sunday:

1. Which Pro Bowl quarterback has the edge in the NFC Championship Game?

Though Drew Brees is pursuing his first Super Bowl appearance inside the cozy confines of the Superdome, you have to go with Brett Favre in this contest. Favre couldn't stay away from the NFL because he wanted another shot at a Super Bowl. (Granted, having a couple of shots at his former team, the Green Bay Packers, also motivated him.) Now he gets to pursue that opportunity in a stadium that is (1) the site of his only Super Bowl victory and (2) about an hour from his hometown of Kiln, Miss. On top of all that, Favre's last trip to the NFC Championship Game -- a loss with Green Bay against the New York Giants two years ago -- has to be etched in his memory because his overtime interception led to that defeat. You think he'll be jacked? No question.

2. Which head coach has the edge in this game?

Give the nod to the Saints' Sean Payton because he was pulling out all the stops in his team's 45-14 divisional playoff win over the Arizona Cardinals. Payton was handing out bats to sell his players on the message of "bringing the wood." He put beloved Saints running back Deuce McAllister back in uniform and let him lead the other players onto the field as a team captain. Heck, Payton even had Saints running back Reggie Bush running with more ferocity than anybody has ever seen from him. Sure, some of those moves sound hokey. But they made a strong psychological impact on this team and you can bet Payton has a few more motivational tactics left in his bag.

3. Will Bush be as effective in this game as he was against Arizona?

No. As well as Bush played Saturday -- he had 217 all-purpose yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run and an 83-yard punt return for a score -- it's hard to remember the last time he put together two consecutive good games. He also touches the ball only about seven to 10 times a game. That's not enough opportunities for him to duplicate the success he had against the Cardinals. The upside is that Bush's big game gave the Vikings one more thing to worry about in this week's preparation. So even if the odds of him thrilling the home fans again on Sunday are low, he's already accomplished something equally useful for his team.

4. How excited should Vikings defensive end Jared Allen be for this contest?

He should be thrilled because he'll be facing Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod, a third-year veteran in his first season as a starter. Bushrod had it easy against the Cardinals because Arizona doesn't have an elite pass-rusher. Allen will be a different story. The three-time Pro Bowler had 14.5 sacks this season, and another huge one that forced a Tony Romo fumble in the first half of Sunday's divisional playoff win over Dallas. Let's also not forget that Dallas outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware gave Bushrod serious trouble in the Cowboys' regular-season win over New Orleans on Dec. 19 (Ware had two sacks and a forced fumble). The bottom line: Allen will have a field day if the Saints don't give Bushrod some help.

5. How much of an impact will the Saints' crowd have on this game?

It will be huge. The Cardinals weren't rattled by the Superdome din -- Arizona had no false starts and no problems dealing with the snap count -- but the Saints were bolstered by all those passionate fans. The New Orleans players fed off that energy and every big play only intensified it. The challenge for Minnesota is finding a way to diffuse it early. A 70-yard touchdown run by Arizona running back Tim Hightower sucked the air out of the place for a few minutes Saturday. It's hard to imagine the Vikings thriving if they don't keep that crowd quiet for longer stretches

NFL: Jeffri Chadiha asks and answers 10 NFC Championship Game questions - ESPN

strato 01-17-2010 09:25 PM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
Reggie had two punt returns for tds last year against them and damn near a third ..so that blows that theory out...

73Saint 01-17-2010 09:39 PM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
Someone please help make me feel better about the Bushrod/Allen matchup. This concerns me the most.

strato 01-17-2010 09:41 PM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
I know me to..but we will have a plan..chip with the back and Shockey..

strato 01-17-2010 09:43 PM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
I want to know the status on Edwards..he was the best D linemen out there today

73Saint 01-17-2010 09:47 PM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by strato (Post 193437)
I know me to..but we will have a plan..chip with the back and Shockey..


I Hope Shockey is ok...

cargojon 01-17-2010 11:41 PM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
After the D-Ware incident last month, Payton won't make the mistake again of not having help for Bushrod.

This writer is an idiot. Favre had his chance for another Super Bowl his last year with the Pack and on his home field threw an INT that lost the game for them.

SaintPauly 01-17-2010 11:56 PM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
Ladies and gentlemen, it begins. Every sports writer, announcer, and analyst, is going to be so far up Favre's butt this week, I will be surprised if he is able to walk on Sunday. Let them talk, let them doubt, let them say whatever they want to say. Their odds of picking winners, are just as good as any of ours.

The good news is Skip Bayless can snuggle up with his Favre plush toy, and get a good nights sleep tonite.

FatCitySaint 01-18-2010 12:07 AM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
I have watched a fair share of vikings games....one of the ways to keep "The Mullet" in check is to run bootlegs....it works quite well. The Bears and panthers both had success with this! ;)

Halo 01-18-2010 12:16 AM

Re: In dream QB matchup, Favre has edge
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by saintpaul25 (Post 193467)
Ladies and gentlemen, it begins. Every sports writer, announcer, and analyst, is going to be so far up Favre's butt this week, I will be surprised if he is able to walk on Sunday. Let them talk, let them doubt, let them say whatever they want to say. Their odds of picking winners, are just as good as any of ours.

The good news is Skip Bayless can snuggle up with his Favre plush toy, and get a good nights sleep tonite.

^^^^
Uh huh.. What he said... :-D


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