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NFC Championship Game preview: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; NFC Championship Game preview: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints By RICK GOSSELIN / The Dallas Morning News rgosselin@dallasnews.com Minnesota will win if ... Jared Allen and the NFL's best pass rush can throw around Drew Brees like it threw ...

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Old 01-23-2010, 09:53 PM   #1
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NFC Championship Game preview: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

NFC Championship Game preview: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

By RICK GOSSELIN / The Dallas Morning News
rgosselin@dallasnews.com
Minnesota will win if ...

Jared Allen and the NFL's best pass rush can throw around Drew Brees like it threw around Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers this season. The Vikings sacked Romo six times in the NFC semifinals and sacked Rodgers a combined 14 times in two regular-season meetings with the Packers.

New Orleans will win if ...
One of the NFL's most aggressive defenses can force Brett Favre into turnovers. The Saints finished second in the NFL with 39 takeaways. Favre committed only nine turnovers in 17 games. But Favre committed at least one turnover in all four of Minnesota's losses.

Keys to the game
Get Adrian Peterson going: The Vikings have talked about this for two months now but Peterson has gone eight consecutive games without a 100-yard day. He averaged 102.5 yards per game in the first nine weeks of the season but only 66.1 yards in the last eight weeks. The better Peterson runs the ball, the less heat on Brett Favre.

Welcome Meachem back: Drew Brees lost track of Robert Meachem in his plethora of options against the Cardinals, failing to complete a pass to him. Meachem is too valuable to lose in this offense, especially in a game of this magnitude. He shared the team lead with nine TD catches and averaged 31.8 yards per score. He's the big-play maker.

Kick away from Reggie Bush: The former Heisman Trophy winner has been bothered by a knee injury since mid-November, lulling Arizona into a false sense of security last weekend with his 4.8-yard average per punt return for the season. Then Bush unloaded an 83-yard return for a TD against the Cardinals the fifth of his career.

Inside the number: Vikings
32 Minnesota has not won an NFC title game in 32 years. The Vikings have reached four title games since then and lost them all, to Dallas (1978), Washington (1988), Atlanta (1999) and the Giants (2001).

Inside the number: Saints
6 Quarterback Drew Brees was sacked only six times in December. The Vikings sacked Tony Romo six times in one afternoon. Brees was sacked only 20 times all season, fourth-lowest total in the NFL.

GOSSELIN'S PREDICTION: New Orleans 27, Minnesota 24

NFC Championship Game preview: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News



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