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neugey 10-09-2016 07:04 PM

Why this year's Vikings remind me of the 2009 Saints team
Yes I know it's early, and the Vikings are certainly capable of reverting and collapsing given the history of their franchise. But I'm not losing my mind due to the Saints bad season. Please hear me out.

Before I get started, I'd like to explain that I have a little bit of personal investment in the Vikings because last summer we lost my step-brother rather suddenly to cancer. He was one of the most ardent Vikings fans I have ever known (and believe me, there are a lot around these parts). Our family got a brick with his name engraved and had it put in his memory at the new US Bank Stadium. So while I remain a Saints fan first and foremost, I can't help but hope the Vikings can prosper and bring some excitement to my family - as long as it's not at the Saints expense.

Now onto the comparisons ...

Cordarelle Patterson, just like Devery Henderson, washed out as a regular starting wide receiver, having trouble with catching balls and running routes. So now the Vikings use him on special teams, trick plays and for certain offensive mismatch situations. Just like Devery did Cordarelle is thriving in that role.

Like Lance Moore, Adam Theilen was a major longshot to even make the final rosters. But he has a high motor and catches fricking everything. Despite other more acclaimed receivers, he's forcing his way into the offense for good.

Defense - The Vikings defense is probably more stout as far as yielding fewer yardage and points. The Vikings have more talented youth and depth than the Saints had. But both defenses play with a real attitude. There are similarities in the two teams when you look at the turnover differential, and of course the wins.

The Vikings took a huge gamble on Sam Bradford despite his injury history. He's a QB in the middle of his career who might to be able to take his game to another level if things can go right. Now I know Bradford would have a long way to go to ever reach Brees' level, but you can't deny that the story I just described does sound familiar.

Both the Vikings and the Saints went on impressive undefeated streaks, only to be disrespected and underestimated by the national media. Always seem to be ranked behind teams they are clearly played much better than. Now as I write this the Vikings are the NFL's only undefeated team, but believe me some ass-hat at ESPN will have them at 3 or 4. Sigh.

The Vikings, like the Saints, are having runningback injury issues and are having to tweak their offense and do more with less in their running game, but still refuse to become completely one-dimensional with the pass, and it's paying off.

Zimmer and Payton aren't much alike on the surface. Zimmer is more like Cowher or Jerry Sloan of the NBA, a hard man who demands excellence nonstop, but it is done with fairness and his players play hard for him. But Zimmer calls his own defense just as Payton called the offense and is very much outsmarting the opposition with good regularity, and it is defining the personality of the overall team.

Both teams have passionate local fan bases who were in danger of losing their team to another city in recent years, but were able to get things worked out.

But more than any of this, both teams just have this sense of determination and passion on the field. Both teams seem to make the most of what they have going for them and play with excellent effort. Win or lose, this team is made of much more resilient stuff than the prima-donna Favre/Rice/Harvin/Young AP team. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

jeanpierre 10-10-2016 12:43 AM

Re: Why this year's Vikings remind me of the 2009 Saints team
These are two very different teams you are trying to compare...

Drew Brees vs Sam Bradford?

Saints Offensive Line featured two All-Pros Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks vs what Alex Boone and ?

Both have no-name receivers, though Colston was among the best in the league...

2009 Saints Defense was a bend and take away defense vs 2016 Vikings defense which barely bends but still takes the ball away, giving their offense a short field...

2009 Saints won with offense while the 2016 Vikings win with defense, special teams...

RailBoss 10-10-2016 12:51 AM

Re: Why this year's Vikings remind me of the 2009 Saints team
I'm glad you wrote this Neugey, I'm seeing the same thing. The story of
Sam Bradford does remind me a bit like the Drew Brees story.
His journey with the Rams and the injuries and the stint at Philly.
Then the unbelievable trade to the Vikes and working with Norv Turner.
The whole Vikings Defensive attitude under Zimmerer. The loss of AP
hasn't slowed them down and if Bradford can stay healthy they definitely
are a contender.

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