By Austin Payne
The New Orleans Saints will take one the Minnesota Vikings in today’s first round Wildcard matchup. The game will take place in New Orleans Superdome as an early slate game, with kickoff set for 1:05 P.M. ET. The Vikings presently sit as -8 point dogs for the matchup, making for a decent bet tomorrow.
There will certainly be an aura of revenge in the air for one of these squads more so than the other, however. In the NFC Divisional playoff game back in 2018, i’m sure you all can recall the miracle play that got the Vikes past the Saints on a ridiculous catch by Stefon Diggs and missed tackle by the Saints cornerback/safety Marcus Williams.
Having risen to prominence once again over the last several seasons in somewhat of a resurgence after drafting running back Alvin Kamara and receiver Michael Thomas, the Saints are undoubtedly itching to make amends for this playoff blunder that kept them from the Super Bowl. This mishap, along with an openly admitted missed call in last years playoffs against the Rams team that eventually went on to the Super Bowl, combine to leave a very bad taste in the mouth of Sean Peyton’s team.
The Vikings, on the other hand, have made somewhat of a comeback of their own as compared to their early season woes and borderline quarterback controversy in the first few games of the season. This team is the same that flexed one of the leagues best defenses a couple years ago, and still does on paper. These assets along with a couple really good receivers in Adam and Stefon, along with finally healthy running back Dalvin Cook, you’d think this team was ready to go.
They brought in Kirk Cousins, a seasoned veteran who had shown his stability and elite level “game manager” abilities for years in Washington before finally garnering a franchise QB caliber contract from Minnesota. The thinking here obviously being that their team was fully ready to compete, they just needed a competent quarterback to guide them there. Kirk has…somewhat…lived up to these expectations so far? He hasn’t exactly delivered them to the land of milk and honey as of yet, but he’s mostly done what he’s been known for, not mess it up.
Both of these teams are primed and in position to take a strike at a Lombardi Trophy. Drew Brees is 40 years old, Sean Payton has been in New Orleans a long time, and all of the requisite talent needed surrounds them. The Vikings have an exquisitely talented defense to pair with an elite young back and a couple top tier “number 2” receivers, if not borderline number one targets. They’ve paid KC the money, the team is set around him. They’ve given Brees the time, and the team is also set around him. The question is, which one will finally deliver?