Abril 21, 2018

Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints - 1/14/18 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

12 Enero 2018, 08:58 | Gerardo Tarin

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They can attack offenses in so many ways, and head coach Mike Zimmer often does, mixing and matching blitzes with four-man pressures and zone coverages with plenty of man. Minnesota's combination of coaching and talent on the defensive side of the ball is absolutely stunning.

Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen coached up his defense, which transformed seemingly overnight into one of the NFL's better units. He ranks them at fourth-best behind the Patriots (1), Vikings (2) and Steelers (3).

The New Orleans Saints will look to advance to the NFC championship game after emerging victorious in the Wild-card round, taking down Carolina by a final score of 31-26.

Brian Allee-Walsh is a long-time Saints reporter based in New Orleans. "The focus, both in the run game and passing game, how you motion, when you choose to move guys around, it's going to require the poise and attention to detail during the week". They go for the win even if it's a bit reckless.

Later Sunday, Minnesota goes for its second straight win over New Orleans as a 4-point betting favorite after losing the previous four games in the series. That game pitted a team that was fresh off a Super Bowl experience - albeit a historic second-half collapse - and a club that had not played in the postseason since 2004. Sam Bradford played splendidly in the opening game. The 39-year-old, who shares the nickel-back position with Mackensie Alexander, is expected to play on Sunday.

The Vikings held the Ingram-Kamara duo to a combined 109 yards back in September, while Adrian Peterson was crowbarred into the Saints' equation. His immediate comfort with Payton's scheme precipitated Peterson's trade to Arizona. So-who's going to win? In any other game would you have been anxious about the Saints going three and out twice to start like they did against Carolina?

"I would expect that they've kind of grown into their own identity now", Saints linebacker Manti Te'o said. And lucky for the Minnesota Vikings, that's who will be standing on the visitors sideline of U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday. There is no obvious weakness for the Saints to exploit. Not only did they make major upgrades in the draft, but players that were already on the roster had career years in the 2017 season.

Kamara has been a game changer for the Saints. Thomas won't be open like he was against the Panthers or most of the opponents the Saints have faced this season. Ted Ginn Jr. was still figuring out his role before morphing into a big-play target.

Both the Vikings and Steelers are listed as almost identical home favorites this time around as they try to move on to the conference championship round. Around 60 percent of Keenum's throws went to them of which they caught 66 percent.

Keenum has run with it, completing 67.6 percent of his throws for 3,527 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions as he led Minnesota to a 13-3 record, the NFC North title and the No. 2 seed in the conference. Kamara is a game-changer, having averaged over six yards a carry in the regular season and hauling in 81 receptions.

Not to mention Minnesota is fantastic on third down (first on defense, third on offense) while the Saints have struggled all year.

The Titans aren't very good. Now from what we're told, it's always hopping, but there was a much larger than usual count of black and gold home team jerseys and "Who Dat?" chanting. The team was good for the morale of New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and its fans have more fun than those from any other city and, perhaps, from all the National Football League cities combined.

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