“I would love to go beat the Saints,” Favre told his old pal Al Jones of the Biloxi (Mississippi) Sun Herald. “I know I can still play at a high level. Last year was a great year, but it could have been better (winning the NFC Championship).’’
1. Vikings Will Not Have Minus 4 Turnover Differential. That was a fluke, plain and simple. You cannot expect that to happen again. Six fumbles? Albeit only three were lost, you still couldn’t sell me on the fact the Saints were not lucky. Can you? I’m not buying it.
Keep in mind two of the four turnovers proved to be extra costly. Percy Harvin’s 4th quarter fumble, at the Minnesota 12. It led to a New Orleans touchdown, in which they took the lead 28-21. Bernard Berrian’s fumble on the ensuing drive. It was recovered by the Saints at the New Orleans 5-yard line, so that turnover cost the Purple People Eaters possibly another 7 points, assuming they go on and score a touchdown. It would have been 1st and Goal for one of the NFL’s best red zone offenses. Instead, they coughed up the rock, the momentum, and then some.
You can’t do that and expect to win. Who wins game being -4 in the turnover department, let alone stays in a game and keeps it close enough to force overtime? How do you recover from that with a trip to Miami to play in Super Bowl 44 on the line? Those game-changing, heart-breaking miscues are hard to overcome, especially on the road in a hostile environment against a high octane Drew Brees offense. Two fumbles, in the 4th quarter, during crucial moments —What are the odds? I’ll take my chances that doesn’t happen again.
2. Brett Favre’s Offense Outgained Drew Brees’ Offense By More Than 200 Yards. 475 to 257! It just goes to show you that Minnesota out played New Orleans. Remember this game was being played in the Superdome! By himself, Adrian Peterson almost doubled the Saints rushing output! They could only muster 68 measly yards! Favre out threw Brees 310 to 197! Time of possession was also in Minnesota’s favor by close to 9 minutes. Ok, enough is enough, let’s stop it right there before it gets really ugly.
3. Minnesota’s Defensive Line Will Dominate New Orleans’ Offensive Line. So you really think Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and Ray Edwards will be shut down, held in check, and silenced? Ray Edwards registered the only sack of the game for the Vikings. This time around, different story. Prepare yourselves Jermon Bushrod and Jonathan Stinchcomb. Be ready, you guys are going to have your hands full!
4. Defense Is Healthier, Secondary Is Stronger. Cedric Griffin and E.J. Henderson will be back. Antoine Winfield will be fresher. Lito Sheppard was added through Free Agency and Chris Cook (2nd round pick, Virginia) via Draft. They will only help the defensive backfield. Tyrell Johnson is a year older, wiser, and will only get better. Madieu Williams has one year under his belt in Leslie Fraizer’s system, he will improve.
5. Favre Is Back With Dallas In Mind: #4 wants an opportunity at redemption. He wants to go out on top hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. His troops are hungry, quite thirsty, and you can be assured they will be chomping at the bit to seek revenge opening night against the defending Super Bowl Champions. It’s the beginning of the run to Dallas.
In his arsenal Favre’s rocket launcher has a bevy of weapons he can target, a slew of play makers to spread the wealth. You know the ultra talented, super skilled duo of Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin will be tough to contain in 2010. You better believe every single member of the Minnesota Vikings will be focused to take the field come September 9th in the Big Easy. Beware Saints fans you have a bulls-eye on your chest, the Vikings still believe they were the better team, and they’re out to prove it Week 1.
Favre will not settle for another repeat performance. He is not coming back without reaching his goal. He and the Vikings are on a mission. The results will be different. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget about that Adrian Peterson character —he’s good too.