Via Twitter Sunday, Saints RB Reggie Bush said, “(I’m) about to watch Vikings and 49ers game and do a little homework for our first 2 opponents of the regular season.” That sounds like a good idea to me.
The better prepared the Saints are for the powerful running attacks of both the Vikings and the 49ers, the better off they’ll be. The speed and strength of RBs Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, and 49er breakout rookie sensation, Anthony Dixon should be a concern for the Saints, who gave up tough-fought yards straight up the gut by Texans RB, Arian Foster this past Saturday. If they are to be successful, the Saints are going to have to come up with an answer for opposition on the ground as well as on special team coverage.
The season opener promises to be intense as the last meeting of the two teams in the NFC Championship game is still fresh and raw, particularly to the Vikings who came out on the losing end. Trash talk has already started and sour grapes are constantly being sown, or as Saints safety, Darren Sharper called it, “a little bitterness.” Even Viking’s head coach, Brad Childress chimed in on the subject, telling CBSSports.com’s senior writer, Clark Judge that the Saints “orchestrated some things that aren’t within our rules.” Vikings players have also accused the black and gold of crossing the line when it came to hits on Favre in that game. At least one has implied that had he known how badly Favre had been battered and bruised at the time, he would have tried harder to get to Brees to return the favor.
Whether it’s sour grapes or a little bitterness, the Vikings have made it clear that they have more than just revenge for the loss on their minds. I think they want blood. Hopefully, the rest of the Saints are already in sync with what Reggie Bush is doing by preparing for that game. Who comes out on top will be determined by who plays with the most passion. I only hope it’s civilized.