MINNEAPOLIS — Drew Brees will lead the New Orleans offense onto the sector at Minnesota and begin the 13th postseason sport of his stellar profession, already armed with seven such victories and one Tremendous Bowl ring for the Saints.
“I put together for each sport as if it’s that magnitude,” Brees stated.
“While you’re in video games of that magnitude, it’s as in case you’ve been there and accomplished it many occasions earlier than, even when it was simply in your thoughts.”
For Case Keenum, it’s really all in his thoughts.
His first begin within the NFL playoffs will come when the Vikings kick off their divisional spherical sport on Sunday.
“I’m going to play like I understand how to play. I don’t need to be anyone however myself. No more conservative or much less conservative. Both means, I’m going to be me,” stated Keenum, whose profitable takeover for the injured Sam Bradford helped lead the Vikings (13-Three) to their greatest document in 19 years. “That’s all I’ve to be. I’ve acquired an important squad on this room.”
Solely measuring quarterback expertise and accomplishment, the Saints have a transparent benefit over the Vikings on this divisional spherical sport to assist decide the matchup within the NFC championship sport. Keenum, although, has been overcoming the chances all season, not to mention his profession .
“I all the time root for guys like that. Type of the undersized man that’s popping out and no person needs to provide him any credit score and all the time performs with a chip on his shoulder,” Brees stated.
Although he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers within the second spherical in 2001 out of Purdue, with Keenum going undrafted out of Houston and needing the Texans follow squad to get his profession entering into 2012, Brees can relate. He’s shorter than the NFL normal for his or her place, too. Oh, they usually’re each from Texas.
Brees added one other spotlight final week, with 376 passing yards to assist the Saints (12-5) advance with a 31-26 victory over Carolina whereas the Vikings had a bye.
“Only a man that I actually admire in how he strikes the ball down the sector and the way he operates, what sort of chief he’s,” Keenum stated.
“I learn his e book a very long time in the past. I believe he’s somebody to be taught from. I attempt to watch the entire actually good quarterbacks within the offseason and take little issues to attempt to work on my sport.”
Listed below are another angles to comply with with the sport:
SLOWED UP: The Professional Bowl pair of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara had the least productive mixed efficiency for the Saints towards Carolina, with simply 68 whole yards from scrimmage. They every had greater than 1,500 whole yards in 2017.
The Panthers introduced one security nearer to the road of the scrimmage to spy on the operating again, and it labored.
“This league is a copy-cat league so I wouldn’t be stunned if Minnesota did it,” Kamara stated, expressing no concern concerning the technique by pointing to Brees, whose passing yardage whole towards the Panthers was his second-highest of the season.
The Vikings, led by the pace of linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks, have held a number of pass-catching operating backs to minimal manufacturing this season.
LINE ITEM: The Saints shall be with out beginning left guard Andrus Peat, a flexible former first-round draft selection who additionally crammed in for Terron Armstead at left deal with this season when he was injured. Peat broke his fibula towards the Panthers.
Senio Kelemete, who has crammed in at each guard spots and proper deal with this season, is slated to start out for Peat. Armstead, in the meantime, stated he’s by no means been near 100 p.c wholesome this season.
“But it surely doesn’t matter,” Armstead stated. “I’m keen and capable of put my physique on the road for a possibility to play once more subsequent week.”
ZONED OUT: New Orleans defensive coordinator Dennis Allen known as for a comparatively zone-heavy scheme within the opener, and rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore recalled feeling “confused about every thing” in his NFL debut aside from the man-to-man protection the Saints have been extra inclined to let Lattimore play on high opposing receivers. He had 5 interceptions and was picked for the Professional Bowl.
“That was one thing that we felt like in that sport was going to provide us an opportunity to win the sport, and clearly we didn’t play in addition to we would have liked to,” Allen stated of Minnesota’s 29-19 victory fueled by a career-best 143.zero passer ranking for Bradford . “Clearly, we’ve checked out that sport and the way we’ve modified and the way we’ve developed as a protection.”
SUPER BOWL ENVY: New Orleans’ bid for the Tremendous Bowl this season and was thought-about a favourite given the town is celebrating its 300th anniversary and has lengthy been a preferred host for the NFL’s marquee occasion. However Minnesota’s bid, combining its new stadium and winter carnival method to associated festivities, received out.
Now the Vikings have a possibility to turn out to be the primary staff to play a Tremendous Bowl on residence turf, a feat the Saints could be completely satisfied to disclaim.
“If we need to add a bit underlying story to us making an attempt to win this sport, it could be good to have the ability to try this,” Saints defensive deal with Sheldon Rankins stated.
“We’ve all the time talked about, `We need to begin the season at Minnesota. We need to finish the season in Minnesota,’ and for us which means enjoying within the Tremendous Bowl.”
SITE MAP: The Saints are 1-6 of their historical past within the playoffs on the highway, together with 1-Four beneath coach Sean Payton. Their first and solely such win got here after the 2013 season, once they edged the Eagles in a wild-card spherical sport in Philadelphia earlier than shedding the next week at Seattle.
A kind of losses got here within the 2000 divisional spherical at Minnesota. The Vikings are 13-Eight in residence playoff video games of their historical past, together with 6-Four indoors.