It all went terribly bad quickly on a bad, bad, terrible night in Viking land. Shades of Brett Favre and the 2009 NFC Championship game haunted this game when comparing how the franchises seem to be going in opposite directions. Even memories of the famous kick by Garrett Hartley could not make this game palatable.
Not only was the loss of Zach Strief and Terron Armstead felt but Max Unger and Larry Warford both struggled mightily according to Profootball Focus (PFF) stats. The run game was non-existent (Adrian Peterson–come on down) and the loss of Willie Snead was felt. Most players stayed in on offense to protect Brees leaving precious few wide receivers against the Vikings secondary.
Defensively (according to PFF), Cam Jordan had a great game but Alex Okafor was MIA. Sheldon Rankins could hardly be found, and poor De’Vante Harris had a horrific night.
Some good news–Alex Anzalone had a terrific night and looks to be a great draft pick. So, yeah, for Thor (his nickname) in Vikings land. But the night was tough on his pocketbook as both he and Kenney Vaccaro were respectively fined $24,309 for unnecessary roughness hits.
The Patriots come to town not the heels of a U2 concert that reminded Saints fans of the terrific arc of the team to the Super Bowl but even this nostalgia will not be enough to change a squad with significant injuries on a short week facing the defending Super Bowl champs. All I ask of the Saints is to do their best and frankly, I know they will. The question remains “Is there enough talent on this team to put together a winning season?”