Slingin' Sam: Bradford throws Vikings past Saints

Slingin' Sam: Bradford throws Vikings past Saints

That's been the Saints' blueprint for the past decade or so, and I expect it to continue. Looking back, it may have been a little prescient. The Chargers defense is improving but the Broncos defense is still one of the best in the NFL. Brees felt pressure throughout the game.

Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss, left, reacts as he is inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor during halftime of an NFL football game between the Vikings and the New Orleans Saints, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Minneapolis. But for it being the first time they played together as a unit, the get decent marks for the effort.

Week 1 of the 2017-18 regular season wraps up on Monday Night with a double-header on ESPN. As we have seen before, the Patriots do not lose back-to-back weeks. Solid, right? Well, numbers lie.

Coming out of Maryland, where he played a majority of his time in the slot, Diggs switched to the outside in his rookie season and then moved back into the slot previous year. And that's becoming a concerning theme.

New Orleans needs a win to keep pace with the rest of the NFC South, which might be the best division in football. It is a big question how Ingram will be utilized with Peterson already in the roster. It was Brees' fifth 5,000 yard plus season and his third straight season (and five out of seven) where he led the league in passing yards. There did not seem to be any passion coming from the defense. Not so fast. No, really, slam on the brakes folks. But going back to Minnesota, playing the Vikings? He converted on 27 of 32 attempts for three touchdowns, two to Stefon Diggs and one to Kyle Rudolph. That's good for a passer rating of 143.0. Nope. Cam Jordan had a sack.

"Obviously, being the competitor I am, I want to be there on every snap".

The new linebacker corps? Running backs drop off a cliff once they lose the proverbial it. Peterson has a ton of carries under his belt.

In Sean Payton's 10 seasons as the Saints' coach, one running back has accounted for at least one-half of New Orleans' rushing attempts three times, including a year ago, when Ingram had 50.7 percent of the team's carries.

Kicker Wil Lutz looked good.

If you're still on the fence about who to back in this primetime matchup we've enlisted the help of expert National Football League bloggers Brian Pavek, from The Saints Nation, and Christopher Gates, from The Daily Norseman. The Vikings surpassed 100 yards on the ground in only two games. His only other good game as a Saint came in last season's Monday Night blowout when the Falcons dismantled the Saints on the 10th anniversary of the Dome reopening after Katrina. New Orleans also comes into the game with three healthy veteran tight ends in Fleener, Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui. It was on the road in a hostile environment. The Saints' defensive shortcomings should open up the offense for Minnesota, while New Orleans' offense will have a challenge on their hands facing off against one of the NFL's best defensive squads. All of that is true. The emergence of Michael Thomas late previous year gave Brees the reliable "big target" he prefers to have, and the array and diversity of weapons available to Brees will give him plenty of options - even against the league's best.

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