Minnesota Vikings vs Saints: 5 Questions With WhoDatDish


The Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.  To preview this game, I had the opportunity to talk with John Hendrix, who is the Co-Editor of the WhoDatDish on FanSided.com.

Here are the five questions that I asked him:

1)  What is the one aspect of the Vikings team that the New Orleans Saints have to be the most concerned with?

The Saints will have to respect two things in my opinion. The first is Norv Turner’s offensive play calling. The Vikings will look to get Cordarrelle Patterson involved early, and we saw in Week One how explosive he can be. Turner definitely is a smart play caller, and he is going to do his best to get Matt Cassel to get rid of the ball as soon as possible to negate the Saints pass rush. I look for Greg Jennings’ name to be called more than a few times.

The second part of this is the Vikings pass rush. One might have thought the loss of Jared Allen would have hurt this team, but when you have Mike Zimmer, who was a mastermind coordinator with the Bengals, coupled with some good pass rushers like Everson Griffin, Linval Joseph, and Tom Johnson (who Saints fans are quite familiar with), then it can spell a nice recipe for success to frustrate Brees and company.

2)  Who is one player on the Saints that fans in Minnesota may not be very familiar with but could make a huge impact on Sunday’s game?

Aug 15, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Most fans likely know a great deal about the Saints’ various weapons on both sides of the ball. One player on offense who will be featured a lot on Sunday is Khiry Robinson. He’s a second year player, and with the Mark Ingram injury, he’ll be featured on most run packages. Robinson has a great story, and made this team as an undrafted free agent. He is like a Matt Asiata, who worked hard to get where he’s at.

3)  Are Saints fans aware that many fans in Minnesota still hold a grudge against them for the “bounty” situation?  Also, who do the Saints see as their biggest out-of-division rivals in the NFL?

You’d have to be completely naïve to not remember that. We know that in 2009, every fan of the Vikings was ready for a Super Bowl. I’m sure Vikings fan recall the game in 2008 too, where there were a ton of missed penalties. Just remember with the ‘Bounty’ situation the final outcome. From 2009-2011, there were far fewer players injured by the Saints. We can sit here and argue back and forth on it, but at the end of the day, there’s no asterisk on the Saints 2009 Super Bowl.

As far as out of the division, I’d say it has to be the Cowboys and 49ers, teams the black and gold will face this season. The Cowboys-Saints rivalry has gone on for quite some time due to the geographic proximity between the two squads, and the 49ers-Saints rivalry goes back to the old days of the NFC West.

4)  What does the Vikings defense have to do in order to frustrate the New Orleans offense that is led by Drew Brees but has recently shown a great ability to run the ball?

Sep 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks to pass during the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Browns defeated the Saints 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

If they learned anything from the Browns last week, it’s getting the pass rush going and taking away anything downfield. The Browns defense dropped as many as seven guys last week in the secondary, and took away that part of the field from Drew Brees. If you take away the tempo and cadence of the Saints offense, then you can find success, but that is a little tough when they’re at home.

5)  What is your prediction for a winner and a final score in this game?  Also include any notable events that you think might transpire in the game.

The Saints have their back pinned against the wall. They’re mad. No one would have saw this 0-2 start, but it is a reality. The Saints have the luxury of playing at home, where they went 8-0 last year, and have a lot of home momentum on their side. The Saints need this win, and I don’t expect a blowout, but the Saints should get things back on track.

As for notable events, I can see Saints fans getting down on cornerback Patrick Robinson early should he give up pass plays. The Saints following have gone as far as to circulate a petition calling for his release. Understand that the team supports Robinson, but it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Corey White or even Stanley Jean-Baptiste (assuming he dresses) sub in for Robinson should he struggle.

A huge “Thank you” goes out to John Hendrix at Who Dat Dish for taking the time to answer these questions for The Viking Age.  Don’t miss the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday with a noon central scheduled kickoff time.