Drew Brees – QB
Drew Brees is back in the lineup after breaking multiple ribs and having one of his lungs collapse. The dude is tough as nails and he has returned from this injury much sooner than many expected.
Brees was back in the Saints starting lineup last week and he threw for 234 yards with three touchdowns and a pick against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Brees has to be licking his chops to go against the Vikings’ young and beat up defense. He will be well aware that Minnesota struggles to get any sort of pressure on the quarterback. He will also know that he’ll have time to scan the field and find an open receiver.
Brees is a future Hall of Fame quarterback and being one of the all-time greats, he should be able to use Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler’s inexperience against them. He should be able to fool them into thinking he’s going one way with the ball when he’s doing the complete opposite.
Mike Zimmer will have to stress patience with his young corners by having them stick to their man and avoid trying to read Brees’ eyes.
If the Vikings are going to have any success against Brees and slow down the Saints offense, they’ll have to generate some sort of pressure.
Players like D.J. Wonnum and Ifeadi Odenigbo are going to have to have their best games of the season and hit Brees as often as possible. The team should also utilize Hercules Mata’afa on passing downs and see if he can flash as he did earlier in the season.
Blitzing Harrison Smith would also be an ideal solution, as he’s almost gotten home multiple times this season. If Minnesota can’t get to Brees on Friday, he’ll be able to throw at will and send the Vikings defense to the Island of Misfit Toys this Christmas.