4 keys to victory for the Vikings against the Saints in Week 16

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Drew Brees /

Get Drew Brees off the spot

Drew Brees is back for what could possibly be one last hurrah in a bid to end his Pro Football Hall of Fame career on a high. The quarterback’s ribs are clearly not at 100 percent after such a significant injury and the cracks are starting to show for an aging player that doesn’t owe the Saints or the NFL anything.

If there was one knock on Brees, it’s his failure in the postseason in recent years. Their two losses against the Minnesota Vikings saw them fail to deliver on their promise and there will be plenty of responsibility on his shoulders when the knockout portion of the campaign begins.

One could argue that Brees came back too soon. However, the rust demonstrated by the signal-caller against the Kansas City Chiefs was better out of him now rather than the playoffs, so it was the right call to get him in with a few weeks to adjust.

The Vikings have had plenty of success rushing Brees during their recent games and this is a trend that needs to continue in Week 16. Getting into the backfield has been a real problem for a defensive front that is missing Danielle Hunter with a neck problem and the New Orleans protection is among the NFL’s best.

Taking Brees off the spot and making him think twice is going to be key and not having wide receiver Michael Thomas is another big confidence boost going in.