Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Vikings QB Sam Bradford will be active vs. Saints

Vikings QB Sam Bradford will be active vs. Saints

That's the kind of the hostility they would like to continue when Drew Brees and Co. come to town. And the running game is much improved. Head coach Mike Zimmer has taken the Vikings to the playoffs in two of his four seasons in Minnesota. But the strength of the Vikings is their defense, which ranked No. 1 in the National Football League in total yards (275.9) and points allowed (15.8). Having an 11-5 record during the regular season, the Saints were an offensive juggernaut with a Top 5 ranking in points per game (28), yards per game (391.2), passing yards per game (261.8) and rushing yards per game (129.4).

"I think now there's more of a sense of balance on offence", Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said when asked why, other than the defence, the team is better off without Peterson.

The fourth-year pro is capable of producing big games through the air, as he caught seven passes for 114 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in December.

The "home" team for the Super Bowl is determined on an alternating basis, and the AFC team is scheduled to be the home club for Super Bowl LII. The Vikings' defense has feasted off the noise and encouragement of their fans, holding opponents to just 12.5 per game in their building and holding them to 23 conversions on 99 third-down opportunities, or just 23.2 percent.

The last time the Vikings played a home playoff game, they had subzero cold to neutralize the Seahawks offense. "We didn't have an identity as a team in Week 1". "You are going to make me cry, for us to be here right now". We found out who we are and we're going to go there with confidence and a swagger and just play the ball we know how to play. Payton says, "Tell you what, Drew, if you get us to the Super Bowl, I'll row the boat to Minneapolis".

Minnesota has built an all-world defense, which number one overall, only allowing 275.9 yards per game, but also only 15.8 points per game. Thomas wound up with 104 catches this season, and he caught eight more for 131 yards last week vs. Carolina.

Bradford went 27 of 32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns in Minnesota's 29-19 season-opening win over New Orleans. For example, quick passes to running back Jerrick McKinnon out of the backfield could go a long way toward winning this game.

After last year's upsetting overtime loss at the Super Bowl against the Patriots, the Falcons enter this playoff season with one objective: don't repeat last year. "I've been happy for him knowing the road he's traveled to get to where he is", Brees said. One of the names that could be set to return to the roster is quarterback Sam Bradford.

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