The NFL kicks off Week 16 with an exciting game set up for Friday Night. The Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints will meet up on Christmas Day as they both look to earn a big win. Minnesota is barely holding on to playoff hope, while the Saints are looking to get back on track as they fight for the first round bye. This game will kick off at around 4:30 PM Eastern time.
The Vikings have put up a record of 6-8 throughout this season, which has them sitting in third place of the NFC North. Minnesota took a heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Bears last week, which pretty much ended their playoff chances. The Vikings still have a little bit of hope and will look to keep it alive with a win over the Saints on Friday night.
New Orleans has earned a record of 10-4 so far this season, which has earned them the top spot in the NFC South. The Saints have hit a bit of a wall, losing back to back games coming into this one. New Orleans had won nine in a row before those two losses and will look to get back on track. The Saints are now two games back on the Green Bay Packers as they battle for the first round bye in the playoffs.
These two teams still have plenty to battle for entering the second to last weekend of the season. They will meet up on Christmas Day as they look to earn a big win. Both teams are coming in off back to back losses, which they will look to bounce back from. I expect these two teams to try and come out strong as they look for a big win on Friday night.
Minnesota is coming off a matchup against the Chicago Bears last week. Kirk Cousins had two touchdown passes, while Dalvin Cook rushed for another. David Montgomery had two rushing touchdowns, while Mitchell Trubisky had a passing touchdown. Cairo Santos went 4-4 on his field goal kicks to help lead Chicago to a 33-27 win.
The Saints met up with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15. Drew Brees had three touchdown passes as he returned to action and Taysom Hill rushed for another. Patrick Mahomes tossed three touchdown passes of his own, while Le’Veon Bell found the endzone once. Harrison Butker made a field goal late, which ended up being the difference in a 32-29 win.
The Vikings and the Saints met up last season in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Dalvin Cook had two rushing touchdowns for Minnesota on the day. Alvin Kamara had a rushing touchdown and Drew Brees passed for a touchdown as these two teams went to overtime. Kirk Cousins had a passing touchdown in overtime to lead the Vikings to the next round with a 26-20 win.
These two teams are coming off tough losses last week. Minnesota was able to earn a big win in the postseason last season and I expect that the Saints have not forgotten that loss. New Orleans will look to earn a big win to get some revenge and put the nail in the Vikings coffin. Minnesota will look to find some of that momentum again as they rematch with the Saints.
Kirk Cousins is starting under center for the Vikings this season. Cousins has struggled a bit throughout this season, but has still helped lead Minnesota. He has thrown for 3569 yards, 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Last week Cousins went 24-35 for 271 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. The Vikings will look for Cousins to put up a bit better of a performance in this one.
Drew Brees returned last week after missing four games due to injury. Brees was on a strong roll before going down with injury. He has thrown for 2430 yards, 21 touchdowns and 4 interceptions so far this season. Brees went 15-34 for 234 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception in last week’s loss. Brees will look to build upon his second half performance after a slow start against the Chiefs.
These two Quarterbacks are solid starters, but the Saints have the edge with Drew Brees back. Brees has been very strong this season as he has led New Orleans to a top spot in the NFC playoff picture. New Orleans had a tough test against the Chiefs in his first week back. Now the Saints will look to get back in the win column as they go against Minnesota on Friday night.
Offense vs Defense
The Vikings have been strong on offense this season, but have struggled on the defensive end. Minnesota has put up 360 points, which is 14th in the league this season. The Vikings have gained 5420 yards, which is 5th in the NFL. Minnesota has held opposing teams to 388 points and 5292 yards of offense, which are 25th and 22nd in the league.
New Orleans has put up solid offensive numbers, but have really shined on the defensive side of the ball. The Saints have been able to score 397 points and gain 5093 yards, which are 9th and 16th in the NFL. New Orleans has been able to hold opposing teams to 297 points, which is 6th in the league. The Saints have only given up 4290 yards of offense, which is 3rd in the NFL.
The Saints have been the much better team on both sides of the ball this season. Minnesota has been able to gain a lot of yards on the offensive side of the ball. The Vikings will have a tough time getting the offense going against New Orleans defense though. The Saints will look to get the offense going again with Brees back in the lineup. If New Orleans can jump out to an early lead, it might be too much for the Vikings to keep up.
New Orleans is coming into this game after back to back losses, which has all but knocked them out of the top spot in the NFC. Now the Saints will look to bounce back with Drew Brees against the Vikings. Minnesota’s playoff hopes are very slim, but they could hurt New Orleans with a win on Friday night. I think the Saints will come out strong in this one though as they try to get some momentum nearing the playoffs.
BetOnline has the Saints listed as a -7 ½ against the spread, which gives them a solid edge on Christmas Day. New Orleans has struggled in back to back games, but I think they will build of a good battle with Kansas City. Drew Brees is back and will have more time back in the offense coming into this one. I think the Saints will hold Minnesota’s offense down, while breaking through on the offensive side.