New Orleans Saints (0-0 SU, 0-0-0 PS, 0-0-0 O/U) vs Minnesota Vikings (0-0 SU, 0-0-0 PS, 0-0-0 O/U)
When: 7:10 PM EDT, Monday, September 11, 2017
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lines: Minnesota -3.5
Monday Night Football action and the NFC South will duke it out with the NFC North as the New Orleans Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Saints have had three straight 7-9 seasons and will be looking to break that trend this year, while the Vikings went just 8-8 a year ago and will be looking to ride their defense back to the postseason after missing it last year.
Can The Saints Win The Competitive NFC South?
The NFC South may not be the best division in football, but top-to-bottom, it may be the most competitive. The Falcons are the favorites, but really anyone can win it and it will probably come down to the last week of the season before it is settled. The New Orleans Saints have gone just 7-9 in each of the last three years and they will look to break that string this year and get back to the postseason for the first time since 2013. The problem for the saints over the years has not been their offense as they have Drew Brees, who just continues to pile up the yards and TDs. Last year he threw for 5208 yards with 37 TDs and 15 INTs. He has now thrown at least 32 passes in eight straight years. He has another strong group of receivers this year and the Saints have added RB Adrian Peterson to help create a little more balance on offense.
The problem for the Saints over the years has been on defense and last year they ranked 27th in yards allowed and 31st in points allowed, giving up 28.4 ppg. They have now allowed at least 375 ypg and 26 ppg in each of their last three years. In 2013, they made it to the postseason and allowed just 301 ypg and 19 ppg that year. If this team ever gets a defense then they will be very hard to beat as their offense is pretty much unstoppable. They did use three of their first four picks in the draft on defense and brought in LBs A.J. Klein (Carolina) and Manti Te’o (Chargers) through free agency, so they have a good shot at being improved and even an average defense will give them a shot at winning the South.
The Vikings Will Have To Ride Their Defense
The Minnesota Vikings just missed out on the postseason last year as they were 8-8 on the year. The reason they missed the postseason was not because of their defense as it ranked 3rd in the league in total yards allowed and 6th in points allowed, giving up just 19.2 ppg on the year. That defense is strong and it will be what leads them again. They had 11 picks in the draft and used five of them on the defensive side of the ball while grabbing Datone Jones from Green Bay in free agency. Most of the other parts from last year’s defense is back but they did lose Captain Munnerlyn and Chad Greenway to free agency. Many feel the Greenway loss is big as he has been a staple of the defense for a while, but still, this defense is so deep that they will be just fine this year.
They will need that defense to step up on most nights as the offense will still be below average this year, even though they did make some nice moves to upgrade it. They brought in WR Michael Floyd (Suspended for four games), took Dalvin Cook with their first pick in the draft and upgraded their OL with a couple of free agents and their 2nd pick in the draft Pat Ellein. The offense didn’t look that great in the preseason, but they did some nice things when the first team was in their and should be improved overall, but it will take some time for all the new pieces to gel. The Vikings are really a mystery team as they have a good defense, but you don’t know what you will get from their offense. It could have a good showing in this one against a weak New Orleans defense.
New Orleans is:
- 1-5 ATS in their last six games in Week one
- 1-4 ATS in their last five Monday games
- 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games on fieldturf
- 22-7 ATS in their last 29 home games
This should be an intriguing game as both teams look to get back to the postseason this year. The Saints are going to score points this year, but will they be able to slow teams down. They have a chance at doing so in this one as the Vikings will not be a great offensive team. Still, this is the opener and i look for the Vikings to come out fighting and open their offense enough against a weak New Orleans defense to take this game. The Vikings do have an edge on defense and it is a sizeable one, plus they are at home and the Saints offense is not as strong on the road as it is at home. I look for the Vikings to find a way to win this game.
Pick: Minnesota -3.5
This game should be interesting to watch as it pits the high-powered attack of the Saints up against a strong defense that the Vikings have. Something has to give in this one. The Vikings do have a strong defense and it should play well in this one against the Saints squad that isn’t as explosive on the road as they are at home. On offense, Minnesota will look to grind the game out and keep that explosive offense on the sidelines and that should eat some clock. The Saints are not a good defensive squad, but still, it is improved some and should be able to slow down a Minnesota offense that will be very conservative. The Under is 5-1 in Minnesota’s last 6 games in September and this one should follow suit.