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Expert Picks: Forecasting the Vikings-Saints Rematch

Minnesota has won three in a row and is looking to keep the train rolling in a rematch of the NFC Divisional Playoff game.

The Vikings blasted the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium 37-17 to move atop the NFC North with a record of (4-2-1).

New Orleans will head to U.S. Bank Stadium for Sunday Night Football and the team will have a chip on their shoulder after both games against the Vikings in Minneapolis last season.

The Saints (5-1) are on a hot streak of their own. New Orleans has won its past five games and is in first place in the NFC South.

Let’s see what is expected from the Vikings in their Week 8 matchup:

Saints 28, Vikings 27, Elliot Harrison, NFL.com

You will see the Minneapolis Miracle more times this weekend than the Stefon Diggs' hands-stick-to-everything commercials. (Which, by the way ... Why wasn't Diggs walking with an unhinged door attached to his palm? Hey, how did he get outside!? Is he one of those tech cowboys in Santa Clara who wears low-rise Converse, shaggy jeans and has an automatic sliding door installed in his home?) The Saints are coming off an important road win at Baltimore, and will face another such test against a talented defense, with crowd noise an obvious factor. Talented, but not stronger than the Ravens' unit. The Vikings' key to winning is generating pressure in Brees' face (something Baltimore couldn't do enough) and Kirk Cousins challenging the Saints downfield. The Saints' secondary hasn't been stressed vertically much in the team's past two games, with Alex Smith and Joe Flacco going a combined 2-of-8 on deep passes (20-plus air yards) against New Orleans during that span.

Saints 34, Vikings 30, David Steele, Sporting News

Nope, Case Keenum won't be throwing it to Stefon Diggs this time — unfortunately for the Saints, Kirk Cousins (second in the NFL in passing yardage) is throwing to Adam Thielen (first in receiving yards). Even with that combo, the Saints’ abundance of threats all over is something the Vikings’ offense would envy. New Orleans escaped last week in Baltimore; it's equipped to do more than escape here … and exact some payback.

Saints 27, Vikings 24 - Bleacher Report Staff

The 2017 New Orleans Saints season began with a tough road loss to the Minnesota Vikings and ended with an even tougher road loss to the Minnesota Vikings. But the majority of our experts believe the streaking Saints are finally due to overcome Mt. Viking.

"I was back and forth on this one," Davenport wrote. "And then back and forth again. The Saints just escaped Baltimore by the skin of their teeth, and Minnesota is coming off arguably their best effort of the season. There's also the matter of Minnesota's two wins over the Saints last year—and the fact this Vikings team (on paper, at least) is even better.

"But the 2018 Vikings have been all over the place—the same team that hammered the Jets a week ago got thumped at home by freaking Buffalo. On the other hand, the Saints, since a shocker in Week 1 against Tampa Bay, have been consistently good. Really good. It won't surprise me even a little if the Vikings win this game, but I'll take that consistency and Drew Brees indoors."

You're also welcome to note that New Orleans was in a position to win that playoff game before it was victimized by the Minnesota Miracle, but it shouldn't be forgotten that the Vikings once led that game 17-0. With that in mind, Gagnon isn't sure the Saints have it in them here.

"The Vikings have generally had the Saints' number," he said, "and they're at home again for this one following a pair of double-digit victories. They've won three in a row and are finding a groove after a slow start. Sure, the Saints have won five in a row, but they might be wiped following a dramatic road game in Baltimore. I think they're in for a bit of a dud."

Still, he's in the minority.

Vikings 24, Saints 20 - Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

This is the rematch of that amazing playoff game from last season, which the Vikings won on the final play. The Saints have been the better team so far this season, but they are playing consecutive road games and the Vikings are back on track after a slow start. Minnesota's defense will have a good day here.

Saints, 20, Vikings 17 – Michael David Smith – Pro Football Talk

This should be a fun one, with Drew Brees leading the Saints to a big conference road win.

Vikings 34, Saints 31 – Mike Florio Pro Football Talk

The Vikings continue to have the number of the team that foiled one of Minnesota’s best shots at a Super Bowl since 1976. The Saints will outplay the Vikings (like they did in January), but the Vikings will find a way to score at least one more point (like they did in January).

Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 55 percent, FiveThirtyEight

6 of 9 experts picked the Vikings, SB Nation

2 of 5 experts picked the Vikings, USA Today

6 of 8 experts picked the Vikings, CBS Sports

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